Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course 5, Lesson 28
Developing Teams That Help Their Members Get Outside Help When Necessary to Be Able to Do Their Jobs Better
Copyright 2001 Dick Wulf
People have problems from time to time. Even very talented team members will have struggles beyond their own resources every once in a while. Sometimes these situations will interfere with a team member’s best performance on the team.
It is the team’s responsibility to help its members get outside help when their team performance is negatively affected by personal or skill problems.
Think of an Olympic relay team. Winning the gold medal is dependent upon all four people doing their very best. Competition is tough. If they want the medal they have to deal with any problem that comes along for any team member. If it is a problem they themselves can take care of, like a team member coming to practice late, they provide the help. But, if the problem is something that is beyond their resources, then they must help the team member get the help needed elsewhere as quickly as possible. If the team member cannot concentrate on the relay because of a marital problem, the team needs to request and strongly encourage him or her to seek marital therapy so that he or she can limit thinking about the problem and concentrate better on training. If the problem is one that can only be helped by physical therapy, the team again insists the team member get help and be faithful in the therapeutic regimen.
Team members can be diverted from giving the team their best efforts by lack of education and training, financial problems, family problems, car problems and a host of other life challenges. People don’t just have church volunteer work to deal with. The faster they deal with other problems, the quicker their minds are freed for the team business at hand.
The team leader often must help the team realize that it is the team’s responsibility to help its members get outside help when necessary to be able to do their team tasks well. Too often the team members think that this is the job of the team leader. However, the team leader usually finds out about the need for outside help long after team members see the need. Furthermore, the team can put social pressure on the team member to get the needed help, and that pressure is more welcome and more effective than the implied threat of church leadership action.
The team need not involve itself in getting a member to seek outside help until it clearly affects the team member’s performance. If it affects the team member, it affects the whole team and becomes the team’s business. This is when the team leader, with his or her oversight, can see the negative effect of a team member’s life struggle and help the team to help that person get outside help.
The team is often more effective in getting someone to seek outside help because that task involves pointing out how such help will lessen stress and bring desired results and how it will help the team.
Next: Developing Teams That Identify and Utilize All Available Resources
That Are Necessary for the Best Accomplishment of the Team Purpose
Copyright 2012 Dick Wulf, Colorado, USA