<!-- 18. --> Leadership in Management

Team working-processes. Recognizing why tems fail.

Team working – processes

When we talk of team processes we are talking about the ‘How’ of working together as a team. Process looks at relationships and communications within a team. Process explores how feelings and disagreements were dealt with within a team. As with running on to the next challenge or project most teams take little time to explore how well their process worked. Below is a checklist of typical process issues that face a team and their leader; it can be used as a means to monitor team perform­ance. A sample list of process characteristics that result from high performance teams is also provided as a reference.

Crucial process issues facing any team leader

Issues                               Questions

The working atmosphere What kind of team relationships are required and relationships           for success? How close, friendly, formal or informal should they be?

Participation levels How much participation is required of the team? Some people need to do more than others? All have to give equally? Are some members needed more than others? Do we really need to be a team?
Team objectives and commitment How much do the team members need to understand the goals? How much do they need to accept or be committed to the goals?
Communication and information flows How is the team to share information? Who needs to know what? Who should listen most to whom?
Conflict management How should disagreements or conflicts be handled? To what extent should they be resolved?
Decision making How should decisions be made? Consensus? Processes Voting? One-person rule?
Performance evaluation How is the team’s evaluation to be managed? Everyone appraises everyone else? The leader has total control of the process? A few individuals take responsibility?
Role and task assignments How are role and task assignments to be allo­cated? Voluntarily? By team discussion? By the team leader?
Team leadership Who should lead the team? How should the leadership functions be exercised? Shared? Elected? Appointed from outside?
Process management How should the team monitor and improve its process management? Ongoing feedback from members? Formal procedures? Regular weekly meetings?

Recognizing why teams fail

The manager’s fault

Manager does not:

  • Have a clear and compelling vision.
  • Set a clear direction with priorities.
  • Hold people accountable for their performance.
  • Display appropriate supporting behaviours to team members.
  • Allocate resources effectively.
  • Build the right team atmosphere.
  • Hold effective team meetings.
  • Share information with people when they need it.
  • Deal with negative individual behaviours that conflicts with the team’s goals and objectives.
  • Understand people’s feelings.
  • Understand what is really going on in the team.
  • Develop people and their potential.
  • Manage the interface between the team and the rest of the organ­ization.
  • Like getting feedback from team members.

The team’s fault

Team members do not:

  • Take responsibility for their contributions.
  • Recognize their inter-dependence in reaching their goals (they are competitive as opposed to collaborative in their behaviour).
  • Possess basic interpersonal skills.
  • Confront conflicts and prefer to choose scapegoats outside of the team to blame.
  • Develop the technical competence for their position.
  • Take responsibility for their part in follow-on action plans.
  • Deal with the real issues in the team.
  • Put team goals above self-interest.
  • Understand the business they are in.
  • Participate fully in the team process.
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