Why do some teams perform well and others struggle to meet their deliverables? It is clear when things are going well. However, when teams are struggling, it is not always clear where the problems are and how to remedy them.
What follows is checklist that you can use to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your teams. It breaks down how a team functions into its component parts. By completing this assessment you will be able to identify and focus on those areas that could use improvement. As you work with your teams you need to keep in mind these core concepts.
Every team at some stage will struggle with the dilemma that it is difficult to balance loyalty to the team goals and loyalty to our
Getting diversity of style/personality to work for the team rather than tearing it apart is essential for team success.
In addition it is important to remember that multiple realities exist. To argue rights and wrongs drains energy from team goals.
We must respect the right to differ from one another. Disrespect leads to divisiveness.
Here is the checklist that you can use to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your teams.
1. Clear Charter
The foundation of the team is that of clear and common goals, so that the team understands how success is going to be measured. These have to be well articulated and understood by all.
2. Commitment to Team Members and Team Goals
Understanding the team goals is not the same as buying into them. Everyone needs to commit to the goals. In addition, a common
source of difficulties can arise when people are committed to the goals but dislike other team members. However diversity of style and personality are at the heart of successful teams as these differences foster creativity. Team building exercises can help individuals to appreciate diversity and to teach them how to work together cooperatively. Dislike can be replaced by respecting differences.
3. Meets Team Deliverables
Successful teams meet their deliverables consistently. To accomplish this, communications must flow freely and in all
directions. In meetings, decisions are made effectively and communication is productive.
4. Clear Roles and Responsibilities
It is vital to have clear roles and role definitions as well as clarity around the responsibilities that each role entails. Blurred
responsibilities can lead to power struggles and conflict.
5. Competent Team Members
Competent team members need to be placed in the right position. At times a highly talented person can be ill placed which can throw off the team functioning. Consider both the competency and placement of each individual.
6. Ongoing Feedback and Evaluation
In order to ensure success, well functioning teams provide and encourage ongoing feedback in all directions. This allows for mid
course evaluation and corrections as needed as well as encouragement for a job well done.
7. Creative Problem Solving
Problems are a fact of life. The ability to problem-solve effectively and creatively is what makes lemonade out of lemons.
8. Effective Conflict Resolution
Conflict can be among team members, with other departments, or other companies. Successful conflict resolution takes divisive energy and redirects it to positive ends.
9. Good Morale
Low turnover and longevity is a benchmark of good morale. A team that successfully values the individual as well as the team has the best likelihood of success.
10. Good Relationships.
Your relationships with other internal groups are an independent barometer of your teams functioning. High performance teams are respected by the rest of the organization as they meet deliverables and work cohesively.
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