Teaming Skills for Success Don Heer 10/8/08 Adapted from Terri Fiez, Director, School of EECS
Outline • Why Teams? • Get to Know Yourself & Your Teammates • Life Cycles of Teams • Team Roles and Responsibilities • Team Meetings
Teams Can Outperform Individuals • Complex tasks • Creativity needed • Path forward unclear • More efficient use of resources needed • Fast learning required • Task/process cross functional
Learning from the Geese Analogy • When each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Goose Falls Out of Formation • When goose falls out to seek more favorable conditions rest of flock leaves space open as encouragement. • If a more favorable conditions are found, flock reforms around the “loner”. • If not, the flock slows its pace to allow the “loner” back into position.
“Loner” Stays Out • No effort is made to return, flock closes ranks. • Loner either tires from drag/resistance and tag onto end of “V” or will be lost to flock.
Goose Rotation • When a goose gets tired, it rotates back in the flock and another goose takes over the point. • Geese honk from behind to encourage those in front to keep up their speed. Honk, honk
Sick/Wounded Goose • Two other geese fall out to follow and protect sick/wounded goose. • Stay with goose until recovers or can not longer continue. • Then launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their flock.
Knowing Yourself & Your Teammates • Personality styles: Myers-Briggs • Social Styles • Why? Aids in improving communication with peers and supervisors • How does it help? Influences how you act on what you say or do and your effectiveness in communication. • What it is not… Innermost workings of your personality or beliefs or values!!!
Behavioral Dimensions & Strengths of 4 Basic Social Styles Task Oriented Analytical (Strengths: Logical, Thorough, Serious, Systematic, Critical, Precise, Prudent) Driver (Strengths: Independent, Candid, Decisive, Pragmatic, Determined, Efficient, Objective) • Key here: No single social style works best • Flexibility in working with others of other social styles is important for success Assertive Reflective Amiable (Strengths: Cooperative, Loyal, Supportive, Diplomatic, Patient, Easygoing, Respectful) Expressive (Strengths: Imaginative, Friendly, Enthusiastic, Outgoing, Excitable, Persuasive, Spontaneous) People Oriented
Teams Often Require 4 Types • The people person (Amiable) • The thought person (Analytical) • The action person (Driver) • The front person (Expressive)
Basic Social Styles & Communication Orientation Analytical (Process-Oriented) Communicates about: Facts & Figures Policies & Organization Planning & Forecasting Analysis & Control Driver (Action-Oriented) Communicates about: Getting Things Done Objectives & Results Performance & Productivity Efficiency & Moving Ahead Decisions & Achievements Amiable (People-Oriented) Communicates about: Needs & Motivations Teamwork & Team Spirit Feelings & Beliefs Values & self-Devleopment Expressive (Idea-Oriented) Communicates about: Innovation & Change New Ways of Doing Things Creativity & Possibilities Alternatives or Options
Exercise • Break up into design teams and determine what social style each of you are. • Share these styles and discuss how you will work together to complete your project.
Life-Cycles of Teams • Four Stages Teams go through • Each stage (and how it is managed) impacts the team’s effectiveness Forming Storming Performing Norming
Anxious, excited, fearful, anticipation Who are the others? What’s going to happen? Will I have an influence? Will I be accepted? How will we function? Polite communications Leader-dependence Conformance Attempts to determine how to deal with group problems Attempts to define the task and potential solutions Attempts to determine acceptable group behavior Team Life-Cycle: Forming Feelings Behaviors “Members of a team want to know that they have a chance of being successful, And that someone has a plan and enough information to get them off to a good Start toward that success.”
Leadership Strategy: Get team Oriented Stress personal responsibility for contributing interdependently Stress assisting others & effective relationships Positive confrontation Build trust and role clarity Provide structure, specificity & next steps Suggested Tactics Initiate introduction Clarify task/goals & product or services Define general operating procedures Make assignments State & give examples of your expectations Set expectations that integrate with the work, NOT add to it Reward conformity Organize the group Solicit questions & give as much information as necessary to get everyone oriented Leadership Response to Forming
Why should I conform? I don’t want to take personal responsibility I’d rather just keep doing the things I’m confortable doing…Status quo Resistance to change Self-centeredness & self-interest Arguing, positioning Counterdependence & independence Challenge authority of leadership Criticizing Comparing Complaining Competing Style differences clash, especially on the diagonal Attempt to differentiate from the group & create autonomy Defensiveness Team Life-Cycle: Storming Feelings Behaviors
Leadership Strategy: organize, coach, & encourage Accept storming behaviors as natural Help members establish their autonomy & individualism Coach in problem solving & conflict resolution that uses team goals as the denominator Strive to get team members to commit to each others success Suggested Tactics Solicit issues Confront individual & team issues Listen, reason & negotiate (win-win) Use a consistent model for problem solving Use goals as the basis for solutions Ensure operating structure & principles are understood Give members encouragement one-to-one or privately Clarify roles & contributions of respective members Coach & model desired approach to problem solving & collaboration Leadership Response to Storming Stage
Sustained optimism Sense of common purpose Sense of achievement Conflict avoidance Leader-dependence change to member-dependence Procedures imposed internally Mutually established Acceptance of team membership Constructive criticism Peacekeeping Collaboration Ownership of task Norms & principles are adhered to & monitored Team Life-cycle: Norming Feelings Behaviors “Once they’ve got their issues addressed and their roles clear, they need Opportunities to go to work—collaboratively—and have a few successes.”
