One of the most important tasks of a leader is to make the best use of the capacity of the team so that all its members will work together to deliver.
This means clarifying the team's purpose and goals; ensuring that all staff work well together; building commitment and self-confidence; strengthening the team's collective skills and approach; removing externally imposed obstacles; and creating opportunities for staff members to develop skills and competencies.
Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.
Match the tool to the task
- Invest time and effort in developing your purpose statement. Use Setting team purpose to agree a purpose that works for your team as individuals and as a collective.
- Use the Team effectiveness diagnostic to assess the effectiveness of your team and identify team dimensions that need to be improved to increase effectiveness.
- With the Team action plan, develop an agreed set of actions that you and your staff can take to become a more effective team.
- What is a team? What is a group? Read About teams to find out more and help you make better decisions about your team.
- Use Motivating for engagement to understand what you can do to build engagement and motivate your staff members.
Related policies and links
- First Among Equals: How to manage a Group of Professionals, Patrick J McKenna & David H Maister (2005).
Hints and tips for conversations
- Roles and responsibilities. Every staff member needs to know their tasks and how their work will contribute to the overall goals.
- Work processes. You don't need a notebook full of procedures, but agree on how to carry out the basics, such as decision-making or communicating.
- Look for ideas everywhere. Don't assume you know where all the new and creative ideas will come from. Involve people on projects not because of their titles, but based on their ability to contribute.
- Encourage openness. Create a safe environment where your people know they can - and should - think, act, and speak with reason. Have a high tolerance for mistakes so people aren't afraid to take risks.
- Challenge them to get better. Offer opportunities for people to stretch their thinking and behavior. Set the expectation that everyone, including you, should improve their skills.
Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department