(This is the second part of a three-part presentation on Team Building and Teamwork. It will conclude in our next issue.)
"Nobody's perfect, but a team can be" (Meredith Belbin)
The graphic was produced by Stephen Bray© to illustrate the principle of Teamwork as applied to the production of Nurturing Potential
Click on the thumbnail for the full-sized version
YOU MAY BE A GROUP, BUT ARE YOU A TEAM?
Applying the Transactional Analysis concept of time structuring to the management of the team’s time. Withdrawal, rituals, pastimes, activities, games and intimacy. Charting time is as essential for team leaders as it is for team members.
How to ensure active participation by team members
If the benefits of teamwork are recognised, as well as common goals, team members will be given a sense of purpose that will motivate them and enhance their sense of fulfilment.The best leaders provide a clear statement of just what the team is to accomplish, and they make sure that the team has all the resources and supports it will need to succeed.
Trust and accountability are the two crucial terms in team development. This means that all personal and local concerns have to be subordinated to the benefit of the whole. This enables them to concentrate on the task in hand to the exclusion of all extraneous matter.
As might be expected, it has been observed that teams that stay together longer tend to work together better. What is, perhaps, less obvious is that while larger teams may be expected to be more effective, there is a limit to such effectiveness and small teams are usually more efficient and subject to less frustrations than large groups.
It has also been observed that conflict, when well managed and focused on a team's objectives, can generate more creative solutions than one sees in conflict-free groups. So long as it is about the work itself, disagreements can be good for a team. But team members need to agree on a precise definition of the objectives they are striving to achieve.
Some of the qualities of a team leader
A team leader must
Be a strong personality who can inspire and sustain enthusiasm.
Possess a strong team commitment.
Be a decision-maker.
Take a positive stance, but retain flexibility and ability to consider the views and opinions of team members.
Be able to facilitate, inspire and implement rather than control.
Be a good two-way communicator.
Some of the roles of a team leader
A team leader must
Clearly define objectives and goals in providing a vision for the future.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team.
Pay attention to the way team members interact and, if necessary, improve this.
Improve team members' problem-solving ability.
Be aware of, and strive to improve, team morale.
Develop healthy inter-group relations and reduce unhealthy conflict.
Recognise and express appreciation of individual or group successes.
Walk their own talk!
How to ensure team support for team leader/s
A team leader must
Avoid direct conflict with team members.
Create loyalty to themselves by being seen as an effective spokesperson for team members concerns and grievances.
Be honest and truthful about every situation.
Address conflict situations as soon as they arise and explore ways of defusing such situations.
What is the philosophy of the team?
To achieve synergy.
Teamwork enables its members to do more with less. Synergy, which represents the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, is one of teamwork's most beneficial outcomes.
How to establish a team code of ethics
A team members must acknowledge
That the team is always more important than myself
That I will never be the weak link on the team
That I will always perform to the maximum of my ability
That pressure is not a problem; it can always be reframed into motivation.
That I will always maintain a positive attitude.
That I will seek to achieve innovative solutions.
That the well-being and progress of team members shall be of constant concern to me.
How to ensure peer support
Providing all members recognise and are full committed to their common purpose they will remain supportive and respectful of each others beliefs, concerns and needs. It is the responsibility of team leaders to encourage this commitment and to ensure that each member participates to the best of their ability.
Thus members have to display motivation, acceptance of tasks that have been allocated, understanding of the goals that are to be achieved, and total commitment to their role in the overall strategy.
The hands-on activities of group leaders do make a difference. But the most powerful thing a leader can do to foster effective collaboration is to create conditions that help members competently manage themselves.
THE FINAL PART OF THIS MAIN THEME WILL APPEAR IN THE WINTER 2013/2014 ISSUE
(1) Peace of Mind is a Piece of Cake. Crown House Publishing. 1998.
Quality: Change Through Teamwork published by Century Business 1992 for The Sunday Times, by Rani Chaudhry-Lawton, Richard Lawton, Karen Murphy and Angela Terry.
Management Teams (Why they succeed or fail), 1961, by R. Matthew Belbin
Team Roles at Work by R. Matthew Belbin
Essential Manager's Manual by Robert Heller and Tim Hindle, Published by Dorling Kindersley, 1998