(This is the final part of a three-part presentation on Team Building and
"Nobody's perfect, but a team can be" (Meredith Belbin)
graphic was produced by Stephen Bray© to illustrate the principle of Teamwork as
applied to the production of Nurturing Potential
Click on the thumbnail for the
And, if you need reminding of what
transpired in parts I and II, the links are here:
NOW PLEASE CONTINUE
YOU MAY BE A GROUP, BUT ARE YOU A TEAM
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So, having laid the foundations for the establishment of a successful team, how
to bring it together, how to formulate roles, how to identify strengths and
weaknesses, how to establish objectives, make decisions, allocate tasks and
consider potential, let's see what we now have, and where we are going with what
In the previous part, we determined how to produce team leaders and recognise
their strengths and role, and also examined the potential of the individual
members when acting together as a team.
In most areas of human interaction, and teams are no exception, there are
usually three types of people who can be identified: those who are not
particularly concerned about what is happening, those who have some concern, but
prefer to leave it to others to make the first move, and those who step up to
the plate and make things happen. They may be classified as Inactive,
Reactive or Proactive.
If you want to maximise the effectiveness of the entire team, you need to learn
how to use each of these types. It may seem that the Inactive member has
no role to play, but there are always situations that will benefit from the
addition of further numbers. The important thing is to find some way to
motivate such individuals, to find a role that they can fill, and to find a
formula whereby pressure can be applied - usually by other members of the team -
to appeal to the individual's inherent desire for group acceptance. The
other two types will rarely need encouragement, but it is useful to identify
which of the two positions they occupy. The proactive member should, by
and large, be allowed free rein, and the reactive member encouraged to follow
Now some final observations:
In order that the team remains focused and committed,
1. It is important that the objectives of the team remain consistently in
view and not allowed to become less important than the issues developing out of
2. It is important that the responsibilities allocated to individual
members be adhered to and protected from encroachment by other members.
3. Both short-term and long-term goals need to be maintained.
4. Trust must also be maintained. The leader has to follow through
with established commitments to members, and the members have to maintain
respect for the commitments and obligations of their colleagues.
5. The achievements of team members need to be rewarded, even if the
reward is merely that of recognition; failures by team members need to be aired
6. Any conflicts between team members, or between a team leader and
members of the team, must be resolved without delay - and openly so that all may
see and approve the resolution.
7. Established lines of communication need to be maintained.
Additionally it is important that informal communication be maintained since
this is often where many problems are resolved.
8. There should be regular brainstorming and mind-mapping sessions.
9. Targets that have been set, and objectives that have been identified,
need to be regularly discussed and considered in the light of their continued
relevance. As situations develop, it may also be necessary to reframe
and/or refine targets and objectives.
10. Mobility within and outside the team should be encouraged. Individual
team members may gain advantage from change of roles and the efficacy of the
team as a whole will benefit.
11. And do not forget the Tuckman equation - where you came from, where you are,
and how you got here:
Forming: group members get to know each other,
establishing guidelines, goals and processes, assessing and breaking
down the task at hand
Storming: individuals assert themselves and develop
preferences, with arguments or disagreements potentially arising
about how to proceed
Norming: work begins in a more organised and
coordinated manner, rules and processes are established and progress
Performing: the team as a whole focuses entirely on
the task and its completion
"The vision that holds a team together does not
end with the task in hand. Consider the future of the team both as a group
and as individuals, as the career progress of each member is affected by their
experience and success within the team." [Essential
Manager's Manual - see bibliography below]
Quality: Change Through Teamwork published by Century Business 1992 for
The Sunday Times, by Rani Chaudhry-Lawton, Richard Lawton, Karen Murphy
and Angela Terry.
Management Teams (Why they succeed or fail), 1961, by R. Matthew Belbin
Team Roles at Work by R. Matthew Belbin
Essential Manager's Manual by Robert Heller and Tim Hindle, Published by
Dorling Kindersley, 1998