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Choose the right people for the right roles

By Ros Jay
Pearson Education Ltd. 2000 ISBN 0 273 64482 3 150 pages is a business book summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States every week. For more information, please go to

Build A Great Team

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The Big Idea

The job of managing a team - from hiring, selecting, training, building, and keeping enthusiasm up constantly finally becomes a bit easier with these helpful guidelines. This book covers everything from basic motivating, to how to handle people during a crisis. Straightforwardness, a firm resolve, and a huge dose of diplomacy are just some of the things a manager needs to lead and keep the team working like a well-oiled machine. Even the most difficult situation like sacking a team member is played out here, so you know exactly what youre supposed to do. This is a real team how-to manual that is a quick and easy read!

Chapter One: The Team Functions

The 9 Team Roles The Plant Every team has a highly creative, intelligent Plant. This is your ideas person. They prefer to work independently, and are sometimes difficult to work with because they are inherently introverted. Putting too many Plants together may be unproductive because they will all try to compete against each other as to who has the best idea. A Plant may not willingly take on the proposal of another Plant. The Resource Investigator Your resource investigator is the person who has all the right contacts needed for a project. They can build effectively on another persons idea, and needs stimulus from other people. They love pressure and operate well in a crisis. They are relaxed and gregarious in nature. The Coordinator Born with a natural inclination to focus properly on the objectives of the team, the coordinator knows how to communicate effectively. She may have a natural air of authority, and the team members have a genuine respect for her. Coordinators are usually more emotionally mature than the other team members, and are able to extract the skills needed from different team members. Coordinators can easily articulate the collective viewpoint of the team, and while they may not be as creative or intelligent as the others, they do have a strong sense of discipline and control. The Shaper A highly-strung high-energy individual, the Shaper is always jumping into action and easily sees the need for urgency. Coordinators may have to put a brake on

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them and see that Shapers dont hurt others feelings in their impatience to get things done. The Monitor Evaluator These are objective thinkers. They do not conclude without first studying the whole document in detail, and tend to be unemotional and less enthusiastic. They can analyze large quantities of data and draw up a careful assessment of the material. They will go over it in a very thorough manner. The Team Worker This is your supportive, interpersonal diplomat who is usually good-natured and quite popular. They are great at promoting team spirit and know how to iron out conflict. They may be more of adapters than changers. The Implementer The person who does the core work of the team. They break down general plans into smaller, manageable tasks. They are uncomfortable with sudden change, prefer order, and are best at drawing up timetables, budgets, and charts. They are cooperative about fine-tuning their system proposals. The Completer They are very meticulous and double-check everything. They make great proofreaders. They cannot tolerate carelessness in others. They never miss a deadline, and tend to have a hard time delegating tasks because they want to make sure things are done right. The Specialist They are highly professional and show little interest in other peoples work. They are experts in a small field and have dedication to their area of knowledge. They have in-depth understanding of the subject. For the right mix, you need a senior person to perform as Coordinator, one strong Plant, a few other intelligent people but not as clever as the Plant of course, and some glue from the Team Workers, Completers, and Implementers. One person may fit into two or three of these roles, so you can have all nine roles in a team of only three or four people. If you have too many Plants, separate them into different teams. External matters: Coordinator, Plant, Resource Investigator, Shaper

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Internal matters: Implementer, Monitor Evaluator, Team Worker, Completer, Specialist Important things to remember: Separate team members who clash Swap members as you see fit Recruit new members when the workload is heavy

Chapter Two: Motivation

Once you have satisfied a team members basic needs, (a salary that is enough to pay for basic food, shelter, and health care) then you need to go up Maslows hierarchy and satisfy their need for security, belonging, self-esteem and selffulfillment. If you create the right environment, the team will effectively motivate themselves. Some people find filing a relaxing task, while others just seem to want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Each member has different needs when it comes to self-motivation. Looking at the short-term, they may be motivated by a number of different factors such as Being able to go home earlier Getting a task done and out of the way The satisfaction of completing a task The prospect of praise for a job done well Wanting a reputation for always delivering on time

