#7 Empower the Effectiveness of Your Team with Process

 

Tasks are what a team does to accomplish its objectives. Process is how the team goes about those tasks. Being an effective team depends as much on team processes as the capabilities of its membership. Process is particularly relevant in team meetings.

Shifting to process requires two steps. We have to notice what is happening on a process level, then we have to find a way to draw our team’s attention to it. By bringing an aspect of process to attention, process can be altered to develop a more effective way of working together. This blog post specifies five task to process shifts that you can facilitate as a team member or team leader.

 

1. Purpose of the meeting

How focused is the team on the meeting’s purpose?

Example: Your team has gathered for a meeting to discuss how to strengthen brand identification in your customers, but you notice that the conversation has drifted into plans for merging two departments.

You could say, “The purpose of the meeting was to address brand identification. I would like to stay with that focus. What do others think?”

 

2. Topics

How well are topics being explored and carried forward?

Example: Your team has gathered for a meeting to discuss how to strengthen brand identification in your customers. You notice that historical means of increasing brand loyalty have been glossed over.

You could say, “Hey, before we move on, I am concerned that we may be missing out on a valuable opportunity to make use of what was learned in the past.”

 

3. Interactions and communication

What is the tone of the interactions and communication between team members?

Example: Your team has gathered for a meeting to discuss how to strengthen brand identification in your customers. You notice that voices are loud and two or three people are frequently speaking at the same time.

You could say, “Voices are loud and people are speaking before others are finished. Free for all discussions sometimes yield creative ideas, but this has gone too far. No one is listening.”

 

4. Individual non-verbal responses

As you observe team members during key interactions, what does their voice quality and body language reveal about what they are thinking?

Example: Your team has gathered for a meeting to discuss how to strengthen brand identification in your customers. You notice that Jennifer appears to be agitated.

You could say, “Jennifer, you are moving around in your chair, I sense you are agitated. What’s up?”

 

5. Team relationships

What do interactions today say about important team capacities such as the degree of trust or the capacity to engage effectively in conflict?

Example: Your team has gathered for a meeting to discuss how to strengthen brand identification in your customers. You notice that there is more warmth in the group than you have felt before.

You could say, “For the first time on this team, today I feel like I am with a group of friends. Am I just projecting this, or do others feel that we have some new cohesiveness?”

 

I hope that you found this overview helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

You may have interest in tracing the development of this blog post. In the previous three posts we looked at team member Fred’s criticism of Stephanie from three angles, each of which could lead to a different response.  Fred’s criticism has been viewed as:

i) an avoidance strategy (attack the other rather than discuss differences)

ii) a change of topic

iii) a task to process shift

All for now, take care.

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