Leadership Tip Sheet: Team Climate

This Leadership Tip Sheet is about team climate issues. The leadership team in any organization is framed against a backdrop of several elements that must be reviewed continuously if a healthy climate is a consideration. The following items are essential elements for a check-up of a team’s functional interactions.

  • Atmosphere — The setting in which the team functions should be measured against benchmarks that assess the stability of the system and whether it is always tinged with chaos or serenity. Neither extreme is the preferred state of being. But too much time spent in one arena or the other can exhaust the participants and dull their individual and collective creativity.
  • Level of Participation — Measuring the engagement of each member of the group in the overall efforts of the team can assist the team to determine who is an interdependent participant or who is a loner or spectator. Although there should never be a goal of making everyone exactly alike there should be some commonality in the eagerness of each to work together for the good of the whole.
  • Focus — Assessment must be ongoing on whether the group has a focus on an agreed-upon priority or whether several priorities are dispersing the time, energy and talents of team and individuals in it.
  • Goal Centeredness — At least annually a leadership team needs to assess how it has done in moving toward fulfillment of its agreed-upon goals. And the team needs to renew or invent a goal for a coming period of time.
  • Listening Skills — The group needs to pause quite often in each official session and several times during a quarter or year to ask itself whether or not the team is listening to one another and to the system that it is serving.
  • Risk Taking — A leadership team can become increasingly effetive if it agrees to take risks in stopping ineffective programs or initiating projects that will usher in change or qualify as progress. In this regard, the willingness of a group to applaud both its victories and its defeats as evidence of having the courage to take risks. This is also a measure of a healthy team.
  • Managing Conflict — The operative word in this item is manage. Most teams waste time and creative possibilities either by avoiding conflict or by existing in an unending state of being conflicted. A group member can assist the maturing of a team by stepping into a tense situation and stating, “There seems to be conflict between some or all of us. I suggest that we reflect and share how each of us collaborated in the tension developing and by stating what we can do to contribute to a reconciliation and resolution that will get us focused on our goal for this time in the project we are working on.”
  • Consensus — Achieving this aspect of group life is difficult because so much of our lifelong training has been devoted to winning rather than cooperating in an interdependent fashion. Invite team members to work on crafting a solution or working toward an outcome that all can support and promote.

Try these effective tips today to improve the climate of your team!

  • Tip #3 — Invite the newest member of your organization to point out at least one way they see that a process, product or project could be improved. Work as quickly as possible to assess and modify the procedure within no more than two weeks.
  • Tip #4 — Work toward efficiency in making certain that part-time employees and occasional but frequent volunteers are kept informed of day-to-day information that the “insider” group has access to on a continuous basis. Strive to avoid surprises relating to personal items about the health of staff members or the fact that the annual staff picnic is being moved to a new and better location.

Did You Know?

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a single village of 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining — that there would be…

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere (North, Central & South America)
8 Africans

52 would be females
48 would be males

70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian

6 people would control 59% of the planet’s wealth (all six would be U.S. citizens)
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near giving birth

only 1 would have a college education
only 1 would own a computer

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