No matter what size company you work for, you will at some point be working in a team. Teams are one of the fundamental components of companies. So it is important when putting teams together to make sure they are organized as optimally as


One expert in organizational behavior explains three important ways to do this.

1. Diversity
The people in a team should be diverse, not just in background, but in many other ways as well. They should have different ways of problem-solving and work styles, Some should be optimistic, others pessimistic; some should welcome taking risks, others more cautious. You should have a mix of men and women. What you are looking for are differences that play off of each other, producing better results.

What you don’t want, however, is diversity in objectives. Everyone should be working toward the same goals. So, at the outset, clear goals need to be established, benchmarks set up, and each team member needs to understand his or her job responsibilities.

2. Flexibility
Teams need a leader, but a leader who is too assertive can overpower a team, stifling their creativity, openness, and candor, which, in the end, hinders performance. To avoid this, organization experts recommend that a team maintain a certain degree of flexibility, sometimes becoming more flat, where each member becomes more equal, and sometimes more hierarchical, when the leader needs to take charge.

One way to do this is by passing around some object, where the person holding the object gets to speak. This gives everyone a chance to participate. Another approach is where the leader withdraws from the group a little, moving away from the table, for example, to signify that he or she is relinquishing authority. Teams also need to make sure that all discussions are based on data, because data is egalitarian.

3. Take care of problems immediately
When a problem arises, teams need to deal with it right away. Left unattended, problems just become bigger and can disrupt the functioning of the team. Minor differences between members of the team may signal some deeper issues that need to be addressed.

If some people are not contributing to discussions, this issue needs to be addressed immediately as well. Details in these cases matter, such as where a person sits that may be inhibiting their participation, or how others react to their contributions.

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