At Pinnacle Performance we are dedicated to ensuring we help; teams and organisations to achieve their goals. These articles will give you the knowledge you need to develop sustainable and winning teams.

These articles will be particularly helpful for; Team Members, Team Leaders and owners of businesses who want to improve their skill set. 

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Click on the links below to find out information on the following areas:


 How To Choose The Right Leadership Style

Check Sheet To Assess Your Leadership Of A Task 

How To Achieve A Consensus To Develop Team Working

Check Sheet To Assess Your Leadership Of A Task 


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1. Summarise what team achieved in terms of:

Aims

Working cohesively

How team performs during tasks


2. How did you perform as a leader?

What was the feedback from team?

What were your own perceptions?

What areas do you need to develop further?

What would you do differently next time?

3. In leading the team did you:

Brief the team?

Check understanding of roles and aim?

Allocate roles?

Involve everyone in plan?

Execute plan successfully?

Ensure ongoing quality control of performance and safety?

Achieve the aim?

Attempt the task utilising all the team

De-brief the team?

Review and evaluate team performance?

5. Evaluate (gather information) to determine whether you were successful by:

Personal observation

Team observation

Customer observation

4. Questions to ask your team:

Were you all clear about aim?

Was everyone clear of their role?

Were you successful in task?

Did everyone contribute in task?

Did open communication occur?

What did the team do well?

What were the strengths and weaknesses?

What did not go well? – How did the team solve this?

How could the task be done differently next time? 

How To Achieve A Consensus To Develop Team Working 

In my experience when a company commits to developing a teambuilding initiative that is properly resourced there is very little resistance to the idea.  Most teams jump at the chance for a day out of the office or a chance to do something different for half of the day.

Resistance can occur however, in the following circumstances:

  •      When teams are not consulted about the reasons for teambuilding. 
  •       Where a team member has work piling up as a result of attending the teambuilding event. 
  •        Where development activities are not properly resourced.
  •       When previous events have been perceived as having little value or where changes proposed have had little effect on the way the team operates.

The challenge then is to ensure any teambuilding process is; agreed by the team, resourced adequately, relevant to the workplace and where any benefits are identified the organization is committed to ensuring they are transferred to the workplace.

My recommendation would be to fully consult the team and gain consensus prior any teambuilding initiative. Use this model to help you achieve team consensus.

Gather the team together: To discuss the possibility of developing teams.  During this meeting present a full and honest explanation of the following points:

Why the organization want to develop teams explaining the pressures the organization is facing.  Consider how the possible benefits of teams will alleviate the pressures.  Explore how to improve everyone’s working lives by developing the teamwork skills of the group.  

“Encourage everyone to demand and expect a better work life”

Check article  - benefits of teams.  This will help you communicate the benefits and costs of developing teams.

Explain what the stages of team development might be and how long the process could take.  Check article  - stages of team development

State what the responsibilities of the organization, team leader and team will be.  Check article – responsibilities of the organization in building teams.

State what other options were open to the organization, the reasons why team development is been considered and the consequences if this fails.

State the expected costs that the organization is willing to incur and repeat the expected benefits to the team and organization of developing teams.

Proposal: Present a formal recommendation to the team that together you move towards team development. State that the decision must be a working majority above 75% for you to go ahead.

Call for consensus: Calls for consensus on the proposal. Members of the team must actively state their support or objection of the proposal.  Present the following choices to the team:

Support " I agree and support the teambuilding initiative."

Reservations 'I would like to think about this further."

Blocking "I do not agree and will not support this”

If between 99 and 75% are in agreement you have a working majority with which to go ahead.

Address concerns: If consensus is not achieved, ask each dissenter to present their concerns on the proposal, aim to discuss and mitigate the problem for the individual concerned.

Offer a final call for consensus: After another attempt at generate agreement, the team can then apply its final decision.

I have found that as long as teams are given a full and honest understanding of why team development is necessary and given the choice then consensus is more assured. If you have been successful, the majority of the team will want to start the development process, If not revisit this as conditions change and group work becomes less beneficial.

How To Choose The Right Leadership Style

 

Leadership Styles - Choosing the Right Style for the Situation

There are many ways to lead people and no one style should be chosen over others, in this article, I will look at the common leadership styles and suggest situations where these styles may be effective.

Transactional Leadership

Team members agree to obey their leader when they accept a job in return for pay. However, if their work doesn't meet the standard expected the leader has a right to "punish". Input is allowed to improve processes but this has to be agreed and sanctioned by the leader.

