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Identify Characteristics of an Engaged Team

The characteristics of an engaged team is actually something most people already know. After all, everyone’s been on a sports team, a dance team, in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, on church committees, or in a play group, and has seen what works and what doesn’t.

But in the interest of being thorough, this list spells it out here. Engaged teams demonstrate the following:

  • Accountability

  • Authority

  • Clarity of roles

  • Decisiveness

  • Direction

  • Mutual commitment

  • Open communication

  • Performance

  • Productivity

  • Respect

  • Selflessness

  • Transparency

  • Trust

  • Vision

But that’s not all. For a team to be truly engaged, focused, and motivated, it must also demonstrate the following:

  • Accessibility

  • Agility

  • Appreciation

  • Balance

  • Celebration

  • Collaboration

  • Complementary skills

  • Diversity

  • Drive

  • Empowerment

  • External focus

  • Flexibility

  • Fun

  • Morale

  • Ownership

  • Pride

  • Recognition

  • Sense of purpose

  • Visibility

Unfortunately, many teams don’t demonstrate these characteristics. In other words, these words describe what characteristics teams should have, not what they do have. Why? For one, people get busy, and they don’t always feel they have the time to exhibit these ideal behaviors. Additionally, some people are just mistrusting, cynical, or skeptical by their very nature. They’re not bad people — these traits are just part of their DNA.

For many, the default is to assume the worst of people, or that people have bad intentions. But perhaps the most significant hallmark of a successful team is that members assume good intentions. In addition, people on successful teams hold each other accountable when they see their teammates demonstrating less-than-ideal characteristics.

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