Robert A. Ruotolo, 1994 www.QuantumPerformance.net
SYMBOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH TITLES
One of the major reasons for recommending the change in title from supervisor to teamleader is the symbolic message that this will make to the organization. Although manysupervisors may already be carrying out the behaviors of the Team Leader, the titlesupervisor denotes a set of behaviors that is no longer appropriate for the leadershiprequirements in work teams. We need to be explicit in what these behavioral changes areand these changes must become performance requirements for the new role. In thetraditional organization supervisors assigned tasks, enforced rules, solved problems,controlled information, expedited the work, and were responsible for meeting goals inbudgets.In the new role as Team Leader, they conduct training, team building, coaching,information sharing, joint goal setting and problem solving, linking teams to resources,customers and suppliers, and conflict resolution. Team Leaders manage less by controland more by influence and credibility. They are more often a coach, facilitator, developer,and integrator. They help their teams set goals, solve problems and confront issues.
FOUR CRITICAL FUNCTIONS OF THE TEAM LEADERTeam Building
The first is building teams. This involves knowledge about how teams develop andfunction and the kinds of interventions that build team cohesion and facilitate effectiveteamwork.
This involves knowledge and skills in areas like coaching and training. It is important forTeam Leaders to have an appreciation for individual differences and to be able to providepeople with specific meaningful feedback.
Being able to work with teams on performance management issues. This involves helpingteams to develop measures of their performance, assist them in setting improvementgoals, providing performance feedback, facilitating problem solving and correctiveaction, and providing recognition for team accomplishments.
This involves linking the team to the wider organization. It requires knowledge of organizational resources and processes and group communication skills to help resolveissues between work groups.To carry out these functions successfully requires a high level of inter-personal skills.Skills like communicating, listening, providing feedback, dealing with conflict, andnegotiating are critical to a person's success in this new role.