Section 6: Maintaining your team

Section 6: Maintaining your team

“Effective communication … Embracing diversity … Staying ahead of team conflict”
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Summaries

  • Section 6: Maintaining your team > Effective communication > The importance of listening
  • Section 6: Maintaining your team > Embracing diversity > Recognising diversity
  • Section 6: Maintaining your team > Staying ahead of team conflict > Staying Ahead of Team Conflict

Section 6: Maintaining your team > Effective communication > The importance of listening

  • As you can imagine, it’s really important that we mentor and facilitate these teams and help them identify and deal with dysfunction so that they can develop the necessary team skills in order to achieve the other learning objectives of the course.
  • To support this number of students I need a teaching team of around 70 and they need training so I give a two hour workshop on the subject of facilitating teams so that they can support our student teams.
  • Thankfully, I did listen and now my workshops contain this aspect, and this course here today does as well.

Section 6: Maintaining your team > Embracing diversity > Recognising diversity

  • After a while I asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’ “They were surprised. They told me, ‘David, you need to jump in. We were wondering why you weren’t jumping in. ‘So I started to jump in, and everything was fine.” Wolf concluded: “When you understand these cultural differences, they don’t make any difference anymore. But they do make a difference until you understand them.” Consider another example.
  • In China, crickets are thought to be lucky and kept in wooden cages as pets.
  • In Northern Thailand, the cricket is thought to be a delicacy and is served curried or roasted.
  • We can see that without awareness cultural differences can lead to poor outcomes, disharmony and, potentially, divisiveness that can spill over into much larger issues that can endanger the entire project.
  • Diversity is not just cultural differences it can be a diversity of experiences.
  • Third, develop an awareness of the general cultural traits of those with whom you’re working – but remember, when we generalise we’re stereotyping.
  • Take the time to understand who your team members are, what they value and how they like to approach the work that they do.
  • Maybe think about your cultural background, your values and how you approach a task.
  • How might your traits and qualities be affecting others? Maximise the opportunities that diversity creates.

Section 6: Maintaining your team > Staying ahead of team conflict > Staying Ahead of Team Conflict

  • So you’ve set up your team, agreed rules, you’ve established clear aims, and are looking forward to getting on to the tasks that lie ahead. This is going to be enjoyable and all that’s necessary for success is for everyone to stick to the plan, right? Well maybe.
  • So what do you need to do? What can you do? Monitor the team, run regular diagnostics, ask questions often, and hopefully you can proactively ensure team dysfunction is minimised.
  • If these sorts of questions are asked as part of each meeting they become a part of the team’s processes and are much less confrontational.
  • Answering these questions honestly and openly establishes an air of trust within the team and this is essential.
  • Whatever you’ve noticed you should try and call the situation early before it’s irreparable and/or has a negative effect on the team.
  • You’ll need to read the situation and decide whether you take them both for coffee, whether you suggest they go for coffee and discuss the issue, or whether you raise it with the whole team present.
  • Then – respectfully – and if I haven’t emphasised this before, I need to do it now – you need to work out mutually agreeable strategies to get the team and its members around the potential problem or problems.

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