Building Effective Teams – Part I

What constitutes the “perfect” team – or at least a highly effective one? That’s a difficult question to answer, but a crucial one when you’re putting together a team for your company’s next big project. While studies have shown that it is indeed a difficult task, they also give us the tools and insight to accomplish it.

For example, according to a Google study (results were announced early in 2016), two critical aspects include the emotional intelligence level and communication abilities of each team member.

Emotional Intelligence

A Harvard Business Review article by Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff offer insight into the emotional intelligence factor. Here is an excerpt from their report.

Trust, a sense of identity, and a feeling of efficacy arise in environments where emotion is well-handled, so groups stand to benefit by building their emotional intelligence. Group emotional intelligence isn’t a question of dealing with a necessary evil—catching emotions as they bubble up and promptly suppressing them. Far from it. It’s about bringing emotions deliberately to the surface and understanding how they affect the team’s work. It’s also about behaving in ways that build relationships both inside and outside the team and that strengthen the team’s ability to face challenges. Emotional intelligence means exploring, embracing, and ultimately relying on emotion in work that is, at the end of the day, deeply human.”


Another HBR article by Alex “Sandy” Pentland shares insight into the communication aspect. The post identifies three aspects of communication that affect team performance.

  • Energy, which we measure by the number and the nature of exchanges among team members.
  • Engagement, which reflects the distribution of energy among team members. When all members of a team have relatively equal and reasonably high energy with all other members, engagement is extremely strong.
  • Exploration, which involves communication among members outside their team. Higher-performing teams tend to seek more outside connections.

In other words, when team members are enthusiastic about sharing, engage often with all members, and continue to interact with people outside the team, the conditions are right for healthy communication.

Emotional intelligence coupled with communication abilities and activity are pillars to successful teamwork, but what about knowledge, skills, and experience? Have these aspects been put aside? Absolutely not. Neither has personality types. In our next blog – 2/20, we’ll discuss these two factors. Be sure to join us.

Springborn Staffing understands the power of effective teams. As Maine’s premier staffing agency, we deliver best-in-class solutions for employers and superior career opportunities for talented job seekers. In other words, we create effective teams. Contact us today.



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