I always thought I was a fabulous team player, but always wondered why my team struggled so much. Since taking this program, I’ve learned there are so many things I could have been doing to help my team work better together. And since applying some of the concepts from this class, there has already been improvement.
Missy Eloff, Training Coordinator at Baker Victory Services
- Above testimonial from High Performance Teambuilding Certificate Class
A struggle we have when we learn something new, or experience something that works, or observe a team function well that is not the team that we feel needs the help…
‘How can I make this work with my team? Can 1 person affect a teams performance?’
YES! Teams operate within multiple systems.
- 1. The organization itself with its culture and way work gets done.
- 2. The team itself with its culture and way work gets done.
- 3. The individuals on the team, with their own perception of the team, the organization, the management and the work.
- 4. The task to be completed.
- 5. How all of the above interplay and overlap.
One person on the team can affect the performance. And if that person has a ‘better-way’ and knows what to-do, I argue they are morally accountable for sharing and applying what they know (this is the root of employee engagement).
Got an example?
Glad you asked.
We can all agree that teams will achieve results when everyone on the team knows and understands the Goal / Purpose of this particular team being brought together. And we all have been on teams where this was not as clear as the Team Leader / Project Manager thought.
And if you chose to question the team leader they would choose to get frustrated, yell at you and think you were trying to usurp their power somehow. An obvious case of a manger not-competent to handle the work.
BUT…because of some training, experience, etc… you know that everyone will work better when the goal is known. What to do?
- Step 1: Ask questions, in an unassuming manner. I’m still a little unclear about the goal for the team. I may be alone, and can the team help me?
- Step 2: Share your story. From what I can tell so far, and please correct my assumptions. The teams goal is x and we are here today because we need to best determine some steps and accountabilities for all of us to achieve x.
- Step 3: Ask others why they are there? I think that on this team my skills in p,q, and r will prove beneficial. Does anyone else see where their talents and skills may assist the team in achieving x?
- Step 4: Praise the Team Leader / Project Manager. Wow! (insert name here) has done a great job of pulling together the right people and sharing the context and problems that have to be solved. I wonder (insert name here) in what ways can we as a team, ensure that you are successful with this project?
- Step 5: Gather information and do your work. From the team meeting, be the person who is trustworthy and gets their work done.
- Step 6: Avoid gossip, trash talking, and any shit stirring. If you hear it, STOP IT!
The example above is of a positive intervention that a team member, who has no formal managerial authority and accountability can have to affect a teams outcome. There are many way that we either implicitly or explicitly impact team performance into the negative end.
Focus on using your skills and knowledge for good and continuously look for cooperation to moving the team forward.
What do you think?
michael cardus is create-learning
image by jurvetson