The complexity of work in criminal justice field compels members of a group to work together in order to solve a number of issues. A high performance teams are tasked with definite responsibilities and also focus on set objectives. The teams comprise of individuals with complementary skills and abilities, committed to achieve the set goals. Roles of team members are interchangeable hence team leadership is rational depending on the situation at the time.
There are numerous attributes of high performance teams in the field of criminal justice. The first attribute is clear experience. Since team leadership is rotational based on the situation at the time, each member puts into practice his leadership style and is exposed to the challenges faced by team leaders. They also get to learn different leadership styles and their effectiveness. Team members gain clear experience because each member has a role to play.
The second attribute is specialized training, team members are capable of gathering, and evaluating information because they know what working procedures are effective. This encourages proper planning, innovation, creativity and risk taking. Another characteristic of such teams is participative leadership, a trait that encourages interdependence amongst team players and nurtures the attitude of serving others. A team will perform dismally if the team leader is not personally active or involved (Michela et al. 2009).
Shared responsibility is an attribute common to all high performance teams. Team members realize that their inputs are as important as those of team leaders; members of a team who feel valued tend to perform better. Open communication is also a key attribute. Team members are encouraged to express their thoughts openly, and if there is any conflict it is routinely resolved. However, they should value and support each other, and also provide caring feedback (Michela et al. 2009).
Personal strengths, knowledge and skills of team members can be optimized. Individual team members make use of other people’s comments and ideas to come up with different points of view. A team built on these differences becomes more effective in its mandate and easily achieves its set goals. Diversity in criminal justice system is more prevalent than in other areas of the society (Harper, 2007).
Diversity of thoughts, increased flexibility and creative ideas are examples of benefits realized as a result of having a diverse workforce. Other advantages of having a diverse workforce are: increased problem solving and creativity; increased productivity and retention. It also attracts and retains talents that give a competitive advantage to any criminal justice agency (Harper, 2007).
Judge Harper L, J. (February 15, 2007). Diversity in the Criminal Justice System-Its Value and its Implications. Division of Criminal Justice’s Multicultural Luncheon, (pp. 2-10). 300 Corporate Place, Rocky Hill.
Michela, L. J., Zdaniuk, A., Barrass, R., & Balsom, M. (2009). Processes and Attributes of Highly Effective Teams . Waterloo, Ontario.: University of Waterloo.