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Competent Team Members

Competency is defined as the necessary skills and abilities to achieve the desired objective (technical competencies) and the personal characteristics required to achieve excellence while working well with others (personal competencies).

There are three common features of competent team members:

One of the necessary characteristics of high performing teams is the participation of competent team members. In this case, “competent” is not defined as general social or intellectual competence, but rather refers to the presence of individuals on the team who are best able to achieve the team’s collective objectives.

There are essentially two types of competency involved in collaboration:

To summarize, competent team members share three common features: they possess the essential skills and abilities to accomplish the work; they have a strong desire to contribute (ideally because they believe in the team’s vision); and they have the demonstrated capacity to collaborate effectively.

Research indicates that when these three factors are in place, the group’s confidence begins to grow, and this confidence gives the team the ability to meet challenges and adjust to adversity. Essentially, the competence of individual team members becomes the competence of the collaborative team as a whole. As a result, the team develops greater confidence in its ability to achieve its elevating goal.

In addition, teams that possess these features develop a greater ability to self–correct. They are more effective at monitoring themselves as individuals in their collective work and they can re–focus each other on the issue at hand when necessary.

Therefore, it is critical that teams ensure that they have the right balance of stakeholders on their team—individuals who bring both technical expertise and knowledge, as well as those who are able to work well together as members of a collaborative effort.

Click here for a teamwork exercise that will guide your team through conducting a stakeholder analysis.