The way team members function as a group is as important to the team's success as the quality of what it produces. Because how they work together is so important to achieving the team's goals, members need to be attentive to how they interact and collaborate with each other. Periodic self-assessments that consider the team's progress, how it has gotten there, and where it is headed allow the team to gauge its effectiveness and take steps to improve its performance.
To assess its performance, a team seeks feedback from group members to identify its strengths and its weaknesses. Feedback from the team assessment can be used to identify gaps between what it needs to do to perform effectively and where it is currently. Once they have identified the areas for improvement, members of the team and others (such as managers) can develop a plan to close the gaps.
A team can gather the necessary data by holding a meeting in which members discuss what has gone well and what they would like to change about how they work together. It can be beneficial to have a non–team member such as a supervisor or a member of the human resources department solicit opinions through a brief written survey. The team can then use the results as a starting point for its discussion.
Poor communication and conflict can disrupt a team's performance, and sometimes these disruptions are caused by personality clashes between members. Another type of team assessment involves using diagnostic tests to identify the dominant personality traits of each member. Characteristics such as being an extrovert or an introvert can shape how people prefer to work and communicate. Having an understanding of personality differences among team members can prove useful for changing how they interact with each other.