Long-term motivation means you want your team to deliver consistently over time. Short-term motivation requires they have enough enthusiasm and energy to tackle the next project. Long-term motivating factors tend to be more general and more abstract such as Security Money Status Recognition Responsibility Job satisfaction Challenge

Key motivating factors:

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The more your team members understand about their jobs, the reason for them and their value to the whole organization, the more they will be motivated to perform well. Always set clear and achievable targets Reward and celebrate achievements Involve people in everything thats going on

Good leadership guide: When someone makes a mistake, dont criticize him outright. Sit the person down and talk about the circumstances and how it happened, and maybe how it can be avoided in the future. Nobody does bad work on purpose unless they are trying to sabotage your company. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Focus on the positive, and dont dwell so much on the negative things the team member did. Make mistakes a learning experience. Be likeable. If your team members genuinely like you, they will stay around longer, and will want to please you. Be polite. Ask people to do things in a nice and polite way. Treat them like human beings. Be generous. Dont expect people to do things for you if you arent prepared to stick out your own hand to help them.

Techniques to consider for building team spirit: Encourage team members to support each other. If anyone passes an empty desk they should answer the phone, even to just take that persons message. All hands should be on deck when one member needs help before a presentation or meeting. Train the team together. Put different people in charge of different projects. This gives everyone a sense of mutual respect. Give your team confidential information. It makes them feel included in company policy. Treat everyone as part of the team, from the messenger, to the temp worker, to the secretary up to the managers.

Individual rewards: Praise Circulate a memo or email congratulating Alison on a job well done Thanks - A thank-you card with a small present, like theatre tickets, a free lunch, or a three-day weekend for Bob Money Offer a commission on top of the basic salary for the successful account, or a bonus for Jack Status Give Tanya a new job title or promotion

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Responsibility _ Give Aaron a new area of responsibility based on his success on the previous project Freedom Allow Mike to leave the office earlier on a particular day Challenge Focus on how well Jeff performed on one task, maybe he can tackle this next big one and earn an even bigger commission!

Team rewards: Cream cakes all around A team drink after work A team lunch A team outing, picnic, or a trip to see a trade fair/exhibition A team breakfast in the office Redesign the workplace so its brighter and more pleasant to work in Buy more easy chairs for the meeting room and play some nice CDs Buy a better coffee machine or a cold drinks dispenser

Motivating temps and part-timers Pay part-timers the same rate pro rata as you do full-timers Make an effort to see to it everyone knows the temps name and use it often in front of the others Follow the same guidelines about keeping them informed Include them in team activities and rewards Give them bonuses and rewards individually when their performance deserves it If you set a good example, the rest of the team will follow it and treat temps and part-timers with the same respect as the other colleagues.

Motivating a team thats never around How do you build and maintain a team thats always out on calls, and spread around the country? Meet once a week or once a month Stay in touch by mobile phone and email Encourage contact in twos or threes; tell Angela that maybe Brian is the best person to work with on this problem Have a bulletin board in a common area or on the Internet Train as a team Encourage the one or two members who are always on a fixed site to help foster team spirit and keep everybody gelled together

Motivating people to accept difficult or unpopular decisions

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Once youve outlined the case for the new decision, ask the team members for their views on the decision. Listen. Tell them their arguments are valid Offer a compromise Give good reasons why your decision is more cost-effective, or practical, or logical. Never say simply because its better.

Chapter Three: People problems

How do you know someone might be having a personal problem and it is affecting the way he or she works? Drop in productivity Missed deadlines Absenteeism Bad temper, irritability Lack of enthusiasm Poor quality work Negative attitude Time wasting Poor communication with colleagues More quiet or distant than usual

How to deal with it: Set up a private meeting, one-on-one. Dont allow any interruptions. Use a friendly set up with regards to furniture arrangement. Have a low coffee table (with refreshments) between you, and not an intimidating desk. Sit on comfortable chairs and allow him to relax.

