Five Basic Elements of Effective Teams

Positive interdependence, individual accountability, group processing, skills in communication, promotive interaction
Image Credit: Rawia Inaim

Effective teams share five key characteristics:

Positive InterdependenceMembers believe they are linked together; they cannot succeed unless the other members of the group succeed (and vice versa).They sink or swim together.
Individual AccountabilityThe performance of each individual member is assessed and the results given back to the group and the individual
Group ProcessingAt the end of its working period, the group processes its functioning by answering two questions:What did each member do that was helpful for the group?What can each member do to make the group work better?
Skills in CommunicationNecessary for effective group functioning.Members must have – and use – the needed leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills.
Promotive InteractionMembers help, assist, encourage, and support each other’s efforts to learn.

Reference: Johnson, D., T. Johnson, R., & Smith, K. (1998). Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom (Vol. 47).

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