This study into understanding health care teams began with listening to participants' teamwork experiences. It unfolded through a dialectic of iterations, analyses and critique towards a simplified model comprising six key characteristics of effective teams. Using the complementary theoretical perspectives of personal construct theory and inductive theory building, three research methods were used to collect a range of participant perspectives. A purposive sample of 39 strategic informants participated in repertory grid interviews and clarification questionnaires. A further 202 health care practitioners completed a purpose designed Teamwork in Healthcare Inventory. All responses were transformed through three iterations of interactive data collection, analysis, reflection and interpretation. Unstructured participant perspectives were qualitatively categorised and analysed into hierarchies to determine comparative contributions to effective teamwork. Complex inter-relationships between conceptual categories were investigated to identify four interdependent emerging themes. Finally, a dynamic model of teamwork in health care organisations emerged that has functional utility for health care practitioners. This Healthy Teams Model can be utilised in conjunction with a Reflective Analysis and Team Building Guide to facilitate team members to critically evaluate and enhance their team functioning.