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Blueprint for Developing a Team

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Blueprint for Developing a Team

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A group is comprised of individuals who meet to discuss issues, problem solve, or to inform. A real team, however, is defined as people coming together for a common purpose, setting clear goals, and establishing priorities. The team leader and team members define roles for individual members, utilizing individual strengths and nurturing synergism (working together) to create a unified plan of action in order to achieve identified and measured results. Team members learn to depend and rely on other team members to demonstrate their talents and support the team.

A group is comprised of individuals who meet to discuss issues, problem solve, or to inform. A real team, however, is defined as people coming together for a common purpose, setting clear goals, and establishing priorities. The team leader and team members define roles for individual members, utilizing individual strengths and nurturing synergism (working together) to create a unified plan of action in order to achieve identified and measured results. Team members learn to depend and rely on other team members to demonstrate their talents and support the team.

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Blueprint for Developing a Team

  1. 1. Blueprint for Developing a Team Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC A group is comprised of individuals who meet to discuss issues, problem solve, or to inform. A real team, however, is defined as people coming together for a common purpose, setting clear goals, and establishing priorities. The team leader and team members define roles for individual members, utilizing individual strengths and nurturing synergism (working together) to create a unified plan of action in order to achieve identified and measured results. Team members learn to depend and rely on other team members to demonstrate their talents and support the team. A team supports an environment that lets team members flourish, meaning there is open communication, no games or hidden agendas, no schmoozing the team leader, transparency, and motivated team members who want to struggle together to achieve goals. A team leader and followers need to create clear goals and direction. One of the main reasons for problems within a working team is that the goals and expectations are not clear. This becomes a bigger problem with team members that are not physically working in the same location. In today’s world, team members often are located in different sites and the informal drop-in or water cooler chats to debrief or debate are not possible. Skype calls are a second-best approach but still not as effective as being in the same room to discuss issues. Communication is a major part of teamwork. There are two ways in which we communicate: one, with Actions, and two, with Words. Both are extremely important for a team to be effective. Communication, follow-through, and showing commitment are essential for team effectiveness. Follow-through, doing what you said you would do, creates and establishes trust. Trust is the glue that holds a team together. Without trust, a team could be in chaos because the team will lack the support of the work, transparency, and commitment to team and individual backing from
  2. 2. the other team members. Over the years, I have seen what a lack of trust can do to a team: team members hiding work; not completing work in a timely fashion so that other team members cannot complete their part of the project; divisiveness; stifled communication; and cliques emerge that kill the team spirit. The real meaning of teamwork is shared energy and a true dependence on other team members, knowing that each will do what it takes to make the team a success. Individuality blends into a team oneness and support. Like the Level Five Leaders as described in Good to Great by Jim Collins, the focus is on the support of the organization and the team and not on the individual team member (it is not about me: it’s about we). Team members need to work on and support team agreement toward action. That does not mean that they have to agree on every aspect of work. Successful teams want debate, lively discussion and analysis. However, once a consensus is achieved, all members should support that call to action for the betterment of the team. Patrick Lencione wrote and interesting book entitled “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. I have outlined those five Dysfunctions for you to see if any are present in your working teams: • Absence of Trust – invulnerability – no open communication • Fear of Conflict – artificial harmony – creativity is stifled • Lack of Commitment – ambiguity – people not involved • Avoidance of Accountability – low standards – no accountability • Inattention to Results – status and Ego – results are not achieved If you reflect on the five and see any of these dysfunctions on your team, you must address that dysfunction because it will hold your team back from achieving results! It is up to each team member to be professional and support the team goals and success. Here is a blueprint for team success: • Ensure the goals are clear and there is buy-in from team members • Encourage open, free discussions that are non- defensive • Collect input from people outside the group • Allow everyone to be a critical evaluator and introduce this in an unbiased way • Avoid directing. Flexibly guide the team to meet its needs (treat adults like adults) • Develop Team Guidelines as to how you will work together • Ask all team members to outline the best way to communicate and work individually with them • Follow a team process of four points: o Clear goals, analysis (facts and evidence), o Know the stakeholders of your team decisions, and o Generate alternatives o Don’t get stuck in the circular thinking of analyze, dissect, and debate over and over again.
  3. 3. A great deal of work and satisfaction can be achieved by working with others in a team. The quality of work and production can be very satisfying when a team comes together. When everything works in concert, the end product is greater than the individual parts! Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC President Gatto Associates LLC. 412 344-2277 (Office) www.rexgatto.com rex@rexgatto.com

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