Monday, December 04, 2006

Leadership and communication chapter 8:Building and Leading High-Performing Teams

Chapter 8: Building and Leading High-Performing Teams

Building an effective team raises both organizational and individual leadership issues. If you are thinking of forming a team for specific tasks, you first need to determine that a team is the most effective and efficient approach to perform the task, solve the problem, generate the new ideas, or generally move your company forward in some way.
- Deciding to form teams—is a process very similar to deciding to call a meeting.
- Forming your team—company often decide who should be on teams based on functional responsibilities.

Establishing the necessary team work processes
- Creating your own team charter: usually consiss of 1) project purpose/goals, 2) team member roles and responsibilities, 3) team ground rules—the entire team participates in creating and agrees to follow, 4) communication protocol
- Using action and work plans: action plana allow the team to see the big picture of the project easily and help them organize the individual tasks into blocks of work that make it easier to manage the responsibilities and deliverables.
- Delivering the results—means delivering a presentation, a report, or both.
- Learning from the team experience

Managing the people side of teams
- Position and responsibilities—what are the person’s responsibilities outside of the team? If in a company setting, what is the position of the individual within the company? What does the person do for the company? What are his or her day-to-day responsibilities and workload?
- Team Experiences—how often have the members worked on a team and on how mant teams? If they are new to the team experience, they will need more education in team dynamics, work approaches, and expectations.
- Expectations—What do the members expect from the team and team experience? Do their goals align with the team goals? Are their goals focused more on the project or the process? Are they on the team only to advance their career?
- Personality—use MBTI to help understand individual personalities and how they affect the way people work.
- Cultural differences—team members’ understanding of cultural differences can affect a team’s ability to function.

Handling team issues and conflict
Obtaining the best results can depend on the team’s ability to manage conflict. Just as individuals and teams must be able to disagree in meetings, teams need to know how to manage conflict in their overall team activities.

- Types of team conflict. Internal team conflict will usually be one of four types:
1. Analytical (team’s constructive disagreement over a project issue or problem)—emerges when team members disagree about substantive project issues, approaches to problem solving, or proposed answers to major questions.
2. Task (goal, work process, deliverables)—quite frequentlt, a team member’a not attending to atask.
3. Interpersonal (personality, diversity, communication styles)—differences in personality types or cultural backgrounds often cause interpersonal conflict.
4. Roles (leadership, responsibilities, power struggles)—occur if the team get off course, or individuals start intruding into one another’s task area.

- Approaches to handling team conflict. Most teams will use one of the following three approaches to managing conflict:
1. One on one: individuals involved work it out between themselves.
2. Facilitation: individuals involved work with a facilitqtor (mediator).
3. Team: individuals involved discuss it with the entire team.

Helping virtual teams succeed
- Defining virtual teams—teqmw whose members are geographically dispersed and rely primarily on technology for communication and to accomplish their work as a team.
- Identifying advantages and challenges of virtual teams—provide several advantages: lowering travel and facility costs, reducing project schedules, allowing the leveraging of expertise and vertical integration, improving efficiency, and positioning to compete globally.
- Addressing the challenges of virtual teams—ttraining can address some of the challenceges of virtual teams, companies need to be prepared to provide additional resources and training for the people working on virtual teams.

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