Is informal. The atmosphere in the workplace is informal, comfortable and relaxed. There are no obvious tensions. It is a working atmosphere in which people are involved and interested.
Is participative. There is a lot of discussion in which virtually everyone participates with information or ideas pertinent to the task at hand. If discussion goes off-topic, someone brings it back in short order.
Concentrates on mutual understanding. The task or the objective of the group is well understood and accepted by the members. There is free discussion until it is formulated in such a way that everyone understands it.
Uses active listening skills. Members listen to each other. Every idea is given a fair hearing. People are not afraid of feeling foolish by putting forth a creative thought or asking a basic question.
Allows disagreement. There will inevitably be some disagreement. The group is comfortable with this and shows no signs of having to avoid conflict or keep everything light and agreeable. Disagreements are not overridden or suppressed by premature group action. The reasons are carefully examined and the group seeks to resolve them rather than dominate the dissenter.
Uses consensus decision-making. Most decisions are reached by a kind of consensus in which it is clear that everybody is in general agreement and willing to go along.
Criticizes ideas but not people. Criticism of the idea (not of people) is frequent, frank, and relatively comfortable. There is little evidence of overt or covert personal attack.
Puts ideas and opinions on the table. Everybody seems to know quite well how everyone else feels about the matter under discussion. There are few, if any, hidden agendas.
Assures assignments are understood and completed. When action is indicated, clear assignments are made, accepted and completed on time.
Maintains active involvement and responsibility. The team leader does not dominate nor does the group defer to the team leader. Different members, because of their knowledge or experience will, at various times, act as resources for the group. The group will use them in this fashion, and they occupy leadership roles while they are being used as such. There is little evidence of struggle for power as the group operates. The issue is not who is in command, but how to get the job done.
Self-critiques the process and the progress of the group. The group is self-conscious about its own operations. Frequently, it will stop to examine how well it is doing or what may be interfering with its operation. The problem may be a matter of procedure or it may be an individual whose behaviour is interfering with the accomplishment of the group’s objectives. Whatever it is, it gets open discussion until it is resolved.