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Transforming Groups into Teams Perhaps more than any other factor, common goals and vision mix to form the glue that binds a team together. Although the 40 people entering the function room shared the same employer, the body language, nervous smiles, and superficial conversations made it clear that most did not know each other. The opening speaker did an excellent job of welcoming all and breaking the ice with his animated and insightful comments. He was quick to engage his audience, while his honed wit and mastery of language delighted all. I found myself enjoying and admiring this character, whom I regarded as an astute and affable presenter. Then he said it: "So, as you can see, this team has been brought together to achieve the financial targets by the end of the next year." "What team?" I inwardly cried. Try as I might, scanning every corner of the room, I could not see the 'team' he was referring to. Indeed, all I could see were 40 people in one place at one time. What qualifications are required to be a team? What are the differences between a group of people and a team? And what strategies can a leader adopt to nurture the transformation from groups into teams? Develop Common Goals and Vision Unless a common goal is held for a given venture and each individual holds the one vision of the shared destination, the journey will be confusing and the travellers hobbled. Lacking direction, such a group will fragment as energies are spent in moving against each other rather than as a team. To create common goals and vision, consider the following strategies:
With your team members, individually record your perception of the team's common goals and vision, then consider the differing perceptions you detect. This will provide a simple measure of the degree to which your team shares common goals and visions. In developing common goals and visions, start by asking what goals and visions (which are also desirable for the organization) the team members can get truly passionate about. In an increasingly competitive world, only those destinations passionately sought will ever be reached. Ensure the team members are clear on the distinction between their common 'goals' and their individual 'roles'. We can share the same goal and vision, but take on differing roles in a collaborative venture. The captain of a steam ship and the
stoker share the same destination, but perform vastly different tasks along the journey. Ask your team members to express their individual role in terms that articulate how that role contributes to the common goals and vision. When setting collaborative goals, consider both a 'benchmark' goal and a 'stretch' goal. The former can be defined as 'the minimum we will accept from ourselves as professionals', while the latter could be described as a 'reach for the stars' goal and should carry significant uncertainty as to its achievability. This will allow a team to keep energized and strive for improvement even beyond perceived limitations.
Value and Harness Diversity The diversity of people on a team can be its greatest asset or its greatest threat. The determining factors will be the team's ability to understand diversity, value it, and manage it. Diversity harnessed can be an awesome engine for achieving high goals. As a team leader, consider the following strategies:
Undertake a team survey that highlights the diverse work-styles and roles within your team. Use the data to draw a 'team map' that clarifies which preferences and roles are well-represented and which are not. Ask your team to take an outside perspective on the 'team map' - what strategic advice would they give to themselves in developing the team further? Excellent instruments for this exercise include the Team Management Profile designed by Charles Margerison and Dick McCann (Team Management Systems) and the well used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment1. Target 'understanding and managing diversity' in your team's training and development schedule. When it comes to diversity, lead by example. If you do not value and are not seen to value diversity in your people, your team members certainly will not.
Foster Effective Communication Most of our communication energy is expended on telling others what we need them to hear when we need them to hear it. Effective communication requires us to balance this with what they need to hear from us, and when they need to hear it. As a team leader, consider the following strategies:
Formulate a survey of satisfaction ratings on different forms and directions of communication within your team. Use the data to target aspects of communication that have the greatest potential for improvement. Avoid embarrassment by telling people why you are doing it! Encourage paraphrasing as a strategy to enhance active listening. Try to finish conversations with the question "Is there anything else you want to talk about?" to provide opportunities for others to ask about what they need to hear.
While many factors will make a team better, common goals and vision, the ability to harness diversity, and the mastery of communication will be key differences between a group and a team. Types of Teams Today we find all kinds of teams in society, and they generally fall into one of two primary groups: permanent teams and temporary teams. Here are some of the common types: 1. Task Force - a temporary team assembled to investigate a specific issue or problem. 2. Problem Solving Team - a temporary team assembled to solve a specific problem. 3. Product Design Team - a temporary team assembled to design a new product or service. 4. Committee - a temporary or permanent group of people assembled to act upon some matter. 5. Work Group - a permanent group of workers who receive direction from a designated leader. 6. Work Team (also called Self-Directed Work Team or Self-Managed Work Team) - an ongoing group of workers who share a common mission who collectively manage their own affairs within predetermined boundaries. 7. Quality Circle (today also under various other names) - a group of workers from the same functional area who meet regularly to uncover and solve work-related problems and seek work improvement opportunities Stages of Team Building The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for subsequent models of group development and team dynamics and a management theory frequently used to describe the behavior of existing teams. It has also taken a firm hold in the field of experiential education since in many outdoor education centers team building and leadership development are key goals. Forming In the first stages of team building, the forming of the team takes place. The team meets and learns about the opportunity and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. Team members tend to behave quite independently. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team.
