Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course 5, Lesson 20
Developing Teams That Help Everyone Know
How to Do Whatever Is Needed
to Do Their Jobs Well
Copyright 2001 Dick Wulf
Teams that are led professionally know that it is the job of the team itself to make sure that all team members know what is expected of them for accomplishment of the team purpose. Usually this is left to the team leader or larger organization. But this sabotages the team and removes accountability to the team itself regarding individual contributions.
At the beginning of a team is the best time to help the team clarify expectations of team members. Right after a team agrees on its purpose, a fairly comprehensive discussion about what will be needed from the team and the team members is necessary. During this time many things will be identified that will be helpful to the team in its pursuit of the purpose. Following that focus, the discussion should transition to what team and individual behaviors will be detrimental to efficient and effective progress toward the team’s purpose.
If this was not done at the start of the team, it can be done now. During an upcoming meeting the team leader can ask the team to evaluate how it is progressing on its purpose and related goals. Then the team leader can suggest that the team discuss what behaviors of the team and its members have been helpful and which have not been useful. After this lengthy discussion, the team leader can ask if the team can identify anything the team or the team members can do that would speed up progress toward the purpose or improve the quality of goal accomplishment.
During the regular course of teamwork, it is the team’s responsibility to help its members become more skillful as well as stop dysfunctional behavior and processes. If the team leader has done a good job of helping the team know that it is responsible for its own work, for solving problems that arise, and for reaching goals related to the purpose, then the team will have an investment in the end result of their labor. This sense of responsibility will cause the group and its members to take responsibility for the performance of team members as well as the team as a whole.
Whenever a team member is unsure of what to do, or is doing a poor job, or is wanting to improve his or her performance, the team will step in. Since the final result is the team’s desired and chosen purpose, the team will not ignore a team member’s confusion or inadequate performance. And, the team leader should be there to aid the team in helping the confused or struggling team member.
Ownership of work toward the team purpose drives the team’s concern for the performance of individual team members. If the purpose is one the team really wants to accomplish, the team will help its team members know how to do whatever is needed to do their jobs well.
Next: Developing Teams That Solve Problems
Rather than Complain and Lose Morale
Copyright 2012 Dick Wulf, Colorado, USA