Likert's Characteristics Of An Effective Work Group

Rensis Likert (1961).  New Patterns of Management, pp. 166-169.

Members are skilled in all the various leadership and membership roles and functions required for interaction between leaders and members and between members and other members.
The group has been in existence sufficiently long to have developed well-established, relaxed working relationship among all its members.
The members of the group are attracted to it and are loyal to its members, including the leader.
The members and leaders have a high degree of confidence and trust in each other.
The values and goals of the group are a satisfactory integration and expression of the relevant values and needs of its members. They have helped shape these values and goals and are satisfied with them.
Insofar as members of the group are performing linking functions, they endeavor to have the values and goals of the groups which they link in harmony, one with the other.
The more important a value seems to the group, the greater the likelihood that the individual member will accept it.
The members of the group are highly motivated to abide by the major values and to achieve the important goals of the group. Each member will do all that he or she reasonably can--and at times all in his or her power--to help the group achieve its central objectives. Each member expects every other member to do the same.
All the interaction, problem-solving, decision-making activities of the group occur in a supportive atmosphere. Suggestions, comments, ideas, information, criticisms are all offered with a helpful orientation. Similarly, these contributions are received in the same spirit. Respect is shown for the point of view of others both in the way contributions are made and in the way they are received.
The superior of each work group exerts a major influence in establishing the tone and atmosphere of that work group by his or her leadership principles and practices. In the highly effective group, consequently, the leader adheres to those principles of leadership which create a supportive atmosphere in the group and a cooperative rather than a competitive relationship among the members.
The group is eager to help each member develop to his or her full potential. It sees, for example, that relevant technical knowledge and training in interpersonal and group skills are made available to each member.
Each member accepts willingly and without resentment the goals and expectations that the individual and the group establish for themselves. The anxieties, fears, and emotional stresses produced by direct pressure for high performance from a boss in a hierarchical situation are not present. Groups seem capable of setting high performance goals for the group as a whole and for each member. These goals are high enough to stimulate each member to do his or her best, but not so high as to create anxieties or fear of failure. In an effective group, each person can exert sufficient influence on the decisions of the group to prevent the group from setting unattainable goals for any member while setting high goals for all. The goals are adapted to the member=s capacity to perform.
The leader and the members believe that each group member can accomplish the Aimpossible.  These expectations stretch each member to the maximum and accelerate personal growth. When necessary, the group tempers the expectation level so that the member is not broken by a feeling of failure or rejection.
When necessary or advisable, other members of the group will give a member the help needed to accomplish successfully the goals set for that person. Mutual help is a characteristic of highly effective groups.
The supportive atmosphere of the highly effective group stimulates creativity. The group does not demand narrow confirmation as do the work groups under authoritarian leaders. NO one has to Ayes the boss,@ nor is a person rewarded for such an attempt. The group attaches high value to new, creative approaches and solutions to its problems and to the problems of the organization of which it is a part.
The group knows the value of "constructive" conformity and knows when to use it and for what purposes.  Although it does not permit conformity to affect adversely the creative efforts of its members, it does expect conformity on mechanical and administrative matters to save the time of members and to facilitate the group's activities.
There is strong motivation on the part of each member to communicate fully and frankly to the group all the information which is relevant and of value to the group's activity.
There is high motivation in the group to use the communication process so that it best serves the interests and goals of the group. Every item which a member feels is important, but which for some reason is being ignored, will be repeated until it receives the attention that it deserves. Members strive also to avoid communicating unimportant information so as not to waste the group's time.
Just as there is high motivation to communicate, there is correspondingly strong motivation to receive communications. Each member is genuinely interested in any information on any relevant matter that any member of the group can provide. This information is welcomed and trusted as being honestly and sincerely given. Members do not look "behind" information and attempt to interpret it in ways opposite to its purported intent.
In the highly effective group, there are strong motivations to try to influence other members as well as to be receptive to influence by them. This applies to all the group's activities: technical matters, methods, organizational problems, interpersonal relationships, and group processes.
The group efforts of the highly effective group enable the members to exert more influence on the leader and to communicate far more information to him or her, including suggestions as to what needs to be done and how the leader could do a better job, than is possible in one-to-one relationship. By "tossing the ball" back and forth among the members, a group can communicate information to the leader which no single person on a one-to-one basis dare do.
The ability of the members of a group to influence each other contributes to the flexibility and adaptability of the group. Ideas, goals, and attitudes do not become frozen if members are able to influence each other continuously.
In the highly effective group, individual members feel secure in making decisions which seem appropriate to them because the goals and philosophy of operation are clearly understood by each member and provide a solid base for making decisions. This unleashes initiative and pushes decisions down while still maintaining a coordinated and directed effort.
The leader of a highly effective group is selected carefully. His or her leadership ability is so evident that he or she would probably emerge as a leader in any unstructured situation. To increase the likelihood that persons of high leadership competence are selected, the organization is likely to use peer nominations and related methods in selecting group leaders.