You work in IT at a large medical center. Your last job was at a technology consulting firm where you worked on helping medical centers install and maximize the use of proprietary software. You did such a great job for the last client they hired you on a full time basis.
Now you are managing a team that works on similar projects. But something isn’t quite right with your team and you need to figure out what to do quickly.
Read the transcript (below) from the last team meeting, then choose the option that most closely matches your “take” on the situation.
|Person 1:||The new software is so easy to use I don’t think we need a training program for users. It’s all pretty self-evident.|
|Person 2:||People always need training. No training, no productivity in my book.|
|Person 3:||Forget training. It takes too long. Let’s just build an online tutorial and let people figure it out.|
|Person 1:||Really? Do we have to baby these people? The new system is like using text messaging. Kind of obvious. Let’s just provide a welcome message and a few tips.|
|Person 2:||People don’t listen anymore – and we know they don’t read. I say we ask the group’s boss what he thinks would work best for them.|
|Person 3:||Joel is their boss but I don’t think he would help us even if we asked. He thinks it’s our job to make it all work.|
Which of these assessments best describes your take on this team’s skills?
|This team is fine. Members are starting to jell and should have a plan soon. It seems like everyone is contributing. No one is running on and on and team members are trying to get to the bottom line quickly.|
|This team is like most teams – it’s off to a rather disjointed start but with some excellent leadership by the team leader, they can move ahead and develop a good approach.|
|This team is not using basic team skills including building on the ideas of others. It appears people are just throwing out their views without considering what others have offered. You believe spending a few minutes talking about how team members could more effectively listen and build on each other’s ideas would be time well spent.|
|Option:||If you selected this one:|
|Ouch! Bad call! |
You really misread the back and forth. If you re-read the thread, you will recognize that no one is really listening to the other but rather each is throwing something into the pool that is aligned with the topic in some way but not aligned with what the other is saying.
|OK — but not the best choice. |
This implies that the leader alone is responsible for team success. A team leader can help but each team member must be aware of basic techniques needed to communicate and interact effectively and practice these techniques all the time.
|Best choice! |
Take time to talk about the issues, do some coaching, and hold people accountable for acting in appropriate ways. You don’t need formal training. Rather, do some simple research on basic skills and behaviors for teams and introduce the team to each one. Review the skill, technique, or behavior, describe how to do it, and what your expectations are. Then ask each team member to share how they will use what’s been discussed. Thirty to sixty minutes should be sufficient for most teams.