The Team Building Without Time Wasting template provides simple steps that will encourage team members to focus on self-improvement in order to function more effectively as part of their wider team. This template was created by the world-renowned leadership expert and coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.
With the rise in technology leading to rapid changes in our working environments and the way we consume things, the importance of growing strong and resourceful teams is more paramount than ever before. It has also resulted in a shift in the nature and dynamics of how leaders and teams operate. With the traditional, hierarchical school of leadership diminishing, leaders of today are finding themselves part of many different types of teams. No longer are teams bound to the office, but sometimes split remotely across different countries. It’s therefore important for team members to band together and communicate effectively in order to achieve their business goals.
This 14 step process provides teams and leaders with tasks that will help them to navigate a successful team-building process that will ultimately save them from wasting time in the long run.
Companies are now having to continuously adapt to a rapidly changing working environment. The dilemma that leaders face today is that the need to build effective teams is increasing; however, the time available to build these teams is often decreasing. With limited resources, this has become a common challenge that many managers need to overcome.
This process is invaluable for teams as it is highly focused, includes disciplined feedback and follow-up, and it allows individual team members to focus on self-improvement.
Before getting started with a team-building process, it is important to determine whether your team feels that the process is important and necessary. Many teams function differently – whereas some teams conduct a lot of collaborative work, other teams may simply report into their line manager and have little to do with the other members of their team. However, if your entire team is behind the process, you will have much more success in pulling together their collective efforts for a successful outcome.
In this template, each step is listed as a category with the action you need to complete listed as a task. Add the relevant team members to each task so you can clearly see who is working on what. You will also find any other relevant templates that will help you at each stage attached to the relevant task.
To access the template, sign up to Ayoa. Once you've signed up, navigate to the homepage to create a new whiteboard, mind map or task board and choose this template from the library.
Begin by asking all members of the team to confidentially record their individual answers to the following two questions on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being ideal):
How well are we doing in terms of working together as a team?
How well do we need to be doing in terms of working together as a team?
Have a team member analyze the results to the questions and discuss the results with your team, being sensitive about confidentiality. In the template, assign the individual responsible for calculating the results to the task under the STEP 2 category. If your team members believe that the gap between current effectiveness and desired effectiveness indicates the need for team building, proceed to the next step in the process. Often, teams find that there is always room for improvement and that it’s equally important as it is needed.
Ask your team members the following question:
“If every team member could change two key behaviors that would help us close the gap between where we are and where we want to be, which two behaviors we all should try to change?”
Have each team member record their answers on a mind map in Ayoa, where everyone can contribute and build on their ideas collectively. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, try using our Reverse Brainstorming Canvas template to help spark different suggestions. When carrying out this exercise, be sure to discuss behaviors that need improvement and not people.
Next, have each team member prioritize all of their behaviors. You may find that many of the answers will be quite similar. Use our Impact Effort Matrix templateto capture these priorities and help determine the level of impact vs effort that is required for each one. Then use the consensus to determine the most important behavior the team needs to change.
Have each team member conduct ‘feedforward’ with each of the other team members. Feedforward (as opposed to ‘feedback’) is designed to focus on the future, whereas feedback typically focuses on past behavior. Feedback, as a result, can then fall into the trap of being limited and static, as opposed to expansive and dynamic – which is where feedforward comes into play. Use our Feedforward template to help you get started.
When conducting this exercise, encourage your team to ask their colleagues for ideas on individual behavior they feel could help ‘close the gap’ between ‘where we are’ and ‘where we want to be’. Be sure to focus on the future when suggesting ideas, rather than issues from the past.
Have each team member review their suggested behavioral changes and choose the one they feel to be the most important and will have the most positive difference. Ask each team member to use our Impact Effort Matrix template to choose their answer. Once this is done, ask all team members to then announce their selected behavior to the rest of the team.
Encourage all team members to ask for monthly feedforward from all other members of the team on the following three key issues:
The one key team-wide behavior chosen by the group in step four.
The one key personal behavior chosen by the individual in step six.
Their overall effective behavior as a team member.
Keep this step brief, simple, focused and positive, and one you can easily return to each month.
Conduct a confidential, mini-survey follow-up process after approximately six months. Use my Team Building Without Time Wasting Follow-Up Survey template to capture the answers from your team. Each team member will then receive confidential feedback from the rest of the team on their perceived change in effectiveness. This survey includes the one team-wide behavioral item, the one personal behavioral item, and the overall team member item. A final question can gage the level of follow-up, so that each team member can see the connection between their level of follow-up and their increased effectiveness.
Next, calculate the results for each individual (on all items) and calculate the summary results for all members of the team (on the common team items). Make sure that each team member receives confidential feedback that indicates the degree to which their colleagues see their increased effectiveness in demonstrating the desired behaviors.
Research has shown that regular follow-up can result in boosting individuals’ performance towards their goals. Conducting this exercise will help to keep your team motivated and validate the importance of continually reviewing your progress as a team.
In a team meeting, have each team member discuss their key learnings from the process and any further suggestions. Set the date of the meeting as the due date on the task in the template and assign all team members so they can stay informed. Use our Meeting Agenda template to plan this meeting in advance, which you can share with your team prior to the meeting so they have time to prepare. Add this agenda to the related task in the template, so your whole team can access it with ease. This team meeting is also a good opportunity to complete another round of feedforward – use our Feedforward template to kick things off.
Next, review the summary results with your team. As part of a secondary team meeting, facilitate a discussion on how the team is doing in terms of increasing their effectiveness in the key behaviors that were selected. Provide positive recognition and encourage continued follow-up to help your team stay focused on improving.
Have every team member conduct brief, monthly ‘progress report’ sessions with each other member of the team. Re-administer the mini-survey using the Team Building Without Time Wasting Follow-Up Survey template eight months after the beginning of the process. Remember to keep this positive, simple, focused and fast!
Conduct a summary session with your team twelve months after the beginning of the process. Review the results of the final mini-survey and ask each team member to rate the team’s effectiveness on ‘where we are’ vs ‘where we need to be’ in terms of working together as a team. You can then compare the answers to this with the original ratings gathered at the start of the process. Remember to keep providing positive recognition and reinforcement for any improvement.
Finally, ask each member of your team if they believe that more work on team-building is needed in the upcoming year and if it will be a good use of time. From the feedback you receive, either continue the process or declare victory and work on something new!