Building & Contributing to Team Culture

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  • 0:05 Team Culture
  • 0:37 Creating Team Structure
  • 1:57 Modeling Positive Behavior
  • 2:55 Providing Support
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Frey

Chris has taught corporate project management courses and has a master's degree in project management.

In this lesson, you will learn about three main aspects to focus on when building and contributing to a positive team culture. Let's learn more about this specialized business topic.

Team Culture

Whenever you join a new team, you never know what kind of a culture exists. Hopefully it is a positive, productive culture. If so, ask yourself, what can I do to contribute to the positive team culture? If it is a negative, stagnant culture, ask yourself, what can I recommend to change the team culture for the better? Now, let's look at three main aspects of team culture that you can focus on to help with these questions. These aspects include creating a team structure, modeling a positive team behavior, and creating the necessary support.

Creating a Team Structure

Let's start with the creation of a team structure. Have you ever been the member of a team in which one person seemed to take over and control the rest of the team? You may have even felt like your contributions did not matter. A good team structure can help with that.

The team structure defines the roles and responsibilities of the team members. It helps team members understand their place on the team and the rules and procedures to follow. Keep in mind that the team structure is not necessarily the same as the organizational structure, because teams can be a temporary group assembled to accomplish a specific objective or project.

So how do we go about creating team structure? Well, it involves answering key questions for the team, such as:

  • Why does the team exist?
  • What roles do we need on the team to be successful?
  • Why are we important?
  • What is our product or objective?
  • Who do we serve and who are our customers?
  • What do our managers, other team members, and customers expect from us?

Answering these questions provides clarity to the team's purpose and can bring team members together with a common vision. What's more, everybody on the team has something to contribute, and a clear structure can help balance the different personalities on the team and can ensure that all members feel comfortable contributing. A clearly defined structure also avoids confusion and frustration.

Modeling Positive Behavior

Now let's talk about modeling positive behavior. Even teams with a solid structure and very talented team members can have problems performing. How many times do we hear of bad behaviors of one member of a professional sports team affecting the performance of the entire team? It happens all the time. Champion team members model behavior that encourages collaboration and provides a basis for continual team improvement and trust building.

Modeling good behavior starts at the top and goes out to every member of that team. Good team behavior includes:

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