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Assess the team needs for the best results

india Updated: Jan 01, 2007 19:40 IST

A big part of the job in the office is to be a process monitor and remote-control leader. Agile team leaders are adept at assessing how teammates relate to and interact with one another.

They identify patterns of behaviour that should be encouraged and nurtured. They also watch out for conduct that should be discouraged or eliminated because it impairs the team’s effectiveness. Successful leaders constantly observe and analyse at least three aspects of their team.

Collective team needs: Assess your team’s needs for direction, vision, guidance, authority, reassurance, recognition, and resources. Satisfy those needs as thoroughly as possible. You will be called on to build   communication bridges, tear down barriers, and facilitate interacting among the members of your team and enhance their relationships with other teams. You will also have to lead your teammates to challenge both their opinions and their performance when they are reluctant to do so.

Individual member dynamics: Here you have to dig beneath the surface and analyse the forces that influence individual members of your team and make them tick. These include, for example:
1 Key personality traits

2 Experience and skills each member contributes to the team and training and development that would improve the value of each as team players

3 Personal prejudices (positive or negative, depending on the person’s nature)

4 Rewards people hope to receive from team membership

5 Needs for status and recognition

6 Degree of commitment to the team’s success

7 Willingness to share their views and speak minds, especially, in the face of criticism and peer pressure.

The group’s dynamics: Here you step back and look at the forest instead of the trees. While acknowledging the interplay of individual member dynamics, you also have to assess how teammates relate to the team as a unit. This calls for you to:

8 Recognise major opinion leaders on your team

9 Identify subgroups and factions that may favour or oppose the team’s identity, unit and goals.

10 Map channels of communication, pattern of influence and informal alliances that arise among team members

11 Assess the team’s tolerance for minority view points

12 Identify interpersonal conflicts and turf wars among members who may pursue the same responsibilities or tasks.

13 Evaluate the team’s ability to assess its work objectively and set challenging goals. 
Building and leading teams by Joseph T. Straub, Published by Velocity Business Publishing Inc