Special Report #4
Helping Your Team HOW DO I HELP MY TEAM BE EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE WITH EACH OTHER?
First, let's find out if you can really call your group of employees a "TEAM". There are two necessary elements that must be present for a group of people to be accurately called a "TEAM.
First, a team must have a common goal or objective that everyone believes in and agrees with.
Second, a team of people must have a sense of interdependence with each other to meet this particular goal or objective. They must believe that they need each other to accomplish the goal - to win.
BOTH of these elements must be present for a group of people to be considered a "TEAM".
If one of these elements is missing, then you just have a group of people in the same place at the same time.
Let me use an example to clarify the difference between a group and a team.
Have you ever watched a marathon of runners on TV? You'll notice that they are all running together; however, they do not qualify as a team.
WHY? Because they each probably have different goals or objectives for running in the marathon AND they do not need each other to accomplish their individual goals.
Now, let's look at the four-man relay race in the Olympics. I'm sure you've seen that race on TV. Why does it qualify as a "TEAM"?
Because each man must run his own quarter mile to the best of his ability for all four men to win AND if any one of them doesn't, or drops the baton in the handover, ALL LOSE! They need each other to win and they all have the goal of coming in first for the relay race.
Hopefully, this now gives you a clear understanding of which group qualifies as a "TEAM". So, do you and your group of employees really qualify as a "TEAM"?
OK, let's say that you and your team meet the definition above. HOW do you become a high performing team? Well, this requires an understanding of the generic work of any team.
In any team, there are four generic roles that must be fulfilled for the team to be truly high performing and productive:
1. The role of TASK keeper - these individuals have primary concern that the detailed tasks of the team are accomplished. They are very concerned that the day-to-day information and workload are shared and carried out as planned. These individuals are usually well organized, logical, and analytical in their behaviors. They are the true worker bees on a team. Without them, the detailed tasks of the team would not be done.
2. The role of the GOAL keeper - these individuals are very goal driven and they are not that interested in HOW the team gets there. They like to focus on the "pot at the end of the rainbow", not the road to get there. They are usually very results oriented, speedy, blunt, and task delegaters. They are the formal leaders on a team. Without them, the team would lack direction and drive.
3. The role of the PROCESS keeper - these individuals are very sensitive to the team interactions and dynamics. They like to be the peacemakers and the caretakers of the team mental and emotional health. These individuals usually act as the "glue" or "lubricant" for the team. They tend to be interested in the social aspects of the team and often take responsibility for refreshments and the overall comfort of the team. They also tend to placate and agree with everyone on the team. Without them, the team could become a harsh and competitive group. 4. The role of the INTEGRITY keeper - these individuals pride themselves on their ability to take the risk and challenge the team, even the leader, if they question the direction in which the team is going. If they perceive that the team is going off course, they usually have no problem in voicing their concerns. They like to keep the team honest in its goal seeking. Apart from being the natural challengers, these individuals also provide creative and "out-of-the-box" thinking. They have no problem in expanding the thinking of the team. Without them, a team could suffer from "group-think" and go off the track without realizing it.
So, you've identified the generic roles necessary for a well-balanced and high performing team. What if you have analyzed the players on your team and find that one of more of these roles are not being covered!
Your job, as the owner of this team, is to negotiate with the individual players, as well as the team as a whole, to cover these very vital roles for team success. You must explain the value of and need for these very diverse roles to be covered and by whom. Ideally, this should be done at the onset of the team's creation, if possible.
Now, what if you are reading this article and you realize that you have a long-standing team and have not considered the valuable team roles identified in this article?
Then, as quickly as possible, call together a team meeting, and rectify this very serious oversight.
It sometimes help, if you don't feel particularly qualified to facilitate this team meeting, or if you want to make sure that it is done as quickly, efficiently, and professionally as possible, to hire an outside consultant as facilitator for this vital team meeting.
If you truly want to have a well-balanced, high performing team, don't just sit there - my advice is "DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW"!!!
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