Leadership Strategy: facilitate the work & continue building Create & facilitate team efforts where appropriate Move toward greater participation & team operation of the work Foster & reward collaboration Strengthen relationships Suggested Tactics: Create opportunities for collaboration & success Reward collaboration Acknowledge in private the growth & efforts of individuals Solicit ideas from the team Share decision making as appropriate Create opportunities for dialogue Keep activities in the context of the work Employ mehtodologies that safely force participation & contribution Pull team into participation in assessing the team’s effectiveness & making improvements Leadership Response to Norming
Feelings Personal commitment to each other High trust, regard, & respect Ownership of goals & role Synergy, pride & gratitude Behaviors Support & assistance to each other High dependability Heightened productivity Excellent role execution Effective management of controversy & conflict Balanced task & relationship concerns Team Life-Cycle: Performing “…Then, get out of the way. An effective targeted team doesn’t Need a leader meddling in the work; they need a leader who is out ahead Of them removing barriers, garnering support, touting their Achievements, and verifying the strategic direction.”
Leadership Strategy: Provide organization air-cover & be a consultant to the team Hand-off more of the ownership & operations to the team Maintain effectiveness & productivity of the team Provide organization “air-cover” Act as consultant on major issues Promote the team’s capabilities & achievements Suggested Tactics Delegation Create opportunities for team to dialogue Share leadership Effective use of team members’ compensating strengths & expertise to your own Eliminate impending barriers for the team Obtain support & resource for the team Publicize team’s accomplishments Periodic reality checks of strategic directions/efforts Leadership Response to Performing Stage
Roles & Responsibilities • Leader/Facilitator • Recorder • Reporter • Reflector
Team Leader/Facilitator Responsibilities • Keep meeting focused & moving • Open meeting • Review agenda & move through agenda • Facilitate discussions • Manage participation • Help team use appropriate discussion methods • Close the meeting
Skills and Abilities associated with Leaders* • Technical: knowledge about the team’s specific tasks or activities (THINGS) • Interpersonal: knowledge of how to work with others and to help others work with each other (PEOPLE) • Conceptual: knowledge about ideas, concepts, ability to hypothesize (IDEAS) • *Katz (1955), Muford, Zacarro, Harding (2000)
Recorder Responsibilities • Capture key points for each agenda item • Highlight decisions and action items • Collect future agenda items • Distribute or post minutes
Reporter Responsibilities • Capture the key results from discussion • Present these results to the group when solicited
Reflector Responsibilities • Monitor the process the team is using in activity • Present to the group the effectiveness of team activity. Reflect on the process: Areas of strength, rough areas and areas for improvement
Setting Team Meeting Ground Rules • Attendance & Lateness • Norms • Participation & Information Sharing • Interruptions • Decision Making • Quality of Work • Others
Basic Team Issues • Goals – What is the team trying to accomplish? • Roles – What should each member be doing to help the team accomplish its goals? • Interpersonal – How are we going to get along and what are we going to do when we’re not getting along? • Synergy – How can we best learn from each other? • Sanction – How will we handle situations when people are not following the team charter and/or not fulfilling their obligation to the team, including doing their portion of the project?
Guidelines for Teams • Meet at least weekly • Meeting should be used to: • Share results of individuals • Review upcoming activities • Check teams’ progress • Identify specific roles • Prepare, conduct and determine what happens between meetings
Meetings • Be prepared • Come on time • Participate • End on time • Be prepared to drop a topic • Keep records • Value diversity • Maintain positive group dynamics • Listen and have an open mind • Summarize decisions and future plans before leaving
Exercise • Get into team • State project goals • Name your team • Share contact information • Establish timeline and assign tasks • Establish ground rules
Evaluation of Group Activities • How did this meeting go? • How was the pace, flow, and tone of the meeting? • Did we handle items in a reasonable sequence? Did we get stuck? • How well did we stay on topic? Discuss information? Respond to other’s questions? • What might we do differently? What should we do that we didn’t do? Do more of? Do less of ? Not do at all? • What was just right and should continue as is? • Other comments, observations, recommendations? Use round-robin comments, written evaluations, open discussion, thumbs up, sideways, down.
References • http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/teams/ • Benefits of Teamwork | Roles on a Team | Organizing Project Work | Team Meetings | Communicating in Teams | Conflict Resolution Tips | Bad Behaviors - Dealing with Unproductive Team Member • http://www.foundationcoalition.org/home/keycomponents/student_teams.html • Understanding Conflict and Conflict Management • Effective Interpersonal/Intrateam Communication • Understanding Small-group Dynamics • http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/pdf/PuzzledAboutTeams.pdf#search=%22puzzled%20about%20teams%22 • Puzzled about teams…
Why Brainstorming? • Builds interpersonal expertise because all students participate • Quiets the loudest talker and prevents quick solutions • Develops a skill that is useful in project management
Verbal Brainstorming: Procedure • Present a carefully designed problem • Appoint a facilitator to safeguard the process and a recorder to capture ideas • Recorder copies all suggestions on board/easel as they are named • Take a moment to think about the problem before addressing it verbally • Ground rules: No discussion, no reaction, no judgment
Non-Verbal Brainstorming: Why Brainwrite? • Sometimes called “brainwriting” instead of brainstorming • Useful with controversial, emotionally charged topics, or when building upon ideas is more important than creating a wide range of options
Brainwriting: Procedure Pass around sheet of paper with topic to be addressed written at the top. First person WRITES an idea and each other team member builds on, or adds, to ideas noted • Done silently • Cycle paper 3-4 times around group or until people run out of ideas