As the team leader you are always looking for and leveraging opportunities to motivate, celebrate and reward successful team performance. But your team is made up of individuals. This means you need to spend time understanding the makeup and motivation of the team members. It’s not just the skills, experience and knowledge that each team member provides; but how that person makes a productive contribution within the team, and interacts with other members in a positive way that will ensure the team is effective. When you understand and observe this you will have something to celebrate. But what are you looking for? How can you test this? What are the coaching questions you can ask?
Vince Lombardi, American Football coach was quoted as saying: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
When you’re looking for things to celebrate there are two broad factors for you to find out about the individuals within your team:
How they contribute towards team performance?
- Team members can explain their technical or professional role within the team. You can test this by asking people: What is your unique role in the team? What happens when you perform your role well? How does your role contribute to the success of the whole team?
- Team members are clear about the team’s purpose. You can test this by asking people: What is the unique purpose of the team? What is the mission of the team? How does the team contribute directly to the critical success factors of the organisation?
How they contribute towards team process?
- Team members can explain how they contribute to the ‘group processes’ within the team. You can test this by asking people: What is your primary role in relation to the well running of the team? What, if any, other roles do you perform within the team? What ‘group process’ roles do we need to further develop within this team?
Think of these factors as a starting point. What additional questions will you ask each of your direct reports to reveal their awareness of how they contribute towards team performance and team process?
The magic part of blogging takes place when you come up with your own ideas and experiences, post them as comments and share them with others. Then we all make a daily progress on that leadership transition journey.
“OK Trevor”, I hear you saying, “You’re a coach so you’ve suggested some awareness raising questions. Where do we go next?”
Good question. Think of these as starter questions towards your goal of being able to celebrate success with each member of your team individually and with the team collectively.
Follow the GROW coaching model and you’ll see a direction of travel.
Goal. The shared goal with your team is to meet your performance goals through an effective and collective team process.
Reality. Where are you now – individually and as a team?
Options. What are the options for actions to close any gaps on performance and process and win?
Way-forward. What will each of you do – the team, the direct reports and you as the leader to meet your goals?
Now I’m going to change hats from coach to leadership assessor. I spent five years as a contractor to a leading worldwide ‘day in the life’ leadership assessment firm. I haven’t stopped apply those principles in my daily professional work. My challenge now to you as the leader is to ask another question: “What are the competencies and key actions I should be observing from you to ensure your team will be celebrating success?”
Take a look at the competency framework for a Leader of Others and you will find these key competencies for Team Development:
- Builds team
- Establishes team expectations
- Clarifies roles, responsibilities and objectives
- Encourages team
- Monitors team performance
- Integrates to organisation
Want to know more? That’s what the Ask Me function is for on this website.
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