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The most essential processes for making teamwork WORK!

Sometimes we need an infusion of ideas and tools for the work we are already doing. 

I am going to get tactical right now and jump straight into it!

There are a few processes it is good to always use when you are working with a group.

Whether you are leading and supporting an Executive team in your business, organizing a school group to make changes in school policy to benefit all students, or co-facilitating a volunteer-led group for immigrant justice- these WILL make the work smoother (and more fun)!

Three essential processes ease the amount of work you are each doing, increase action, and even enjoyment, while you work together.

    A set of working agreements
    Have a set of agreements that guide your work together. 

    This can be as simple as two or three verbal agreements for how you want to act when you work together and how you will do your work. You can put these in writing and come back to them each year as a process of learning together and acknowledging what is working and what can be improved.

    An agreed-upon, known common purpose
    A clear outlined statement about why the group exists and the purpose of their work together. 

    I find most people in a group have different understandings of the purpose of the group and the larger mission or reason for the group’s existence. When the purpose is not clear, people will be less engaged, less collaborative, and more confused. 

    If you want a passionate group – create purpose together and come back to your purpose over and over.

    A clear decision-making process
    A process that outlines how major (and even minor) decisions are made and who is responsible for which decision. 

    Not everyone has to be a part of making every decision, but everyone should know who and how each decision is made. If you want to increase trust and create an inclusive team – discuss and document who makes what decisions and how. (Even better add clarity around how input can be given and what is done with input once it is given.)

These seem simple.

However, when the work is critical and there is much to be done – we can quickly lose sight of each of these processes. 

Check in real quick on a team project you are working on, and ask yourself:

  1. Do we have a set of agreements for how we want to work together? Do we all know what these agreements are?
  2. Do we know what the purpose of our team is? If asked, would we each of us give a different answer for why we exist as a team?
  3. Do we know how decisions are made and who makes what decisions? Have we discussed and documented who is responsible for each decision?

If you answered, yes – awesome you are set up to build a strong team. 

If you answered “sort of” – go back and find a way to answer and clarify as a group.
I promise you it will lead to more collaboration, more trust, and less stress!

Want more tips and tools for building a team you actually enjoy working with?

Check out this FREE class I am offering in May – 4 keys to setting up a successful team from the start (and what to fix when your team is struggling).

I will share details on the tools I use when supporting strong teams – including my go-to Working Agreements!


Here is to all of us working together in collaborative, action-oriented teams!

Rheanna SmithThe most essential processes for making teamwork WORK!

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