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What makes a strong team?

A strong team is greater than the sum of its parts.  It requires the individual team members to understand their roles within the team and to pull their weight.  The team members need to recognise their own strengths, weaknesses and working styles, as well as those of  other.  This enables the team members to support one another help one another develop and to know how they can be most effective.

To make a team really strong, you need a good mix of skills, experience and styles.  This enables the team to come at an issue from different angles and ensures that all possible solutions are considered.  At the same time the team needs a strong vision which all the team members are working towards; as well as a strong leader who is prepared to make final decisions.  Without a strong leader, the team can potentially implode, allowing the loudest voice to drive the direction of the team.

Good communication is also vitally important to the team functioning fully.  Communication is made easier when the team members actually like and respect one another.  To build up a rapport between the team members, they need to spend time together and share some experiences.  This investment of time is essential to ensure that the team really gels together.

Many companies use psychometric testing to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team members, to identify the roles that the team members naturally take and to provide a framework for discussion about their team roles.  This kind of testing also helps the team identify what skills are missing from the team and so can help to inform the person specification for any recruitment to the team.

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