What is team-leader training?
Team-leader training refers to learning and development experiences that are designed to enhance the effectiveness of individuals who lead others. Team leadership has less to do with leading through formal authority and more to do with establishing clear direction, expectations, and accountability for accomplishing the work of the team.
Team leaders can be formal or informal but are always instrumental in organizing the work and members of the team in a way that will allow the team to successfully accomplish its goals. Effective team leadership is built on a combination of task-oriented processes and people-oriented processes; both must be in place for the team to be successful.
What is team building?
Building a high-performance team takes time, effort, and skill. Team leaders must create the conditions for the team to be successful by helping team members establish working agreements, develop their individual and collective abilities, see the value of diverse backgrounds and skills, find ways for each person to contribute the best of themselves, and fulfill the team’s mission and purpose.
Teams are built on a foundation of trust. Individual team members must trust that their peers will be respectful, keep their promises, do what they say they will do, and ask for help when it’s needed. Team leaders must trust that they have surrounded themselves with the best people to do the job and given their team members the resources, guidance, support, and parameters they need to be successful—and if they haven’t, they need to be open to hearing that feedback from the team.
Team leaders can’t know or do everything; they must rely on their team members for their unique experience and subject-matter expertise and support each person’s growth so that they can continue to contribute to the team’s objectives and deliver expected results.
What teamwork skills are essential to the workplace?
As organizations evolve, the ability to work as a team becomes ever more important. Most of the work done by organizations today is accomplished as a team; there are few instances where people work entirely by themselves. Even in situations where the work itself is completed by an individual alone, the end product is typically scoped with and delivered to a customer of some kind, meaning that teamwork skills are still relevant. A few of the teamwork skills that are essential to the workplace are emotional intelligence, communication, collaboration, coaching, delegation, conflict resolution, and change management.
How is collaboration different from teamwork?
Collaboration and teamwork are related but not the same. Collaboration begins with a discussion or series of discussions related to something that a group of people need to accomplish together. Collaboration is something that should be occurring in a team but isn’t exclusively for teams. It is a tool that can be used anytime people need to work together. Collaboration can be extremely helpful when parties have competing priorities or areas of focus, such as when different business functions are required to work together to achieve a larger organizational goal. Collaboration usually involves establishing an understanding of the needs and goals of both parties and then working together to ensure that all of those needs are met. As the project goes forward, all parties move in tandem towards a collective goal and work together very closely throughout the process. Teamwork usually involves some level of collaboration, especially during the planning stages of a group project, but once the parameters of an assignment have been established, individual team members are left to complete the parts of the project or series of tasks for which they are directly responsible on their own. The individual work is then brought together to create the collective result.
What is the value of teamwork in the workplace?
There are many benefits of teamwork in the workplace. The greatest value of teamwork is the diversity of perspectives, skills, and experiences that individual team members bring to the team. Getting trapped in a particular paradigm or way of thinking is very easy, especially for people who have deep knowledge of a subject or many years of experience in a given field. The alternative perspectives and opinions that members of a team offer to the conversation can spark greater creativity, new solutions, different modes of thinking, and innovative ideas. Teams that can capitalize on these benefits and successfully execute on the plans they create together will reach higher performance and achieve better results for their organizations.
What are the stages of team building?
In 1965, psychologist Bruce Tuckman developed a model of the stages of team development that is still widely cited. Tuckman’s four-step model included the following stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. In 1977, Tuckman added a fifth stage, Adjourning, to the original four. Most teams, regardless of the purpose for which they have been brought together, experience some version of Tuckman’s stages.
The earliest stage of team development, “Forming,” can be thought of as the “orientation” phase. During this phase, team members are trying to get their bearings and tend to be deferential, overly polite, and full of enthusiasm for the future. Team members are likely to begin discussing the team’s goals, ground rules, and individual roles on the team during this phase and will require firm direction from the leader because team roles and group dynamics have not yet surfaced.
“Storming” happens when team members begin to grate on one another’s nerves. They may experience a clash in working styles or expectations which can result in conflict, something that can be of great benefit to the team as long as it is openly dealt with and navigated through rather than avoided.
“Norming” happens when team members move past their previous challenges and begin to recognize other team members’ value and strengths, even if they differ significantly from their own (and sometimes because of it). People feel more comfortable challenging one another and providing constructive feedback during this stage because there is an increased level of trust and a sense of reliance upon one another for the team’s success.
The “Performing” stage is where team performance reaches its peak because all team members are using their individual skills to move in concert with their peers towards the same goal.
The “Adjourning” phase of team development is most prevalent on special-project teams where the team is disbanded once the project is complete.
Some teams never move beyond a certain stage. For example, if the team leader cannot find a way to help his or her team through the “Storming” phase, the team will become embroiled in petty conflicts and will never reach its full potential. Likewise, some teams may perform well enough as a collective but never truly experience the flawless symbiosis that exists on a true high-performance team. Backsliding into previous stages is also very common and isn’t always indicative of a problem; sometimes a high-performance team will return to the Forming or Norming stages when one or more team members are added to an existing team or the team is required to deliver its end products or services in new ways or to new customers who have different expectations.