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A couple of models for team membership assessment

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Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.   –Vince Lombardi

Companies are only as good as their leaders and leaders are only as good as the teams they create.  Some team gel and some teams don’t.  A collection of clever individuals does not necessary make a high performance clever team.  If fact, sometimes the opposite is true.  An assembly of clever people may be less clever than any single team member individually due to mis-matched personalities and the inability to get along and collaborate.  In many cases, a diverse set of complementary-skilled clevers is what is needed along with a clever leader that can orchestrate the collaboration to produce measurable results against a clarity of vision, mission, and goals.  It also requires the clever team leader to make changes to team membership as needed – without gettting caught in work avoidance (read What Makes Men)

Here is a start on making an assessment of each individual team member.  Many folks never take the time to make an objective, and perhaps brutal, assessment of who they have as team members and make adjustments as needed.  If you never do this, and wonder why the team or organization under performs against similar organizations, an industry benchmark, or some other criteria  then the answer could be as close as the composition of the team that you lead.

The model below is based on the work of  Howard M. Guttman. 

The Questions

Take a look around you and see who is on your team.  Ask yourself these two questions

  1. To what degree does the individual agree with the teams mission and/or what you are trying to accomplish?
  2. To what extent will this person support you as the leader and the other team members on the accomplishment of the teams mission and goals?

For each of these questions rank each team member on a scale  from 0-10.  Zero is low (or none) and 10 is high.

The Assessment

Based on your assessment, the individuals will fall into these categories along the dimensions of agreement and support.  Obviously, low agreement and low support – why do you have them on your team?  High agreement and high support – these are keepers.  But what about those who don’t fall at these extremes?  How would you describe or classify these team members?  What action do you need to take to ensure the mission and goals of the team, group, or organization are successful?  A team leaders, you take the blame for failure and share the rewards for success.

Double-dealer.  These folks agree with the team’s mission and goals but, for whatever reason, will not support you or the effort.  Don’t waste your time explaining the goals to these folks – they are already converted.  The key challenge is to win their support.  What are their concerns? Listen carefully.  Listen to what they do not say as well as to what they do say.  Look for hidden agendas.  As a team leader, this person will not advance your goals or the mission or goals of the team or organization that you represent unless you can gain their committment and support.

Foe.  Treat them as immovable forces in the work environment.  They neither agree with your goals, nor will they support you.  These folks, like the Double-dealer will not advance your goals or the mission or goals of the team or organization that you represent.  These folks might even try to actively undermine you or the teams efforts.  The diagram to the upper left does not show negative values but it’s possible – watch out.

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Written by frrl

October 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

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