Discuss the problem by reassuring them their response is valid. Encourage them to open up by asking open questions, indicate you are really listening and interested, and summarize what their viewpoint is to make sure you understand and they know you do. Admit your own weaknesses. Next Place all possible options or solutions on the table. Offer only facts, not opinions. Provide information on other possible options the person may not be aware of. Finding a solution: Support their decision. Agree on a course of action. Set a review date
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Build A Great Team Let them know your door is always open

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Things to avoid during the talk: Dont try to fill every silence. Let them talk Dont say, I understand because it annoys people in a difficult situation Dont judge Dont give any advice.

Recognize the signs of stress in your team members: Taking work home regularly Failing to take vacation leave Irritability Fatigue Over-critical of others Poor concentration Carrying out tasks in a frantic manner Poor memory Headaches and back pains Apathy Lack of commitment Lack of enjoyment in their work A tendency to catch sickness easily Sudden emotional outbursts

Causes of stress: Too many deadlines, or the deadlines are too tight Frequent interruptions make it impossible to finish a task Long hours Poor performance Heavy workload Isolated working conditions Poor prioritizing Bad working relationships Fear of redundancy Internal conflict Other important points to remember: Follow up counseling session informally Never break a confidence Stick to your word

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Chapter Four: Problem people

You cant change someones personality, but you can make sure they behave properly while on the job. Most common types of problem people: The non-communicative person. Ask open questions that force her to explain what she thinks. The person who doesnt listen. Ask him to repeat what you just said to see if he got it right. The daydreamer. Give him a task to share with someone else so hes constantly on his toes. Dont give him monotonous work. The loner. This person may be more comfortable talking on the phone than face-to-face. Exploit her talent for detailed, independent work on long-term projects. The secretive person. Make requests for information very specific and put it in writing. The sulker. Hear out her complaints, but dont give in just because she seems unhappy. If given the silent treatment, ask a question and wait for the response so she is forced to answer you. The over-sensitive. Never make a critical remark about their work in front of other people. Build up their self-confidence by offering positive comments more than negative ones. The martyr. Dont allow her to take on so much work. Have a private talk and point out your concern for her health, and that she shouldnt stress herself out. The moaner. Before he complains, ask if he needs any help. The pessimist. Ask for specifics on why he thinks the proposal will not work. Remove his fear of failure or risk by relieving him of responsibility. Make it a team responsibility. The prejudiced person. Team up the chauvinist pig with a group of women who know how to handle difficult jobs. Dont reinforce his prejudice with remarks about women drivers, etc.

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The jobsworth type. When asking them to do something thats not in their job description, let them know you are asking them for a favor. Respect them by making it easy for them to say no. The control freak. Sit them down and ask what is the worst possible scenario if this new action goes wrong. Often its really not that bad. The know-it-all. Dont humiliate them in front of others; youll just antagonize them. Give them credit where its due, but make them share it with other team members. The domineering type. They tend to pick on the youngest, weakest, or least experienced one on the team. Stand up for this person if he or she cannot stand up against the domineering one. When the domineering personality tries to shout someone down, stay cool. Dont react. If everyone else ignores him hell soon realize how foolish he looks. The primadonna. Do not respond to this type. If she becomes childish, opt out of the conversation until she is calm and rational. The rowdy type. Give him his own space where he wont bother others. The over-competitive type. Encourage them to beat their own targets. The aggressive type. Stand up to them whenever you need to. The manipulator. Talk openly to bring out what their hidden agenda really is. Dont be too critical, but be friendly and nice. The rule bender. Take disciplinary action or warn them that they will be reported. The buck-passer. Make it clear that taking responsibility means you are responsible no matter who actually does the work, and whether youre there physically or not. Put instructions in writing and be specific.

Chapter Five: Working together

Its important nobody feels they have more than their fair share of work. There should be a team rule that no idea is sacred. Anyone may suggest an alternative. No one should keep information to themselves. Team members should be supportive of each other. Consciously recognize each others feelings. Everyone should be able to clearly state what the team objectives are.

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Resolve conflict by playing mediator. Do not allow anyone out of the room until an agreement has been reached. Arrange a date to review how things are going. Call a meeting to discuss any policy issues Unite the team by focusing on outside threats (the competition) No commitment to the objectives means the member does not deserve to be on the team. Do not tolerate gossip. Confront those who are spreading stories. Be straightforward and people will not feel the need to gossip.

