Creating Effective Teams

Creating Effective Teams
“The goal of Creating Effective Teams is to translate what we’ve learned about groups
and teams into straightforward, user-friendly, practical guidelines for members and
leaders. This book also will provide guidance for those who interact with a particular
work group and for those manage them.
Creating Effective Teams Susan A. Wheelan
Chapter 6: Effective Team Leadership
All group members share responsibility for creating an effective Team. Leaders are part of the
process, but are not necessarily a primary part. Group success or failure is the result of many
mutual influences. This view of the creative of effective teams is not as leader-centric. All
members are involved in the creation a group’s unique culture. Leaders alone cannot be held
responsible for group success or failure. Groups are interdependent systems. Although leaders
can help or hinder the process, so can others.
I also want to dispel the myth that leaders must be special people with a tremendous amount of
skill in order to be effective. The average person of goodwill, who is flexible and willing to learn
some basic skills, can be an effective leader. Not all situations require leaders of exceptional
skill. In fact, in many groups situations charismatic leaders may actually inhibit group progress
because of their dominance.
Groups work well when all members actively participate. To be effective, leaders must
understand the work of a group. The social skills needed in different leadership roles also vary.
Leaders need to adjust their leadership style to meet the development needs of the group at a
particular time.
Leadership at Stage 1: Be a Directive and Confident Leader
a) Work to reduce members’ anxiety, fear of rejection and concerns about safety
b) Provide positive feedback
c) Facilitate open discussion of goals, values and tasks
d) Help members feel competent by providing supervision, training & education in taskand process-related activities
e) Set high performance standards and provide guidance as needed
f) Manage the external environment for the group
Leadership at Stage 2: When Members Begin to Demand More Participation in Running
the Group, Slowly Begin to Empower Them to Have It.
a) Don’t take the attacks and challenges personally
b) Act in ways that facilitate open discussions and resolutions of conflicts regarding
values, goals and leadership
Leadership at Stage 3: Involve Members in the Leadership Function
a) Encourage and support members’ efforts to share in leadership functions
b) Encourage the group to make any necessary changes in its structure to facilitate group
productivity, e.g. subgroups
Leadership at Stage 4: Participate as an Expert Member of Your Team
Leaders of State 4 teams can relax a bit. Leaders continue to act as consultants, as
needed. In general, however, they participate along with members in achieving objectives
and team success.
a) Continue to monitor team processes, especially for signs of regression
b) Conduct organizational support reviews regularly
c) Regardless of the stage of your group, be an effective group member