The qualities of, and guidelines for, effective team membership include:
- Contributing ideas and solutions.
- Recognizing and respecting differences in others.
- Valuing the ideas and contributions of others.
- Listening and sharing information.
- Asking questions and seeking clarification.
- Participating fully and keeping commitments.
- Being flexible and respecting the partnership created by a team – striving for a win-win situation.
- Having fun and caring about the team and the outcomes.
Traditionally, the term management refers to the set of activities, and often the group of people, involved in four general functions, including planning, organizing, leading and coordinating activities. Ultimately, management is about leading a team of people towards certain goals. This team can be a whole organization or a small section of an organization, and the general functions of management include not only those functions mentioned in the definition above (planning, organizing, leading and coordinating activities), but also monitoring progress; developing human resources; supervising; managing finances; and evaluating. Given the range of responsibilities outlined, management must have the skill of working effectively with both individuals and groups, and this thread must run through the performance of every managerial function. This is also essential to effective decision making within an organization.
Whilst management requires leadership capabilities, leadership is not always solely delegated to a manager or management. Early theories of leadership focused primarily on leadership styles, and leadership was considered to be a personality trait rather than a cluster of behaviors’ that could be learned. Since these early theories, however, research and understandings of leadership have evolved.
Today’s research, focuses around contingency theories, which emphasize that different situations determine the leadership skills and styles most appropriate for particular teams or groups; and that transformation leadership models which empower members by affirming and reinforcing their autonomy and individuality as they pursue individual, group and organizational goals, are seen as more relevant.
Effective leaders can be described as having good workplace knowledge; an ability to plan ahead; a willingness to allow teamwork, involvement and participation; enthusiasm; integrity and honesty; the ability to recognize their own limitations; and a willingness to show initiative.
Professional behavior, management and leadership skills as well as team work, ensure people are respected and feel valued in their work environment. This is important in developing and maintaining good working relationships, which in turn, is essential to creating supportive and healthy workplaces that focus on people’s strengths and on everyone being involved.