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Tag Archives: Team Motivation

Are you playing the right position

High performing teams are great, but are you playing the right position?

Are you playing the right positionHave you ever wondered why certain teams seem to work effortlessly, while others lumber along, seemingly moments away from self-imploding? What gives?

One of the most interesting theories is that of team roles: the idea that teams that work together effectively have a balance of team roles. Each member understands their strengths and how they contribute to the team’s skill set. Too many of the same role and there’s destructive competition, and if roles are missing, the team just doesn’t seem to fire.

 

Team Roles Defined

According to Belbin Associates, effective teams have a balance of nine different characteristics.

  1. Resource Investigator – Inquisitive, outgoing, and enthusiastic, the resource investigator explores opportunities. But they may lose enthusiasm once the initial excitement has passed. They may even forget to follow up on a lead or assignment.
  1. Teamworker – Helps the team to gel and complete the work required of them. While noted for their cooperative and diplomatic nature, teamworkers can also seem indecisive and avoid confrontations that may be necessary to achieving their goals.
  1. Coordinator – Coordinators are master delegators. Mature and confident, they identify talent and leverage it for the betterment of the group. But taken too far, they can be seen as manipulative and may even over-delegate the work, leaving themselves little or nothing to do.
  1. Plant­ – Highly creative free-thinkers, plants are good at problem solving in unconventional ways. However, they may even be so concerned with creativity that they forget incidentals and do not communicate effectively.
  1. Monitor Evaluator – Logical and impartial, the monitor evaluator approaches work in a dispassionate way while seeing all options accurately. As great as they are at evaluating the options, the monitor evaluator may be seen as an overly critical employee who is slow to come to a decision. This is generally because they are continuously weighing the options for every decision.
  1. Specialist – Specialists, as their name implies, are experts in their field. Dedicated, single-minded self-starters, they tend to contribute in a very narrow manner, sometimes getting hung up on technicalities. They may also overload you with information that is not necessarily pertinent to the matter at hand.
  1. Shaper – Shapers provide the drive the team needs to keep moving forward without losing focus or momentum. Challenging and dynamic, shapers thrive on pressure but can sometimes offend other people’s feelings. They may even risk becoming aggressive or ill-tempered in an attempt to complete a task or meet a goal or deadline.
  1. Implementer – Able to plan a workable strategy and carry it out with efficiency, implementers are practical and reliable. They are experts at turning ideas into action items but may be slow to respond to new possibilities that lie outside of their plans, even when the new ideas promote positive changes.
  1. Completer Finisher – Most effective at the ends of tasks, completer finishers work to polish the final product and ensure all of the quality standards are met. They are painstakingly conscientious about their work, searching out and correcting errors. However, they may be inclined to undue concern and are reluctant to delegate. Some even may be accused of extremism in their perfectionism.

 

Balance Is The Goal

Even though Belbin has identified nine different characteristics in effective teams, these groups do not need to consist of nine people. Rather, all nine characteristics are represented by the team’s members. In many cases, one person may naturally gravitate toward two or three roles, fill one or two more and prefer to avoid the rest. This allows for smaller teams to work with maximum efficiency as long as all nine characteristics are represented. The goal then becomes balance. If a team is comprised of teamworkers, who tend to be indecisive, it may be difficult for a team to make swift decisions about the direction of their work. Similarly, if a team lacks a completer finisher, the group’s work may lack polish and fail quality control measures.

What role do you find yourself naturally playing on work teams? Is there a characteristic that is missing on your current team?

Do you find yourself playing one or more roles? Are there any that are particularly distasteful to you? By asking these questions first of yourself, then of your teammates, it will quickly become apparent which characteristics are solidly in place, which are missing and which are over-represented in your team dynamic.

You may begin to see why your team is functional or dysfunctional, but moreover it can give you a language to improve and build on your successes.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Google Plus Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

five ways to motivate team

5 Ways to Motivate Your Team for 2017

five ways to motivate teamA lot of employees find that motivation drags most in the weeks after Christmas holidays. To get the new year off to a positive start, you need to have powerful motivation strategies in place. For most people, this doesn’t mean pep talks; when those work at all, their influence wears off pretty quickly. Instead, use these five tested techniques:

1. Listen to the people on your team & tell/show you value them.

The relationship between an employee and their direct manager is the most important factor that influences engagement and motivation. If it is an open and honest relationship, that sets the tone for everything that goes on in the workplace. Listening to the people who work with you is a big part of that. This means listening when they have concerns as well as being open to their ideas. When the people around you feel like they are heard, they feel like they are valued, as well.

2. Learn what motivates each team member.

Some people really thrive on praise and feedback. Others are all about responsibility and freedom to get things done. Still others want a workplace where they feel that work/life balance is prized and protected. Learn what makes everyone you work with tick. By learning how they work and what drives them to do a job well, you can craft an environment that helps them be their best. Learning can come from a combination of closed-door, one on one meetings, surveys and questionnaires and simply observing people in action to see how they work best and what they respond to.

3. Make group goals.

Instead of always working to motivate each team member individually, create goals that everyone can work toward together. Make sure that everyone knows their roles and their responsibilities — remember, when more than one person is responsible for something, that can mean that no one is. Each person needs specific tasks and a way to check them off for accountability.

Goals should be broken down into milestones, short term goals and long term ones. Meet regularly to see where everyone is and what they need for the next steps or the bigger picture. Think about rewards for steps along the way. This combination of short and long term provides some reward for each step while helping keep focus on the larger, long term goal, which can help prevent fatigue. Making it easy for people to see small accomplishments help them drive toward larger ones and helps boost emotional and mental health at work.

4. Give team members responsibility.

People feel happiest at work when they know that they are important to an enterprise’s success. By giving people responsibility and the freedom to complete the work the way they want, it can help them take ownership of what they are doing. Allow different people to take leadership positions at different times. For instance, instead of a manager always leading meetings, ask different individuals on your staff to take charge. This allows different people to shape the discussion, giving you a variety of points of view. And, when this happens, people feel that their contributions are more important and are more likely to feel motivated about making them happen.

5. Show your team the bigger picture.

When people are just tasked with little pieces of the whole goal, their feeling about their importance might feel small, too. There is no value in deciding that information about the larger goals is over someone’s pay grade. Make sure that everyone knows what their contribution means to the success of the whole. Update regularly about how each of their tasks and projects works toward the organization’s bigger success.

This sort of transparency means that people know that the work they are doing means something. It helps them understand the value that they bring to the project. When people understand that, they feel more empowered and invested at work. They will do better work and feel more motivation each day to do it.

Keeping a team motivated is an ongoing task. It’s more than a few meetings or buzzwords. It comes down to a constant dedication to being the sort of leader who brings the best out of people. While that’s a big job, these are a few simple policies and actions to put into place to start. These and other tips to motivate your team can help make 2017 a productive and fulfilling year.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Google Plus Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

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