chapter caucus

Team Building Skills


To build an effective team, you must understand what each person brings to the team: the skills, strengths, and motivations. As much as possible, the individual characteristics should complement each other.

Team dynamics and individual attitudes become very important to the team's success. It is important to recognize individual leadership and communication styles, too.


Think about your own attitude toward working in a group. Do you:

  • Enjoy working in a group?
  • Prefer working alone?
  • Often work in groups?
    • Do you participate actively?
    • Do you do your share?
    • Do you have important things to contribute?
  • Feel that group decision-making is important?
  • Judge other people fairly?
  • Read other people accurately?
  • Like being rated based on group work?
  • Feel comfortable in a leadership role?

As a member of a group, your attitude towards group work plays a major role in the success of the group. After thinking about your attitudes, see if there are any ways that you could improve your attitude to make the group stronger.

Remember that the other members of your group will probably have attitudes that are different from your own.

Communication Awareness

  • Are you aware that the message you hear may not be the one the person meant to send?
  • Do you know that the words you choose may not mean the same thing to the receiver as they do to you?
  • Do you think about the receiver of your message before sending it to determine the affect it will have on him or her?
  • Do you watch body language to evaluate the impact of your message?
  • Do you avoid using jargon, especially when the receiver might not understand it?
  • Do you try not to use words that will intentionally distract or annoy the receiver?
  • Do you know that how you speak your words is as important as the actual words you say?
  • When you have something to say, are you honest about needing to say it?
  • In your communications, do you try to be short and to the point?
  • Do you think about the format for sending your message and whether written, telephone, e-mail, or one-to-one would be the best format?

One of the main ingredients necessary for team success is effective communication. Even with individuals working on independent tasks, at some point all the parts must come together as a whole. Communication is key to success.

First, think about your own communication style. If you answered "yes" to the above questions, then you have strong communication skills. If you answered "no" to any of the questions, you might want to think about how this may impact your team. For example, if you answered no to the question about being short and to the point, members of your group may become frustrated waiting for your point to be made. The next time you work in a group, think about how you and the other members of your group communicate and the ways communication could be improved.

Some Basic Communication Rules

There are some basic rules that you can use to be an effective communicator. Some of these rules seem elementary, but you would be surprised at how many people do not follow them. Communicating clearly and honestly with your coworkers will eliminate a lot of the miscommunications that occur.

How to Communicate

How should you communicate in the workplace? You understand the basic rules, and you have an important message that you want to send. This message is so important that you have been putting it off for some time. Here are some things to consider:

That is really all there is to it. You now know how to communicate effectively. With practice it will become easier.

Next section:  Poor Communication Behaviors

Team Building Skills
Home Page

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

Velda Arnaud, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Lead, Educate, Serve Society

Last updated 10/4/14 (va)
Copyright 2004-present