Are you planning a team building event? Perhaps you are working with a team that is struggling and needs some intervention. Or maybe a team that is already high-performing and wants to stay that way.
Where do you begin? First, it’s important to identify how you can best serve them. You may be tempted to facilitate your favorite team building activity; however, if you aren’t certain of the root challenges the team is facing, you are likely going to miss the mark, waste their time, and maybe even make things worse for the team.
The best way to determine WHAT they need and HOW you can help is to assess the team. It is important to assess the whole team – not just the leader – because even the most connected leaders have blind spots. To make a significant impact and get buy-in about the team building process, you need to gather input from everyone.
Here are two methods I use, both of which can be very effective, and the pros/cons of each:
1. Individual Interviews with Each Team Member
Interviews are typically 30 minutes with each team member via the phone by an objective consultant outside of the team. Each person is asked questions about the strengths and opportunities of the team. The consultant then compiles this feedback into a report that identifies key themes. The report is shared with the team.
- The consultant can ask follow-up questions to dive deep and understand more about the team’s strengths and opportunities.
- The consultant can begin building rapport with the team prior to the team building meeting
- Interviews are time-consuming. Thirty minutes with each team member, plus time to compile the findings into a report can easily take 1-2 days of work. If you are paying a consultant, this is a significant expense.
- Interviewer bias can occur with even the most experienced team consultant, which might result in a less objective team report.
- Team members may hold back from sharing constructive feedback, even when promised confidentiality.
- An interview will not likely cover all aspects of the team. You will likely hear about what the members love and what frustrates them the most – and miss some valuable information.
2. Online Team Questionnaires
All team members take an online assessment answering questions about the team. The information is compiled into a report. The report is shared with the team.
- Questionnaires save time, taking only about 10-15 minutes per team member. It also saves consulting time for someone to conduct the interviews and synthesize them into a report. (So, it can also save money.)
- The questions cover broad areas, so the final report is a thorough view of how a team is doing on each area of a team model.
- The team report results in numerical scores which can be compared and measured.
- Some people will feel safer being completely honest because there is complete confidentiality.
- The analysis report alone, without follow up the conversation, may be confusing or vague.
- Assessments can be very expensive* (most are $50-125 per team member).
- Most team coaching assessments require training and/or certification* to be able to facilitate them – this requires time and money.
Both interviews and online assessments provide a valuable starting place for all teams who want to improve their ways of working.
*The Better Teams Team Coaching Assessment is the easiest, most affordable team assessment on the market. You don’t have to be certified or break your budget to use this high quality, proven team assessment.
Team Coaches and Facilitators can easily use The Better Teams’ – Team Coaching Assessment to gain insights about a team. The team report aligns with the Better Teams Model as a framework to identify areas to celebrate and opportunities to work on. The report comes with a Facilitator’s Guide to use to unpack the results with the team and identify actions to build a high-performing and happy team.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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