InEight Global Capital Projects Outlook 2021: Optimism and Digitization

Building sustainable relationships in project teams

Patrick Bird
February 28, 2011

Top team attributes

So let us turn now to the attributes that individuals bring to the team and how they can be harnessed for the benefit of the team and the project.

High performing teams usually have a number of attributes which are common to them and as such are common to the individuals and leaders making up the team. A sample list is detailed below:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment
  • Adaptability(Flexibility)
  • Support
  • Patience
  • Humour
  • Cooperation
  • Friendship
  • Trust
  • Compatibility
  • Courage
  • Unselfishness

Try an exercise with your team to establish the key attributes they consider essential for working together as a team in order to build relationships and deliver the project.

  1. Ask each team member to note down four or five attributes they consider important and combine the list, removing duplicates, to arrive at a master list. This may be similar to the one above.
  2. Using the master list, ask the team to rate where they expect the team to be for each attribute creating a target for the team. Use a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is poor and 10 is good.
  3. Using the master list, ask the team members to write down individually where they think the team is at the moment. Use a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is poor and 10 is good.
  4. Combine these results and review with the team.

During the review of the results from the exercise it is not unusual to find that members of the team have different views of where the team is, reflected by the scores they give, and may be considerably different from the targets previously established. Identifying these differing opinions early will help the team to address them quickly thereby avoiding potential conflict later on.

This a flavour of some of techniques that project managers and team members may be able to use to establish the types of people and attributes they may bring and how that may affect their relationships. Using the information gleaned, it will give you a base from which the relationship build can start using the skills mentioned previously.

Like it or not we are all a seething mass of emotions, we carry with us a vast array of history; hang-ups, opinions, values, desires and motivations and are likely to see the world in a different way to other colleagues. As managers of project teams we need to be able to get under the surface of all this and find out what makes the people in our team tick for the benefit of the individual, the team and of course the project.

Author avatar
Patrick Bird
Patrick Bird is the founder and managing director of InterActive Performance Management has more than 30 years senior corporate experience in blue chip companies, acting and coaching qualifications.
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