Great teams don’t just happen. They are developed over time through patience, persistence and a commitment to a common cause. When you enjoy working with your team members and you establish a culture of respect and trust, it makes all the difference between success and failure.

Entrepreneur and business leader Jodie Cook says that’s why it’s critical that your team dynamic is right. Your ideas and plans go further, faster when you work in harmony with smart people you like and trust.

Wondering if your team is exceptional? In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Cook’s 10 signs of a great team.

1. Laughter. Laughter is a form of communication and plays a key role in group dynamics, says Cook. Someone cracks a joke and perhaps it’s not even that funny, but team members want to support their teammate, so they laugh along. Laugher is a very good signal.

2. Beehive mentality. The hive comes first. According to Cook, great teams think of the beehive. They can see how one member’s individual work will benefit the work of everyone. For this to work there can be no selfish agendas and no “bee mentality” at all.

3. Enthusiasm for the work. Whenever there’s lots of chatter, it’s because the team is discussing the work at hand. Evolving ideas, asking for second opinions and openly deliberating ways of solving challenges all assist progress and are productive ways of collaborating. If the chatter is based in escapism, however, it could be a sign of disengagement.

4. Benefit of the doubt. In great teams, the benefit of the doubt is always given, notes Cook. Someone doesn’t have to be seen to be trusted. If they have made an oversight, their teammates will assume there is a good reason for it. They might say: “He’s usually very diligent so I can’t imagine he would have overlooked this…” and stick up for them ahead of knowing the actual course of events. Under camaraderie of this intensity, teams flourish.

5. Expressing gratitude and giving encouragement. When team members are working in the best interests of each other, it’s recognized and appreciated. Thanks are given generously at every step. Team members have faith in each other’s abilities and give helpful encouragement that is well received.

6. Horizontal relationships. According to Cook, teams with horizontal relationships give praise between all levels of role or, instead, express gratitude or encouragement and avoid praise altogether. Strong teams thrive when horizontal relationships are most prominent.

7. Constructive criticism. In the best teams, constructive criticism can be happily given and received among members, regardless of position or title. If everyone is working towards the same goals from a shared ethos, feedback is useful and welcomed.

8. Whole team recognition. An individual singled out for their great work will make sure their collaborators are recognized, says Cook. They want it to be known that any triumph was a group effort, and they know their colleagues would do the same. They are more likely to highlight the work of the group and play down their individual part.

9. Misalignment is obvious. Successful and happy teams are unashamedly committed to excellence and wouldn’t put up with one member not contributing or working to improve.

10. Confidence in the future. The best teams ride the rollercoaster together. They know that they will face ups and downs, but they have full confidence in their ability to cope with any turmoil.

Great teams can accomplish remarkable things. Whether you’re hiring new employees, or you want to create a stronger team, look to the signs above to form your dream team.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jodie Cook is an award-winning social media entrepreneur and business leader. She helps businesses communicate effectively with their audience.