Team members are usually on their best behavior but very focused on themselves. Mature team members begin to model appropriate behavior even at this early phase. Sharing the knowledge of the concept of "Teams - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing" is extremely helpful to the team. Supervisors of the team tend to need to be directive during this phase. The forming stage of any team is important because in this stage the members of the team get to know one another and make new friends. This is also a good opportunity to see how each member of the team works as an individual and how they respond to pressure . Storming Every group will then enter the storming stage in which different ideas compete for consideration. The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will function independently and together and what leadership model they will accept. Team members open up to each other and confront each other's ideas and perspectives. In some cases storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never leaves this stage. The maturity of some team members usually determines whether the team will ever move out of this stage. Some team members will focus on minutiae to evade real issues. The storming stage is necessary to the growth of the team. It can be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of the team who are averse to conflict. Tolerance of each team member and their differences needs to be emphasized. Without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Supervisors of the team during this phase may be more accessible but tend to still need to be directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behavior. The groups will therefore resolve their differences and group members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably and they won't feel that they are being judged in any way and will therefore share their own opinions and views. Norming At some point, the team may enter the norming stage. Team members adjust their behavior to each other as they develop work habits that make teamwork seem more natural and fluid. Team members often work through this stage by agreeing on rules, values, professional behavior, shared methods, working tools and even taboos. During this phase, team members begin to trust each other. Motivation increases as the team gets more acquainted with the project. Teams in this phase may lose their creativity if the norming behaviors become too strong and begin to stifle healthy dissent and the team begins to exhibit groupthink.
Supervisors of the team during this phase tend to be participative more than in the earlier stages. The team members can be expected to take more responsibility for making decisions and for their professional behavior. Views seen before of members at the start begin to change as they know each other better. The team feel a sense of achievement for getting so far, however some can begin to feel threatened by the amount of responsibility they have been given. They would try to resist the pressure and resist reverting to storming again. Performing Some teams will reach the performing stage. These high-performing teams are able to function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. Team members have become interdependent. By this time they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channeled through means acceptable to the team. Supervisors of the team during this phase are almost always participative. The team will make most of the necessary decisions. Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams will go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team. Adjourning and Transforming Tuckman later added a fifth phase, adjourning, that involves completing the task and breaking up the team. Others call it the phase for mourning. A team that lasts may transcend to a transforming phase of achievement. Transformational management can produce major changes in performance through synergy and is considered to be more far-reaching than transactional management. Norming and Re-Norming Timothy Biggs suggested that an additional stage be added of Norming after Forming and renaming the traditional Norming stage Re-Norming. This addition is designed to reflect that there is a period after Forming where the performance of a team gradually improves and the interference of a leader content with that level of performance will prevent a team progressing through the Storming stage to true performance. This puts the emphasis back on the team and leader as the Storming stage must be actively engaged in to succeed – too many 'diplomats' or 'peacemakers' especially in a leadership role may prevent the team from reaching their full potential. The Four C's of Team Goal Setting
Goals are a great way to improve team performance. Clear goals with measurable standards must be developed and agreed upon with the team. One simple way to help determine what team goals should be is to utilize the four C's of goal setting. The C's stand for goal clarity, measurable criteria, worthwhile challenge, and team commitment. Clarity in a team goal means it is easily understood by all members involved. The definition of the goal is specific enough that there is no misunderstanding about what is to be accomplished and the team fully understands what is expected of them. With a clear goal, those working towards achieving it will know what they need to do or learn in order to meet their target objective. Clarification assures the team understands why the goal is a worthwhile and relevant one for them to work towards. Criteria spelled out in a goal are the performance measures that must be reached in order for the team to know they have hit their target. The criterion is a unit of measure in quantity or percentage to be accomplished during a specified timeframe and agreed to by the team. Having this criterion provides regular feedback for the team along the course of the goal so they can make adjustments to their work and behaviors. Without this information, it is hard for the team to understand their reward and recognition structure, develop their work plan, and ask for adjustments or help with barriers when necessary. Challenge within the goal is a way to give the team the opportunity to stretch their skills and show what they can do. A meaningful goal should not just maintain the status quo or accomplish a little more. Instead it should motivate the team to stretch themselves without breaking down their spirits or greatly interfering with their quality procedures or necessary routine tasks. A goal that is too small or too large can be more damaging than it is challenging or motivating. Commitment is the team agreeing to the responsibility and accountability of reaching the goal. The best way to get team commitment is for the team to participate in the goal setting process. The team must understand how their goal fits with the organization's visions, mission, and objectives. For the team to commit to any goal, they must be involved in the decision making process and receive the appropriate information or training to know what they can accomplish and why it is important. Utilize the C's for building team goal clarity, assigning measurable criteria, giving a worthwhile challenge, and getting full team commitment. The four C's are an easy method of determining what team goals should be. Clear team goals with agreed to measurements are one of the best ways to improve team performance.
