Liverpool Football Club (soccer in the U.S). won the Football Association Cup (FA Cup) – their second trophy this season. In European football this is called winning the double. They have a legitimate chance of winning three (treble) and a long shot at a quadruple.
How do they do it? They work hard on the fundamentals.
In the local church or missions context, the same can be said of high-performing ministry teams: they work hard on the fundamentals. But what about those teams that struggle? What are the signs? The unhealthy behaviors?
I worked with a team that was in distress many, many years ago. They had been suffering for a long time when I arrived on the scene. There were conversations going on behind people’s backs, work that was assumed was getting done but really wasn’t, and resources that were mismanaged. It was–to be blunt–a hot mess! One of the first things I did was meet with individual team members to conduct a full team assessment. I wanted to get a clear picture of:
- What was working
- What was not working
- What needed to change
Over the course of the following weeks and months the picture became clearer, and it was evident what issues needed to be addressed. Now, years later, the team has gone through a significant change and refocused their vision for the future. They are in a much better place. To get there, however, they needed to do some deep work in order to move from where they were to where they wanted to be.
Some teams never make it. Others might limp along.
So how do you know the signs of unhealth within a team?
Here are some telltale signs that warrant attention:
- Lack of vision and direction
- Conflict of values
- Ambiguity of roles
- Unclear ground rules
- Inability to monitor plans
- Closed to new ideas
- Unable to keep clear boundaries
Well before any attempt has been made to build a team’s skills, it is critical to understand the stages through which a typical team will travel over time. A considerable amount of research has been done on the stages of team growth, and experts agree that teams go through four distinct phases: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.
This assessment (which takes around 30 minutes to complete) looks at an individual’s ability to effectively build the team using the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing model, with seven separate categories in all:
- Vision and direction (Forming)
- Value alignment (Forming)
- Role clarity (Storming)
- Setting ground rules (Norming)
- Monitoring systems (Norming)
- Continuous learning (Performing)
- Boundary management (Performing)
A total of 84 questions helps individual team members to determine their overall competence in each of these seven areas.
How healthy is your team? Take the assessment and see if it helps you gain clarity. I would even encourage you to send the assessment to each of your team members to take individually, and then discuss your thoughts afterward.
Author: Jon Warner Publisher: Team Publications © All Rights Reserved