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Teamwork & Team Developer . Dr. Jack McGourty Columbia University. Why Teams?. Respond to multi-functional challenges Enhance communication Bring together complementary skills and experiences Respond to change with swiftness and flexibility Provide unique social dimension Have more fun!.

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teamwork team developer

Teamwork & Team Developer

Dr. Jack McGourty

Columbia University

why teams
Why Teams?
  • Respond to multi-functional challenges
  • Enhance communication
  • Bring together complementary skills and experiences
  • Respond to change with swiftness and flexibility
  • Provide unique social dimension
  • Have more fun!
team based organizations
Team-Based Organizations
  • Common Objectives
    • Flexibility
    • Speed
    • Customer focus
    • Continuous improvement
    • Innovation
    • Balance between process and people
stages of team development
Stages of Team Development
  • Forming
  • Challenging
  • Accepting
  • Collaborating
  • Self-Managing
Common behaviors

attempts to define tasks

determining acceptable behavior

floundering as to where to begin

dependence on leader

unequal participation

diving into “solutions”

everyone is “polite”

Common feelings






Common behaviors

arguing among members

defensive & competitive

establishing unrealistic goals

questioning credibility of leader/members

choosing sides

passing the blame

not so “polite”

Common feelings







Common behaviors

attempts to achieve harmony by avoiding conflict

expressing opinions more openly

sharing of information

less resistance to team tasks

learning the best way to work together

Common feelings






Common behaviors

balanced contributions

focused on goals & results

solving problems collectively

able to reach consensus & closure

encouraging criticism & conflict

sharing accountability

Common feelings




close affiliation

confident in each other’s abilities


self managing
Common behaviors

pushing for higher standards

following through on commitments

challenging the way things are normally done

stressing continuous improvement

meeting only when necessary

Common feelings

increasingly motivated

sense of self-fulfillment

excitement about new challenges

fear of adjournment

team performance model
Team Performance Model

How do you accelerate team effectiveness?

forming skills

proactively listens

conveys interest

restates to show understanding


identifies purpose & goals

defines priorities

suggests ways to proceed


solicits participation from other members

discourages rushing to conclusions


reinforces contributions of others

encourages opposing ideas & opinions

challenging skills

articulates ideas clearly

clarifies to ensure understanding

Self- Management

clarifies roles & responsibilities

creates action plans & timetables

Decision Making

suggests new approaches to solving problems

accepts change


helps reconcile differences of opinions

accepts criticism openly

accepting skills

gives compelling reasons for ideas

wins support from others


monitors progress

places top priority on getting results

Decision making

generates new ideas

solicits information from “outside” the team


involves others in decisions that affect them

frequently polls others for opinions

collaborating skills

shares information openly

encourages communication with people outside the team


reviews team process frequently

focuses on building required skills

Decision Making

challenges the status quo

plays “devil’s advocate”


shares accountability

works towards “win/win” solutions

self managing skills

provides continuous feedback to team

proactively communicates across the organization


pushes for higher standards

stresses continuous improvement

Decision Making

focuses on creativity & innovation

anticipates problems & develops contingency plans


resolves external issues/barriers affecting performance

ways for team members to foster team effectiveness
Share all relevant information willingly

Disagree openly with team members

Invite questions/comments

Avoid cheap shots and other distractions

Expect all team members to participate

Make decisions by consensus

Conduct self- and team-critiques


Ways for Team Members to Foster Team Effectiveness
ways for the team leader to foster team effectiveness
Create conducive team culture

Ask for solutions rather than problems

Facilitate problem-solving and brainstorming

Support and reward team behaviors

Address counter-productive team behaviors

Rotate leadership role of team meetings

Be a resource to teams and a role model


Ways for the Team Leader to Foster Team Effectiveness
critical success factors
Critical Success Factors
  • Specific & challenging goals
  • Clarified roles and responsibilities
  • Complementary skills
  • Dynamic working agreement
  • Shared accountability
  • Supportive external environment
team developer

Team Developer

Description and Process

team developer1
Team Developer
  • Computerized survey for multi-source assessment and feedback
  • Competency-based: basic team skills and other engineering-related learning outcomes
  • Self/peer ratings as to frequency in which learning outcomes are observed
  • Provides individual/team/class feedback
survey process
Survey Process
  • Instructor establishes student teams
  • Creates survey questions; typically 40 plus items
  • Best practice is to provide students with an understanding of learning outcomes in general, and Team Developer Process prior to administration
  • Administer 2x per semester; after 3-4 weeks of team interaction and at the end of the project
  • Reports distributed after administration
  • Work with students on action plans for improvement
survey administration
Survey Administration
  • Individual student disks
  • Short period of time to complete
  • Reports distributed confidentially
  • Instructor debriefs class
  • Multiple administrations per semester recommended
feedback reports
Feedback Reports
  • Students
    • individualized report showing comparisons between self-ratings and aggregate team member ratings
    • improvement between interim & final
  • Faculty
    • aggregate data for teams
    • comparison by section/class
student report
Student Report


Self Team


Helping to sustain and environment where people feel free to speak

candidly, articulating ideas clearly and concisely, listening and

demonstrating an understanding of other’s perspectives.

Active Listener 3.8 3.8

Listens attentively to other team members without interrupting 4.0 4.1

Conveys interest in what others are saying 5.0 3.3

Provides others with constructive feedback 4.0 4.1

Restates what has been said to show understanding 3.0 3.7

Clarifies what others have said to ensure understanding 3.0 3.4

report highlights
Report Highlights
  • Compares self rating to team’s average rating for individual
  • Compares ratings from past performance when available
  • Summary & detail item level results
  • Developmental suggestions
  • Action planning guide
understanding results
Understanding Results
  • Read feedback as a “snapshot”
  • Compare self- ratings to team-ratings
  • Compare present ratings with past
  • Work from summary level to item details
what is feedback
What is Feedback?

Information that lets team members know whether they are on target in relation to a specific goal or behavior

using results for individual development
Using Results for Individual Development
  • Seek clarification from others
  • Review developmental suggestions
  • Explore additional developmental activities
  • Develop action plans
  • Set realistic goals
  • Solicit continuous feedback
using results for team development
Using Results for Team Development
  • Conduct process discussions
  • Develop working agreements
  • Monitor team’s progress
providing feedback
Providing Feedback
  • Focus on issues and behaviors, not person
  • Avoid being general
  • Give specific examples of behavior and incidents
  • Give feedback in a timely manner
  • Demonstrate relationship between behavior/team objectives
  • Provide positive information first
  • Define expectations in advance
  • Involve recipient in developing solutions
receiving feedback
Receiving Feedback
  • Accept feedback as "reality" for provider
  • Restate to provider what you think has been said
  • Probe for additional information
  • Focus on how it can help solve a specific Problem
  • Regularly solicit feedback
benefits self peer assessment
Benefits Self/Peer Assessment
  • Students motivated to decrease gaps between self-assessment and peer evaluation
  • Significant increase in skills and behaviors precipitated by peer feedback
  • Reinforces criticality of competencies
  • Prepares for industry assessment practices
  • Develops self/peer critical evaluation skills for life long learning
team developer2

Team Developer

Questions and Next Steps