1)The Team Is Clear About Its Mission

The team understands the goals and is committed to attaining them. This clear direction and agreement on mission and purpose are essential for effective teamwork.  This team clarity is reinforced when the organization has clear expectations for the team’s work, goals, accountability, and outcomes.

2)The Team Environment Encourages Reasonable Risks

The team creates an environment in which people are comfortable taking reasonable risks in communicating, advocating positions, and taking action. Team members trust each other.

3)Respectful Communication Is the Norm

Communication is open, honest, and respectful. People feel free to express their thoughts, opinions, and potential solutions to problems. They do this by formulating questions that will lead them to more deeply understand their teammate’s point of view.

4)Strong Sense of Group Commitment

Team members have a strong sense of belonging to the group. They experience a deep commitment to the group’s decisions and actions. This sense of belonging is enhanced and reinforced when the team spends the time to develop team norms or relationship guidelines together.

5)Creativity and Innovation Are the Norms

Creativity, innovation and different viewpoints are expected and encouraged. Comments such as, “We already tried that and it didn’t work” and “what a dumb idea” are not allowed or supported. The team members recognize that the strength in having a team is that every member brings diverseness to the effort to solve a problem, improve a process, reach a goal, or create something new and exciting.

6)Engages in Continuous Improvement

The team is able to constantly examine itself and continuously improve its processes, practices, and the interaction of team members. The team openly discusses team norms and what may be hindering its ability to move forward and progress in areas of effort, talent, and strategy.