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  3. Building a Collaborative Team

Building a Collaborative Team

Release Date: July 12, 2022

A team is defined as a group of people working together toward a common goal. At work, teams are expected to join forces and produce results, but performance is hindered when team members do not work well together. Trust and collaboration are essential for every team's success. Use these tips to help you create a collaborative team environment:

  • Agree on a common purpose and goal. Discuss why your team exists and what your common purpose is. Use your common purpose to prioritize team actions. If it feels authentic to the team, you can create mottos, symbols, awards, or posters that portray the team as one unit.

  • Build trust. Team members need to trust each other to work together successfully. To build that trust in your team, create a space where everyone feels like they can be honest, work to eliminate conflicts of interests among the group, avoid gossip, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

  • Clarify roles. A clear delineation of each member’s role and responsibilities creates efficiency and understanding in your team. Consider reviewing everyone’s roles frequently and tie it back to the team’s larger common purpose. Learn what others do on the team and find ways to help each other.

  • Communicate openly and effectively. Miscommunication can create hard feelings and undermine your team’s success. Work to clear up misunderstandings quickly and accurately. It is always better to overcommunicate rather than assume everyone is on the same page. 

  • Appreciate Diversity. Team members come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and perspectives. Take advantage of your team’s diversity by trying to learn as much as you can from others and avoid remarks that draw negative attention to a person's unique characteristics.

For more information and resources that can help with building a collaborative team, please contact worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 07/12/2022
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