Teamwork and Collaboration
Team Building Questions
Any team wanting to “form up” for the first time or to cohere more strongly can help the process considerably by asking every individual on the team to think about each of the following questions and then try to find a common view in terms of the answers or responses. There are 15 key team building questions that can help guide this process as follows:
- Do we have a clear vision of what this team should achieve (in the short, medium and long term)?
- Do team members know what they are doing in role and goal terms?
- Who are the team’s main suppliers?
- Who are the team’s major customers?
- Are processes for which the team is responsible (individually and collectively) well-understood?
- Has the team got clear values/principles and are they well aligned with individual values?
- Do we have the right people and skills on the team to achieve our goals?
- Are team members sufficiently competent to perform their roles (and how will training be given when not)?
- Are team members multi-skilled and capable of covering for one another?
- Are communication channels at all levels well-designed?
- Do team members know how to ask for help when needed and to collaborate?
- Do team members listen well (to the team leader and each other)?
- Are there clear and positive “rules of engagement” between team members?
- Do we have clear and effective measurement systems for our goals, progress and performance?
- Are team reward and recognition system well designed and executed?
Just as the there are 15 guiding questions to help build a team for a manager of the group, it is important for a team leader to recognize that there are an equal number of questions that individuals may be asking which will inhibit team cohesion if not addressed directly. These are:
- What am I supposed to be doing?
- Who are my customers and what do they want and need of me or the team?
- How do I do what I have been asked to do on this team?
- What am I being asked to perform the assigned task(s) or role on this team?
- What the process for communicating up, down and across this team?
- What will I do if obstacles beyond my control arise?
- What happens when my efforts on this team are unsuccessful
- What happens if I disagree with major decisions on this team?
- Who will help me when I need it (and how)?
- Who determine my work/tasks priorities and how will this be done?
- What will happen when I fail at a task or project?
- What will happen when I succeed at a task or project (or exceed expectations)?
- Where will I get advice, knowledge or training (and how)?
- What happens if I have personal problems?
- What are the rewards or recognition for my best efforts (and are these fair)?
As we can see, many questions on the two lists overlap with one another but if used in combination can help both a given team leader and every team member to progressively build a stronger team.