Tips for Working with 14 Team Performance Indicators™
Published on Jul 8, 2015 by Phillip Sandahl
Tips and questions about Alignment on teams:
- The team creates a mission statement or purpose statement.
- Brainstorm: teams or organizations with strong mission/purpose. What does that give the team? Organization?
- Where do you see this team’s mission in action?
- What activities and practices would create more awareness and commitment to mission?
- What is this team’s brand? What do you want to be known for?
Tips and questions about Goals & Strategies on teams:
- Write 3 goals that will propel the mission of your team.
- What is your experience working with teams to set goals?
- What are some powerful ways for creating effective rewards and recognition on teams?
Tips and questions about Accountability on teams:
- When working with a team in person, prepare an exercise that creates the web of interconnection in the midst of completing a task.
- Create ongoing team agreements and check with the team periodically.
- Have team members take turns monitoring team agreements.
- What is the team accountable for? (Separate from what individual team members are accountable for).
- What would be one Key Performance Indicator for the team?
Tips and questions about Proactive on teams:
- Identify a practice on the team that needs change, or identify a product or process that needs change.
- Engage the team in out-of-the box thinking.
- Improv games inspire creative agility and generate playfulness.
- What is another way you have seen creativity flourish on teams?
- What gets in the way of creativity, innovation?
Tips and questions about Decision-Making on teams:
- Work on a specific area where the decision-making process is murky.
- What is one area where the decision-making process is quite successful? What can you learn from that as a team?
- What are different decision-making styles you have seen on teams?
Tips and questions about Resources on teams:
- Use the exercise called “Diminishing Resources” from the Team Coaching Intensive. It demonstrates how teams react in the face of diminishing resources, how they hoard, make rules, become competitive — even destructive. Sometimes teams need to be desperate before they will become innovative.
- How can working with the issue of resources empower a team?
- What will make this team more resourceful?
- What are the intangible resources of this team? How can they be maximized/leveraged?
Tips and questions about Team Leadership on teams:
- Review with the team critical situations or turning points and investigate the role of leadership. Who was leading when? What was the value of that contribution?
- What are ways that new team members take on the role of leadership within a team they have just joined?
Tips and questions about Trust on teams:
- One of the keys to creating and maintaining trust on teams is the conscientious attention to the team agreements. We typically describe this process tool and create a set of team agreements very early with teams and then re-visit the agreements throughout the coaching, especially when issues come up that touch on elements of the agreements.
- Create a structure with your team to re-visit their agreements and update them.
- Ask the team, “What creates trust for you?”
- Trust is built over time when team members engage in collaboration or disagreement. They learn where the edge of trust is in the relationship or the team. If they are aware they will establish a new, stronger, more resilient edge. Give examples of collaboration or disagreement on this (or any) team. What happened? How was trust affected?
Tips and questions about Respect on teams:
- How is respect clear and visible on teams?
- How is respect different from trust?
- Create structures that allow team members to practice acknowledgement. The “Catch Me at my Best” cards are one form of acknowledgment. What else can you propose?
Tips and questions about Camaraderie on teams:
- With intact teams in geographic proximity it is not so difficult to create structures for social interaction and play. Sometimes that play can be purely for the sake of the team’s entertainment or for “team building”.
- More and more teams gather for purposeful volunteer efforts that also build camaraderie and a sense of meaningful, shared contribution. Teams work together to clean urban parks, Habitat of Humanity has been another, volunteering to handle a water stop at a Breast Cancer walk and run. What cause or activity has your team found to bind them together.
- With virtual teams it is more challenging but it is possible when they get creative. For example, hold weekly “water-cooler” teleconferences simply for the purpose of getting to know each other.
- How do you see camaraderie created on teams? What is the long term effect?
Tips and questions about Communication on teams:
- The first step is discovery: what are the team agreements around communication. How does it work on this team? If it were ideal, what would change?
- Give examples of indirect communication habits on teams. Where does this sideways stuff get started? Why is it valued on teams?
- Often forgotten: the other half of communicating, is listening. On a scale of 1 to 10 how good is this team at listening? What would raise that score?
Tips and questions about Constructive Interaction on teams:
- Most teams do not have what are often called “rules of engagement” when there are differences of opinion. Creating those rules of engagement is both a valuable process and a way for teams to enter the vulnerable territory.
- Create norms and agreements around giving and receiving feedback.
- There is more than one reason for a lack of conflict on teams. Sometimes conflict or disagreement is avoided out of fear. Sometimes it simply doesn’t exist because the team members operate very independently or because the system is running rather smoothly and the causes might not appear.
- Rather than miss the opportunity to stir things up and see what sorts of creativity might emerge, sometimes set aside regular time for arbitrary contrariness. How might you see that happening on a team? Playful “Devil’s Advocate”.
Tips and questions about Values Diversity on teams:
- Train the team in listening for the different points of view. Celebrate the range of points of view.
- Encourage teams to listen for the voices on the fringe. They don’t have to accommodate every voice by giving it voting rights or veto, but the simple act of listening and letting those voices know they have been heard/attended to is often enough.
- Some teams consciously ask for the unpopular voices in meetings along the lines of, “what is not being said, or asked? What is the voice no one has spoken for?”
- Play this game. “If __________ were here, he/she would say…” Then fill in the blank with people everyone knows that would have a distinct opinion or point of view. Could be a real person in the organization (the CEO, the head of R&D), or anyone alive or dead, real or fictional. If Genghis Kahn were here … If Snow White were here ...
Tips and questions about Optimism on teams:
- In the broadest sense, how would the team like their environment to feel?
- Create an exercise around assumptions and beliefs. Ask team members, what are their beliefs about this team when they look to the future?
- Is there a sense of hope or hopelessness present?
- How can you create a stronger sense of possibilities on teams? What needs to be in place?