Unit II: Interpersonal Competence & Team Effectivenes Team Effectiveness Team effectiveness refers to the system of getting people in a company or institution to work together effectively. The idea behind team effectiveness is that a group of people working together can achieve much more than if the individuals of the team were working on their own. Team effectiveness is determined by a number of factors, such as:
The right mix of skills. Team effectiveness depends in part on bringing together people who have different skills that somehow complement each other. This can mean different technical abilities or communication skills. In fact, teaming up people who share the exact same characteristics is often a recipe for disaster. Team effectiveness depends on people taking on different roles in a group setting. If there is no agreement on who does what in the group, it is unlikely that the team will prosper.
The right motivation. Team effectiveness is directly linked to the interest that the group has on the project. If the job is too easy or too difficult, or if the rewards for achieving the end result do not seem worth the effort, the team may end up working half-heartedly in the project. The task should also have a clear outcome. Working towards a specific goal enhances team effectiveness significantly.
The ability to solve conflicts without compromising the quality of the project. Team work has one major downfall. Sometimes groups end up making decisions they know are not in the best interest of the project, just so they can keep the process moving. Conflict is innate to any work done in groups, and should be taken as part of the challenge rather than as something to be avoided by compromising. Team effectiveness should be increased, not compromised, through conflict. One way to enhance team effectiveness is to agree beforehand on a code of conduct. As conflicts arise, it is important to know how to deal with them. What is allowed and what is not? How will the team deal with disagreements? Is open discussion favored or will the group vote on major decisions? Knowing what to expect and having the plan will make the process of working in group much easier. Team Building & Interpersonal Communication When you are working in small groups, you may find yourself isolated from the larger workplace, working intensely on a project that has become a vital part of yourself.
Every member of the group will likely have that same experience, and a sense of dependence on one another will occur. While that personal ownership of a project has many wonderful benefits, one danger is that interpersonal communication may deteriorate. This is usually caused by dependence becomomg overdependence, and increased irritability will usually result. There may also be an increased tendency to perceive disagreement within the group as a personal attack. Psychologists refer to this as the “lifeboat syndrome.” When working with a small group, especially in an intense situation, it is wise to take time to focus on your interpersonal communication skills and style. Here are some suggestions: Take time to talk. Sometimes when you’re working very closely with someone, you feel like you can read their mind, and that they can read yours. That’s all good – until you’re wrong about it. Taking the time to talk things through, even when it’s about insignificant details, is a team building activity, as well as just being practical. Listen. It’s an activity. That means it requires your active involvement. Be other focused. Ask for opinions of others before promulgating yours. It builds camaraderie when opinions and ideas are valued. Be open to new ideas. Whether it’s exposure to new people, things, processes, or simply trying something new, an open mindset goes a long ways toward promoting harmony within a group. There is no one RIGHT way to do something. There may be a RIGHT way for you, but you’ve got other people to consider as well. Find what works for the group, not just you. Look for common ground. When things get tense, it’s easy to focus on differences, rather than commonalities. If this starts happening, use your skills to move things back to the shared beliefs and values, and then move forward. Being a leader is a lot more work than just being one of the team. You are responsible for keeping it moving forward, and meeting your objectives. You can’t control human dynamics, but you can conduct yourself in a way that shows your team that you are committed to working through all the issues on the road to success. Six Principles of Effective Team Management Individual department or functional managers need to embrace ownership and responsibility for success and accomplishing defined strategic initiatives. However, to maximize the effectiveness of the organization, managers must be able to work with one another to achieve common goals. To be effective the following six principles apply:
1. Accountability must be at the forefront of every initiative. Employees do want to be held accountable and they willing accept responsibility given the necessary training, information and the organization encourages empowerment. 2. Minimize oversight through confidence and empowerment. Do not micro manage. Workers will accept more responsibility if management isn't constantly looking over their shoulder. This encourages innovation and creativity but it requires effective communication. 3. Managers need to function more as facilitators and leaders. Coaching is a skill set that should be required training for all managers to improve team management. Regular performance discussions should be scheduled and strictly held to. 4. Performance management & performance measurement are key contributors to improved team management. Goals should be measurable and specific. Creating score cards is an effective tool to improve team performance. 