What's your team ready for?
October 30, 2005
Is your group ready to take on the most difficult team challenge you have? Are they really going to “get” the advanced distinction or model you have to share with them?
As a team leader or teamwork coach, you need to deliver a message that is within reach of your team. If the message is too far out it will get lost.
Think of a six-year-old in first grade. If you introduce math to him by starting off with advanced calculus, it’s highly likely he will be lost. The six-year-old just isn’t ready for it.
If a group operates at a level 1 (low) and all your material is level 10 then the group will likely have difficulty getting your message. They may only be able to make the jump to level 3 or 4 and then have to sit with that for a month or two before they are ready for the next jump to level 6 or 7.
How can you determine where the group is along their path of development so you can design your training to match their growth needs?
First thing, and this is important, is wherever the group is along their path, its perfect AND they can choose at anytime to evolve/progress/move forward. Healthy teams enjoy the challenge and the rewards of evolving.
There are several assessments I use to determine where a group is along their path of development and the one I want to share with you now is called the "Path of Development" (clever name, huh?). This assessment was originally created for an individual however it also works for teams.
As you’ll see, there are six stages of development:
1. Restoration Stage
2. Personal Foundation Stage
3. Adult Stage
4. Attraction Stage
5. Fulfillment Stage
6. Legacy Stage (the most advanced stage)
The length of time a team has been together does not necessarily reflect where they are along their path of development. There are many well-established teams that are at the Personal Foundation Stage (and may remain there for the life of the team).
One way to determine the stage of the team is to administer the assessment to all the team members. Compile the data from all of the individual assessments and average the scores and you’ll get a clear sense of where the team is along their path of development.
If your content is designed for a team at the Legacy Stage but the team is actually at the Restoration Stage then you’ve got problems. Conversely, if your material is designed for teams at the Restoration Stage and you are trying to sell it to a team at the Legacy Stage then you’ve got problems. Knowing where the team is along their path of development will help you design your training event to meet the needs of the team.
Moving along the Path of Development takes dedication from the team and the team leader. It’s not possible to move quickly along this path just like it’s not possible to grow corn quickly. A short (1-3 day) workshop is only the beginning. The team must commit to a long-term (6 months to 12 months) plan, which involves team and individual coaching most of which is delivered via telephone. The coaching program is designed to help the team members make significant progress along the path – and this is important – they progress together. As the individuals progress so will the team as a whole. The benefits to this approach are remarkable, both for the individual and the team.
If you lead a team and you want to find out more about my team coaching program send me an email and we can schedule a time to talk.