How Teams Work

Teams produce results beyond what groups of even the most skilled individuals can do. What does it take to produce such a results producing team? The discipline of a real team involves six common characteristics:

  1. A Small Number of people
  2. with Complementary Skills,
  3. committed to a Common Purpose
  4. and specific Performance Goals,
  5. who use an agreed upon Common Process,
  6. and who hold themselves Mutually Accountable for their results

The researchers at Team Coaching International have synthesized the work of Katzenbach & Smith with that of Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) and John Gottman (Gottman Institute & University of Washington). This team model, which we have adapted at Collective Edge, balances Productivity factors (such as decision-making, accountability, and goals) with Positivity factors (camaraderie, trust).  The resultant Productivity by Positivity matrix yields four combinations as shown in the chart.


Unlike other typologies (for instance, the Meyers-Briggs), this one has a ‘right’ answer: organizations want (and need) teams that exist in the Blue Quadrant – high productivity/high positivity. At the same time, teams are where they are. No matter which Quad a given team falls in, conscious effort with a skilled coach can help rise them up to the next level.

Would you like to see how your team measures up?
Then please read about the Team Diagnostic Assessment.