What to Look For When Forming a Team

Let’s say you need to form a team. Maybe it’s a project team to implement a strategy. Maybe it’s a cross-functional team to deal with an issue that cuts across the org chart. Maybe it’s an integration team to help with a recent acquisition. In any case, you need to put together a team to get it done. Picking the right people is critical – it could very well make the difference between success and failure.
What should you look for when selecting team members? Beyond the obvious of ensuring representation from the right departments / locations / functions, here are four traits to look for:
1. Well-Respected
It doesn’t matter how smart or experienced a person is if they’re not respected by their peers. Not being respected, they won’t be able to have influence. And if they can’t have influence, you don’t want them on the team.
2. Doers
Many people are good at generating ideas and making recommendations. But if you need to get things done, that’s not enough. You want people who are action-oriented, who take initiative, and who have a track-record as doers.
3. Big-Teamers
Some people view their role as representing the interests of their particular area – the “small team”. They have a hard time identifying with what’s best for the organization – the “big team”. That can lead to dysfunctional conflict. You want people who have the larger perspective – “big-teamers.”
4. Constructive Challengers
It’s easy for teams to succumb to groupthink – when the desire for harmony inhibits the questioning of opinions and consideration of alternative views. That’s not healthy. You want at least a couple of people on the team who are constructive challengers. Broad-minded people with the courage to challenge ideas in a constructive way.
You want the type of people who will give your team the best chance to succeed. Looking for these 4 traits helps you achieve that.
Make it happen.
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