Elements of effective teamwork

Leading process consultant Edgar Schein describes what makes for effective teamwork. He believes the elements are:

  1. a shared common focus.
  2. a culture in which everyone is able to contribute and is “listened to” equally.
  3. an environment in which feelings can be freely expressed.
  4. an expectation that all aspects of issues will be canvassed.
  5. shared decision making i.e. no single person is relied upon to make decisions.
  6. a culture which invites people to be extremely candid.
  7. a creative membership open to new ideas.
  8. a perception that activity is effortless.


If you are wanting a high performing team, challenge yourself against the above eight points.

ACTION: Ask yourself whether these are characteristics of your team?

  • If so, how can you ensure they continue?
  • If not, what can you do to bring more of them into your team?