Teams are defined as ‘groups of two or more people working who interact and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common objectives, and perceive themselves as a social entity within an organization.
Teams often lose their effectiveness because one or more of those components (or subsets) are missing or inoperative.
In a one-day session we lead off a brief (60 minute) lecturette on team characteristics and dynamics. This ‘teach piece’ may draw comparison with the Lencioni book Five Dysfunctions of a Team,
We then lead a discussion on [many] other characteristics of teams. Included in this will be a couple of short assessment exercises for the team to evaluate the effectiveness of their team. One of the values of this session is that team members can take the materials back to their own organizations and apply the principles to their own teams.
From the survey we identify one or two themes that need to be examined in more detail with action planning for possible solutions and changed behaviours.
The approach varies from group to group but largely follows these steps:
- gathering information in advance of the session to initiate thinking and establish trust;
- bringing the group together for a one or two day session (often off site);
- setting ground rules for open and frank discussion;
- brainstorming to identify issues in the group, sorting and prioritizing the issues;
- then conducting (high level) action planning to address each issue; producing ‘as said’ notes of the session.
… all the while directing traffic, ensuring everyone is heard, recording faithfully what was said (and what was meant); using humour to keep interest and energy. (Occasionally the facilitator is required to wear a red cape.)