Work teams are wonderful creations…when they work. But when they don’t, it can feel like hell on earth. If your team is struggling, it’s probably because of inattention paid by you to one or more of these elements in The Team Functioning Trilogy:
Relationships: How you treat each other. Also how you treat other groups and individuals. This treatment tends to be heavily influenced by similarities and differences in your cultural norms, values, beliefs and personalities.
Processes: How you plan, problem solve, reach consensus, make decisions, communicate, implement, and review.
Context: Your strategic and operational goals, key initiatives and important issues your team addresses. Sometimes also referred to as ‘content’.
Here are some questions to ask as you examine your team functioning using this trilogy:
- Relationships: How strong and positive are relationships within your team? Is there respect for differences (age, cultural backgrounds, personalities etc.)?
- Processes: Do you have formal team processes for planning, problem solving, consensus building, decision making, and communications? How well are these working?
- Context: Is there alignment within your team with the organizations strategic goals and overall vision? How well do your annual team goals fit with the overall direction of the organization? How engaged is your team in fulfilling the strategic goals of your organization?
These questions represent a start in helping you discover how well your team is functioning. Feel free to add to them as appropriate…and get your team involved in searching for the answers.