Benefits

Clarifies the leaders role and responsibilities of workers. This simple and fair approach judges team members on performance, good for members who are motivated by achievement linked to rewards.

Weakness

Poor job satisfaction, little room for creative work.

Autocratic Leadership

When the above style is taken to the extreme leaders have total power over their people. Staff and team members have no opportunity to make suggestions.

Benefits

Clarifies the leaders role and responsibilities of workers. This simple and fair approach judges team members on performance, good for members who are motivated by pleasing people and carrying out clear tasks. The style is efficient, decisions are made quickly, useful in crisis or in basic / initial training.

Weakness

Poor job satisfaction, does not use the full intellectual capacity of the team members and little room for flexibility or creative work. Over longer time periods most people resent being treated this way.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic leaders work "by the book." They follow rules rigorously, and ensure that their people follow procedures precisely.

Benefits

This is an appropriate leadership style for: work involving serious safety risks or where routine tasks are a significant part of the work process. Clarifies leaders role and responsibilities of workers. This simple and fair approach judges team members on performance, good for members who are motivated by pleasing people and carrying out clear tasks. The style is efficient, decisions are made quickly.

Weakness

Poor job satisfaction, does not use the full intellectual capacity of the team members and little room for flexibility or creative work. Over longer time periods most people resent being not consulted how to do the job.

Charismatic / Transformational Leadership

Charismatic leaders inspire enthusiasm in teams by motivating, creating excitement and asking teams to commit the action the leader requires. Charismatic leaders are often focused on personal or goals.

Transformational leaders have similar approaches but they are focused on their teams and organization goals rather than personal goals.

Benefits

Both leadership styles are best used for: changing the status quo and motivating teams to try different directions or practices. The styles are efficient, decisions are made quickly.Which leads to high productivity and engagement from teams. The leader's enthusiasm is passed onto the team. Transformational leaders are best used to drive new initiatives.

Weakness

Charismatic leaders is that they can focus on personal rather than team goals. Charismatic leaders are what defines the success of this approach if the leader is absent the drive is lost and teams may not be able to pick up the leadership reins. May need to be supported by "detail people."

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leaders make all final decisions, but invite team members in the ideas and decision-making. They encourage creativity and insist on involvement.

Benefits

Team members have high job satisfaction and are more productive because they are expected to be more involved in generating ideas. This style helps develop people's skills. Team members feel motivated to work hard when they are motivated by increased involvement in task. The approach can be most suitable when team work is needed to develop numbers of options to increase quality or success of the task.

Weakness

Because participation takes time to field everyones views, this approach can be slow. Some team members might not have the knowledge or expertise to be effective. Some team members want to just do the job not be involved in generating ideas.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

This French phrase means "leave it be," and it describes leaders leaving their teams to work on their own.
Laissez-faire leaders give their teams complete freedom to do their work and set their own deadlines. They provide team support, deadlines, resources and advice. To be effective the leader should monitor performance and feedback results regularly.

Benefits

Giving team members so much autonomy and freedom can lead to high job satisfaction and increased productivity. It is most effective when individual team members are experienced, require high levels of autonomy and are highly skilled and motivated.

Weakness

The downside is that it can be abused if team members don't have the motivation to do their work effectively. Some individuals perceive this as a weak leadership style.

Task-Oriented Leadership

Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done over other factors such as relationships. Planning, organisation and monitoring feature heavily in this style.

Benefits

This style ensures that deadlines and quality standards are met and is useful for team members who don't manage their time well.

Weakness

Because task is valued over other factors the style can cause motivation and retention problems.

People-Oriented Leadership

The opposite of task with people-oriented leadership, leaders are totally focused on the welfare of the team supporting, and developing the people on their teams. This style encourages good teamwork and is useful during further training courses and customer focused businesses. Leaders try to be approachable, pay attention to the team needs, and provide help and advice when requested.

Benefits

Team members have high job satisfaction because they are supported and valued. The style creates good place to work. Team are often more productive and willing to take risks, because they know that the leader will provide support and encouragement.

Weakness.

Some leaders may inadvertently put the development of their team above the achievement of tasks.

The key point to remember is there are lots of different styles of leadership, each with its own characteristics and impact on your team. Effective Leadership is about not operating in a fixed style but adapting your style to fit; a situation, group or individual characteristics.

I hope you have found this brief insight into the leadership styles. If you want to learn more about my approach to using leadership styles effectively my e- book “Effective Team Leadership Skills” is available for download.