Six Key Questions You Should Ask Yourselves
The 6 questions align closely to an Impact developed model of team performance and support a robust approach to team development, success, and performance increase that we use with clients around the world. The Impact Team Performance Model (TPM) identifies 6 key domains critical to sustaining performance and helping a team reach its purpose and goals.
Lets take a closer look at each question and explore the Team Performance Model domain that it supports:
Why does this team exist?
This question aims at aligning team members' understanding of their shared Unified Purpose. This domain looks to ensure that the team has reached mutual understanding of the reason the team exists - that consciously and collectively team members are acting towards the same agreed goals and purpose. Even small disparities in individual responses to a question like why does this team exist? have proven to be the root of friction between team members, have led to negative feedback from team stakeholders, and can result in an inability to consistently reach goals.
What are the expectations of the internal and external stakeholders that we serve and support?
This question looks to clarify the team’s External Alignment. External Alignment represents the context in which the team operates. It focuses on establishing a common view of the internal and external challenges that face the team and the business as a whole. Just as no man is an island, no team can operate in isolation of the others that it serves. Other people have expectations of our team and we have our own expectations of others. Understanding these allows us to engage in activity and relationships that maintain the integrity of both the team and the organisation.
What are the written or unwritten rules of engagement that this team follows?
Here we are exploring the Agreed Approach of the team. Agreed Approach represents the extent to which the team consciously recognises and structures interactions and establishes group processes like communication, problem solving, decision making, and generative thinking. Whether written or unwritten, a team with all members understanding the agreed approach under which they operate, will avoid the structural pitfalls that plague less successful teams.
How do we recognise and leverage the diversity of this team?
This question is targeting the capacity to have Quality Conversations, i.e. the ways in which team members communicate, particularly in terms of sharing and building on each other's ideas. This domain asks that we act in good faith on behalf of team diversity, relationships, and respect for individual team members. Teams that do this well seek out, understand and build on their colleagues' views, even when they differ from their own. These teams listen to each other well and are prepared to have difficult conversations should the need arise.
What is our level of trust and commitment to one another?
Trust and commitment are critical cornerstones for Effective Relationships. The Effective Relationships domain explores the attitudes and mindsets that underpin the ways in which team members relate to each other, specifically in terms of trust, openness and honesty. Many teams recognise the importance of relationships and put effort in early during the team’s development – yet establishing, cultivating, and maintaining effective relationships is important throughout the life cycle of the team and is a differentiator in more successful and higher performing teams.
What lessons should the team be learning from past success and/or failure?
Continuously curious teams focused on learning have a High Performance Mindset. The High Performance Mindset domain exists to ensure the evolution and improvement of the team. In this domain team members are fully invested in one another’s collective and individual success and development. Conflict is welcomed and risk-taking encouraged and both are recognised and treated as positive growth opportunities.
Consciously and collectively addressing the six domains of the Impact Team Performance Model will help teams reach greater levels of success and performance.
In an upcoming blog post we’ll be introducing you to Impact’s diagnostic tool for developing team performance the - TPI (Team Performance Inventory). The TPI helps teams identify strengths and opportunities within the Team Performance Model allowing them to build an informed action plan to leverage those strengths and improve challenging domains.