Colleagues & Friends,

     Today’s message is about building high functioning teams at your school. First, look at the 15 questions that follow and answer them as a member of a team at your school. The school improvement team, the leadership team, whatever you call it. Then you might be brave enbough to get input from that team. I’ve followed the quizx with some VERY basic information on the quiz. Use it to help all undestand and you might even want to do a little more research in the areas you feel your team needs some assistance. Here goes:

 

  1. My team is knowledgeable about the stages of development teams can be expected to go through.

2 Team members are provided with a great deal of feedback regarding their performance.

3 Team members are encouraged to work for the common good of the organization.

4 There are many complaints, and morale is low on my team.

5 Team members don’t understand the decisions that are made, or don’t agree with them.

6 People are encouraged to be good team members, and build good relationships.

7 Team members are provided with development opportunities.

8 Meetings are inefficient and there is a lot of role overlap.

9 Team members are encouraged to commit to the team vision, and leaders help them understand how their role fits into the big picture.

10 Team members are often given a chance to work on interesting tasks and stretch their knowledge and capabilities.

11 The team understands what it needs to accomplish and has the resources needed to be successful.

12 Conflict and hostility between members is a pervasive issue that doesn’t seem to get better.

13 People feel that good work is not rewarded and they are not sure what is expected of them.

14 Team members balance their individual needs for autonomy with the benefits of mutual interdependence.

15 Working relationships across units or functions is poor, and there is a lack of coordination.

  

Info on about questions.

      Teams do not become effective overnight. Team building is a process that requires due attention and care. As leaders, If we try to skip over important development stages, we risk not forming the solid foundation needed when trouble or setbacks occur. To build, lead, or participate in a team requires an understanding of the stages of team development. The one that most people are aware of is Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model .  One of the best ways of improving our performance is by providing information to team members about their individual performance, as well as the overall team performance. After all, how do we know what is working and what isn’t if no one gives us feedback? For feedback to be positive and growth-inspiring, it has to be delivered properly, with enough attention being paid to how the receiver is going to perceive and process it. 

     Next, we must articulate our team’s vision. It’s the vision that motivates and directs a team to reach its goal. The best teams invest a great deal of time and energy into exploring and understanding the overall purpose and vision of the team. From this vision, a set of goals and objectives emerges that helps the team stay focused and on track. The

key to using vision successfully is making the process of discovering it a participative one.

    As we work as a team conflict can be the inevitable consequence. Opinions, values, styles, and a whole host of other differences provide more than enough grounds for disagreement. This disagreement is actually part of the reason why teams can be so effective – the more perspectives that go into a process, the better the end result.

     The differences between how people work and view the world make for interesting conversations and dynamic teams. An effective team capitalizes on these natural differences and maximizes performance by putting the right people in the right roles.

     While it is critical for us to understand,- although there is no “I” in “Team” – we have to remember there is no team without individuals. We have to build and foster the skills in the individuals that are congruent with the needs of the team.

Finally, members of successful team all head in the same direction, and work for the same purpose.

    When priorities and goals diverge, tensions appear within the team, and the whole is often no longer greater than the sum of its parts. This is a fundamental issue for high performing teams. Consensus, consistency and agreement make for effective teamwork.

In the end I believe that Margaret Mead had it right. She said -never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

 Be Well, Do Good Work, & Keep In Touch,

Brian

TAKING 2015 FELLOWS APPLICATIONS FOR PRINCIPALS, ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS & OTHER SCHOOL LEADERS

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Team WORK