I am often in conversation with people I coach where the person is focused on action. I hear things like…
- I am experiencing turnover, what can I do to stop or reduce it?
- Not sure if my people feel valued or are contributing to their full potential?
- We have a diverse group, wondering how do I get them to bond and behave like a team?
Much has been written including various techniques to answer these questions. While these are important questions, and I am sure techniques for monitoring and evaluating these challenges are valuable, for me, it is difficult to address these issues without a pause. For me, asking these questions is starting in the middle rather than starting at the beginning.
If we were to start at the beginning, these are questions I would ask:
- What is the purpose of this team or workgroup?
- What do I as the leader expect, what is my vision of success?
- Do I and the team have a shared vision of success?
Once these questions are answered, then we can begin to address the questions above. For example,
- Does each member of the team understand and support the team purpose?
- Does the team feel ownership for the project or work effort?
- Did the people who exited fit the team purpose? If so, did they understand it?
- Do the team members need each other to succeed, or are they actually a workgroup with individual expectations?
There are many more questions to add to the second list, and the answers only become useful when we begin at the very beginning.