Forming a new team for a project, large task, or special assignment is an effective way for creating a different dynamic. A group with people who have an assorted set of skills, backgrounds and knowledge can offer new ideas and discoveries that a group of similar individuals may not. The same can be said about a team formed with staff from different departments. Although these teams may be very productive, sometimes the diversity can become an obstacle to goal achievement. The focus may shift from the task at hand to the conflict on the team. Here are a few tips that can help a new team work together effectively.

#1 Look for Value

A team has the ability to produce new ideas from its diverse knowledge base that may not be produced otherwise. Ideas are often ignored or harshly criticized in group settings when they are deemed useless. This can be a problem because it alienates the person who provided the idea. When someone repeatedly gets their ideas shot down, they lose their incentive to contribute. In addition, ideas that could be useful in the future are passed over. Criticism is not difficult, finding something negative in an idea or opinion does not take much effort. Finding the positive side of an idea that seems useless at first may require more thought, but can have a big payoff. Out of the box ideas and originality comes from thinking that does not feel familiar or comfortable. Be open to it. Motivate participation by encouraging ideas and finding value whenever possible.

#2 Stay on Track

A team can easily stray off the team agenda due to personal agendas or lack of focus. Ensure the entire team understands the goals of the group, and what needs to be done. Going onto tangents can be beneficial in conception of new ideas, but can waste valuable time if the group wanders too far. Being mindful of the team agenda can be a valuable time saver and can maintain the efficiency of the group.

#3 Embrace Productive Conflict, Resolve Unnecessary Conflict

Conflict on a team may be useful in some situations. Conflict can generate an abundance of ideas if it is embraced. Guide arguments and disagreements into discussions. Constructively building on different viewpoints encourages more opinions, ideas and knowledge which may help the team reach its goal. Resolution to conflict that is unrelated to the project is essential to team progress. Identify conflict that is unrelated to the team's goals and settle it when possible. If it begins to take too much time from the rest of the group, put it aside and find a resolution outside the group. Maintaining a positive morale and open communication vastly improves the team's ability to work together.

#4 Be Prepared

Learn as much as possible before joining a team for a new project. You lose the respect of your teammates when you go in blind and make opinions based on minimal knowledge. Your input will be valued, you will have more confidence, and you will gain more respect from your team members when you are prepared for the project and knowledgeable about the subject. If the information is not readily available before work has begun, stay attentive and learn what you can as the project progresses.

#5 Encourage the Strengths of Others

Everyone will bring something different to a new team. Utilizing the strengths and skills of the group will encourage productivity and boost morale. Team members will work to their fullest potential, and feel good about making their contributions. They will also receive the acknowledgement for the work they are doing. Encouraging others can be complimenting useful ideas they have provided, expressing the value of an individual's skill to the task at hand, or showing appreciation for a team member. It is important to fix problems and strengthen weaknesses, but it is the team member's talents that will support overcoming obstacles.

A team is more likely to achieve success when the team itself is valued. In addition to supporting the team as a whole, the team should appreciate what each individual has to offer. Respect, understanding and awareness of the team members and their ideas will keep them motivated to reach the team goal.

Author's Bio: 

Adam is a human resources professional and communication coach. His goal is to support individuals and organizations in achieving success by improving interpersonal skills, increasing confidence, and becoming highly effective in communication. With his experience and education in training, recruiting, and consulting, he has acquired a great understanding of social interaction, and uses this knowledge to help others build their skills.

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