5. Information sharing and effective communication are critical. Teams must have unrestricted access to all relevant information. If you can't trust someone on the team then they shouldn't be on the team. 6. Manager skill sets must be continuously reviewed and upgraded to allow them the opportunity to adopt new skills specifically related to coaching and mentoring. The manager's role must be redefined for the team environment and an emphasis on the servant style of leadership ("The Lead Wolf" model) is essential. Organizations that maximize success embrace the concept of "Team Leadership" and their managers are skilled at leading group problem-solving sessions maximizing collaboration across all functional units. A forum exists to educate and train managers on the problems and concerns of other functional departments. Communication is kept at the "Adult" level and an explicit understanding of respect exists throughout the culture of the organization. This feeling of mutual respect, trust and maturity becomes the foundation for teamwork and problem solving. FIRO-B Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO) is a theory of interpersonal relations, introduced by William Schutz in 1958. According to the theory, three dimensions of interpersonal relations are necessary and sufficient to explain most human interaction. The dimensions are called Inclusion, Control and Affection. These categories measure how much interaction a person wants in the areas of socializing, leadership and responsibilities, and more intimate personal relations. FIRO-B was created, based on this theory, a measurement instrument with scales that assess the behavioral aspects of the three dimensions. Scores are graded
from 0-9 in scales of expressed and wanted behavior, which define how much a person expresses to others, and how much he wants from others. Schutz believed that FIRO scores in themselves were not terminal, and can and do change, and did not encourage typology; however, the four temperaments were eventually mapped to the FIRO-B scales, which led to the creation of a theory of Five Temperaments. Schutz himself discussed the impact of extreme behavior in the areas of inclusion, control, and affection as indicated by scores on the FIRO-B. For each area of interpersonal need the following three types of behavior would be evident: (1) deficient, (2) excessive, and (3) ideal. Deficient was defined as indicating that an individual was not trying to directly satisfy the need. Excessive was defined as indicating that an individual was constantly trying to satisfy the need. Ideal referred to satisfaction of the need. From this, he identified the following types: Inclusion types. 1. the undersocial (low EI, low WI) 2. the oversocial (high EI, high WI) 3. the social (moderate EI, moderate WI) Control types 1. the abdicrat (low EC, high WC) 2. the autocrat (high EC, low WC) 3. the democrat (moderate EC, moderate WC) Affection types 1. the underpersonal (low EA, low WA) 2. the overpersonal (high EA, high WA) 3. the personal (moderate EA moderate WA) In 1977, a clinical psychologist who worked with FIRO-B, Dr. Leo Ryan, produced maps of the scores for each area, called "locator charts", and assigned names for all of the score ranges in his Clinical Interpretation of FIRO-B: Score Inclusion Control Affection Temperament by APS (all 3 areas) Melancholy of Phlegmatic Melancholy Phlegmatic
Low e and w moderate e, low w
The Pessimist "Image Intimacy" Tendency
"Now You See Him, Now Self-Confident You Don't" Tendencies
Choleric Now You See Him, Now Mission You Don't Impossible Image/(Mask) of Choleric Intimacy
High e, low w
high e, moderate w The Conversationalist
"Mission Sanguine Impossible" with Living Up To Phlegmatic Narcissistic Expectations Choleric Tendencies Phlegmatic
high e and w
DependentPeople Gatherer (formerly, Independent "Where are the People?") conflict
moderate e, high w Hidden Inhibitions
Let's Take Break
Phlegmatic a Cautious Lover Supine In Disguise Phlegmatic Sanguine
low e, high w
Openly Dependent Person; (w=6: Cautious Lover Loyal Lieutenant)
low e, moderate w
Supine Phlegmatic Melancholy Phlegmatic
moderate e and w
Warm Individual/The Golden Mean
Team Leadership - Getting the Best Results From Your Team
One of the great benefits of a team is the range of skills, knowledge, experience and personal attributes that they can draw on to address a problem or issue. On the other hand, the full potential of this diverse range of expertise is often not fully exploited. This might be due to one or more of the following factors: • People don't fully appreciate what others are good at • People make assumptions about what people can or cannot do rather than finding out • People think and maybe even believe that they are masters at everything • People don't like acknowledging that they are not great at some things for fear of losing face or worrying how it will change others perceptions of them As the leader, it is important to remember that on any team you need people who: • Can look at the bigger picture and at the same time you need others who love the detail • Are creative and can generate lots of ideas and others who are great at executing and putting the ideas into practice • Tend to be very analytical and methodical as well as those who are less structured • Are highly outgoing extroverts and those who are quieter and more introverts • Get things started and others who get things finished In your role as leader, you need to be a master at blending all of these varies and valuable skills and attributes together and at the same time do what you do best. Bottom Line - A team delivers the best results when all of the best elements of all of the team members are optimised. So what action do you need to take to understand and utilise the relative strengths of each team member?
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