Identifying team stress Symptoms: Lax timekeeping Low quality work standards Long coffee and lunch breaks People use I instead of we when talking Factions, gossip, backbiting, cliques Sulking, snapping, or lack of communication Targets and deadlines are not met Illness and absenteeism Poor or even hostile atmosphere Low trust and cooperation Newspapers always left open on the job ads page To address team stress Call a meeting to clarify objectives Draw up a mission statement to outline team purpose Identify who is bored, overworked or unmotivated Which processes or systems are frustrating to work with? Does the team lack particular necessary skills? Do we lack experience in certain areas? Do we need more training? Do we have any ideas for changing work systems? Find a challenge that will necessitate the whole team pulling together. Try a new product launch or a fun PR event, or redecorating the work place.

Chapter Six: Interviews and team meetings

When choosing a place for the interview, use a private room with a sofa, easy chairs and a coffee table. Make sure there are no interruptions Ask open questions that require more than just a yes or no answer Chat before starting any type of interview

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If this is a performance appraisal, admit your own weaknesses first For team briefings make sure everyone is face-to-face, the team size is between four to fifteen people, run by a leader, is regular (monthly or biweekly) and relevant to the team There are four categories of information on which you brief your team: the team progress reports, announcing policy changes, if any, introducing new people, changes, or departments, and action plans and housekeeping. Encourage questions and comments and note them down If anyone asks you something you dont know, get back to them within two days Summarize key points at the end of the briefing Find something positive to finish up the briefing with, like a birthday announcement or a sales target that was met Give the date of the next meeting so everyone notes it down in their diaries If anyone is absent, brief them yourself when they return

Chapter Seven: Difficult Situations

Key rules that apply in general/during a crisis situation, whether its a public relations disaster or an accident or a change of address Keep everyone informed all the time Assemble the whole team to give information and direction Encourage questions to make everything clear Involve the whole team in key decisions Be available in case someone wants to talk Let them see you are on their side Never lose your sense of humor

Practical matters: All teams must have one qualified first-aider Practice fire drills regularly and other emergency procedures Plan in advance which people are in charge of what during an emergency When bringing in consultants, define clearly why they were asked to help, so people know why they couldnt do it themselves Coping with a serious illness and death: Call everyone together and tell them at once. Be prepared for people to become upset. Let people take time off, never mind the presentation scheduled for today. Allow time for people to make hospital visits, or go to the funeral. Attend the funeral and make sure the organization sends flowers. Give people time to recover and let them feel they can talk openly about it.
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Build A Great Team HIV Affairs

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If anyone of your team members is diagnosed as seriously ill, let them decide if they want to keep it quiet or will tell the others in due time.

For members who are uncomfortable about working closely with someone who is HIV+, give them literature to read so they understand better about the disease Treat the HIV+ team member just like any other. There will just be some allowance for sick days and doctors appointments. Do not attempt to turn prejudiced people into unprejudiced people, simply ask them to behave like unprejudiced people while theyre at work.

Generally with office affairs, its really none of your business. But when extra-marital affairs get in the way of business, its time to have a private talk with the pair involved, but one person at a time. Send one off on a business trip, to separate the pair temporarily. If the relationship is strained and people are taking sides, maybe one will ask for a transfer eventually

Chapter Eight: Where do we go from here?

Expanding the team Keep the original team together and create a new one to operate alongside it. Separate people who have not been working well together Let two or more teams share one coffee machine or photocopier, this way they bond socially Organize plenty of team events, exhibition stand staffing, lunchtime drinks, etc Treat the team as one unit when it comes to rewards and recognition Make sure some people have a primary and secondary team, say Robin is part of the presentation team but since its a one-off thing, his full-time role is on the customer relations team with Pat and Jane Give as many people as you can an opportunity to lead a team group

Remember, a good team leader can never relax; and when it comes to recognition, he is happiest sharing the credit for good work with the rest of the team. There is no greater reward than the privilege of being part of a great team and the satisfaction of having played a vital role in building it.

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