Strategy to give our best

Breakthrough performance by a project team demands close collaboration and teamwork. Teamwork that produces outstanding results is an art and skill wherein team members are able to design a working process wherein individual strengths are brought out and harnessed and weaknesses are managed.

Here are some strategies to enable giving the best in a team:

  1. Enabling greater Team Role contribution:
    If the presence of the Team Role contributions is key to a team’s success, then enabling team members to make these contributions becomes the responsibility of every team member. Eg: A process step requires that activities are completed meticulously, in time and with perfection. For team member A who is a Completer Finisher (CF) to be able to contribute the above behaviours, it becomes important that he also gets support from the rest of the team. The team on their part then can make clear the nature of the priorities and the deadlines so that team member A is spending his energies on the aspects wherein the CF behaviour is required the most. Also keeping in mind that CFs always adhere to deadlines and with the added internal drive for perfection, it will truly enable team member A to function effectively if the team does not set unrealistic deadlines.
    For insights on what you can do and what you should avoid to enable your colleagues to play their Team Role to better effect, refer to annexure ‘Dealing with Different People’

  3. Deploying your manageable role:
    There are situations wherein as a manager, one may be required to make contributions that are not part of one’s preferred Team Roles. Eg: a situation where a senior colleague needs to be dealt with tact and sensitivity. If one’s top Team Roles are largely action roles, then behaving in a way that shows unilateral focus on the task with little or no regard for the sensitivity of the person will not be helpful. In such situations, a shift in Team Roles is needed. Adopting a manageable role will need a conscious sense of self-discipline.
    How can one effectively deploy one’s manageable roles?

    • Keep in mind what is the outcome you need. Eg: in the above example, one may need the colleague to know that he is being listened to and getting his ‘buy in’ is crucial. Hence keeping this outcome in mind, one is better able to focus one’s attention and adopt the manageable Team Role that will enable this outcome.
    • Be aware of the time period for which you need to play the role so that you are aware that it is manageable and don’t get worked up. Playing a manageable role can be stressful because it requires conscious effort. Being aware that some discomfort is part of this exercise and that you are making the TR contributions for a limited time, can help one focus on giving one’s best and effectively manage the accompanying stress.
    • Ask another for feedback. This is crucial. Ask your team members to give you feedback on how you played your manageable role. This will go a long way in you polishing the contributions you can make whenever you have to adopt your manageable role. Since team members are aware that you are playing a manageable role, there is also openness in providing feedback. Asking others for feedback also encourages others to make conscious efforts to polish their own Team Roles.

  5. Delegating:
    As a manager, delegating effectively becomes an important skill. It is essential to choose well what to delegate and what to keep, so as to ensure a good output. It is important to delegate in a field where your strength is lacking- processes that require your least preferred roles. By elegating work associated with certain Team Roles, you can essentially give responsibility over those Team Roles to others, yet retaining the interactive relationship and communication.
    When delegating:

    • You could consider someone who is suitable (has the aptitude, interest, requisite
      Team Roles) but is barely eligible.
    • Eligibility refers to qualifications, past experience.
    • If the person is barely eligible but highly suitable in terms of Team Roles, investing in bringing that person to the required level of functional knowledge is highly recommended. This raises commitment, engagement of person and effectiveness of end result.

Action Points for Self: