Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course 5, Lesson 25
Developing Teams That Can Come up with
Creative Solutions to Complex Personnel Problems
Copyright 2001 Dick Wulf
The old adage, “Two heads are better than one” is really true, although it has been challenged by the inefficiency of most committees. But, really, those committees we think of are not being led correctly. Committees and teams can do much better than even imaginable. Two to ten heads are far better than one – if the leader steps in with solid team leadership skills. However, professional team leadership skills are as rare as three-legged kangaroos.
For a team to come up with creative solutions to complex personnel problems, the team must know that it is its job to solve these problems. Most people have spent all of their lives where teams are just what you call people who happen to be contributing to a task. It was most likely never emphasized that they become skillful in working together. Almost all problems were resolved by the team leader or the organization (pastor and elders, perhaps).
The problem is that church leadership has far fewer options and much less time with which to solve most problems. Teams on the other hand, have many more ways to deal with problems with volunteer team members. For example, teams have the powerful resource of friendliness with which to woo a person to change their behavior.
Why would teams want to resolve people-problems rather than let the team leader or church leadership do it?
The first reason would be that the team has a purpose that every team member wants to see accomplished. If the team purpose is critical and significant to the team members, they will be highly invested in solving any problem that gets in the way of efficient and effective progress toward the purpose.
The second reason for them to not defer to church leadership, is that church leadership needs them to do it so that the heavier hand and disciplinary procedures can then be a last resort.
And the third reason a team will want to deal with its own personnel problems whenever possible, is that the team will learn that the team can do a better, faster and more complete job of solving problems.
Note that I am not mentioning how a team will solve specific problems people bring to the team process. Those solutions will be as varied as the problems presented. But the team will have the cumulation of many peoples’ intelligence as well as social resources such as friendliness, withdrawal of friendliness, concern for each team member, help in many sensitive forms tailored to the specific individual, and too many other resources to mention here. Using these resources, the team will struggle to solve its first problems. The skilled team leader will not rescue them from the struggle, but help them keep with the task until victory comes. Each problem solved will strengthen the team, and soon problem resolution will happen spontaneously, almost without effort.
Next: Developing Teams That Help Their Members Emotionally When Necessary
Copyright 2012 Dick Wulf, Colorado, USA