Summary – effectiveness of teams and stages of development into action

Summary – effectiveness of teams and stages of development into action

In this section you have looked at the effectiveness of teams and stages of development. Use the Into Action to analyse your team and identify ways of helping it to grow. In the next section we look at roles and relationships within the team.

Into Action

This activity is in two parts.

Part 1: First make enough copies of the following quiz so you have a copy for each member of your team.

Ask your team members to assess how effective your team is, using the quiz. You can either ask team members to complete it individually and then collate their responses yourself, or do it as a team activity.

[John: following quiz (from here to end of Part 1) needs to be photocopiable – avoid splitting it over more pages than absolutely necessary. Note: it’s the same as the one earlier in this section.]
 
Commitment to goals/objectives   

We have clear, measurable goals/objectives Circle your rating 1   2   3   4   5 Our goals/objectives are unclear   
I can tell you now what our goals/objectives are 1   2   3   4   5 Off the top of my head, I’m not sure what our goals/objectives are   
I’m fully committed to our goals objectives 1   2   3   4   5 I’m not too bothered about our goals/objectives   

Range of skills and experience

Team members have sufficient skills and abilities to do the work 1   2   3   4   5 Our team lacks some skills needed to do the work   

Team members fulfil a range of roles in running the team, e.g. we have an ideas person, a challenger, a doer, etc. 1   2   3   4   5 Our team lacks some roles needed to run the team   
Team members’ skills are fully utilised by the team 1   2   3   4   5 Team members have further skills the team could be using   

Trust and support

Team members value each others’ views and opinions 1   2   3   4   5 Views may be ridiculed or torn apart   

Everyone participates fully in our discussions 1   2   3   4   5 Some people dominate discussions/some people don’t get involved   
Team members support each other 1   2   3   4   5 Team members mainly watch out for themselves   

Open communications   

Team members have the information they need 1   2   3   4   5 At times team members are short of information   
Communications are open and above board 1   2   3   4   5 Some communications are secretive or behind some people’s backs   
People really listen to each other in our team 1   2   3   4   5 When they listen, people are mainly thinking about what they themselves will say next   

Positive use of conflict   

We address conflict as it arises 1   2   3   4   5 We put off or avoid addressing conflict   
We make positive use of conflict 1   2   3   4   5 We see conflict as negative and harmful   
We do have some disagreements in our team 1   2   3   4   5 We don’t really experience conflict   
Clear procedures   
We have evolved clear procedures for routine tasks like meetings/online discussions, problem solving, making decisions 1   2   3   4   5 We tackle each issue as it arises, with no particular procedure   
Using our procedures is second nature to our team 1   2   3   4   5 We often have to think about how to do routine things in running our team   
We spend time as a team thinking about ways in which we could work better together 1   2   3   4   5 We just get on with the job   
Regular reviews   
We regularly review work progress  1   2   3   4   5 We rarely review work progress   
We regularly review how the team is operating 1   2   3   4   5 We rarely review how the team is operating   
We see difficulties and mistakes as learning experiences 1   2   3   4   5 Difficulties and mistakes are just a pain 
The characteristics for which you marked low scores reflect strengths of your team. High scores, on the other hand, suggest areas you could work on to make your team more effective.
Review your scores, and then use the following table to decide which of the six characteristics are strengths of your team and which you need to improve.
The six characteristics of effective teams are by no means exhaustive, so if this section has made you aware of other aspects of your team that need to be strengthened, make a note of them at the bottom of the table.
 
Characteristic of an effective team Strength? Need to improve?   
Commitment to objectives     
Range of skills and experience     
Trust and support     
Open communications     
Positive use of conflict     
Clear procedures     
Regular reviews     
Other characteristics
   

Part 2: Identify ways to grow your team.

Think about the team you lead and complete the following table.
Stage my team is at:    
 What’s needed How I will meet the need Start date   
Example To get past all the storming which has been going on for weeks Be firm about needing agreement
Work on managing conflict better – study the unit on conflict Immediately

Next week   
Individual needs 

     
Team needs 

     
Task needs 

   

discuss your plan with a colleague/mentor who has experience of leading teams.
You may want to use this plan as part of your final Unit Into Action.

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