Azimuth Check Exercise

Azimuth Check Exercise
Step 1. Working Alone: The following are a set of questions
associated with teamwork. As you read them, reflect on the extent of
agreement/disagreement you have with the statement based on your
experience thus far with your team. Record (write out!) your immediate
reactions and use them to guide your input during your team meeting.
Then for each question assess what specific steps you might suggest to
advance the development of your team. The last two questions are the
most important… use the first 6 to get you thinking!
How well is your team performing? [Consider your part as well as
What are strengths and weaknesses? [If possible review StrengthFinder
results—yours and others.]
What are points of personal satisfaction with your team? [Consider your part as well as others.]
What are points of personal dissatisfaction with your team? [Consider your part as well as others.]
What are the routine roles which our members have? Are those optimal for your team?
How well are our processes for communicating working out?
How is the role of leadership emerging in our team? What changes should we make?
What are the underlying reasons for your team experience—be they positive or negative?
What recommendations for changes in team processes will you suggest to the team?
Step 2. Working as a Team: Your collective task is to engage the team in conversation around
points identified beforehand. Seek to have an open and honest discussion focused on behaviors that
should continue as well those where change would help the team be more effective or that would
improve member satisfaction. The aim is an honest dialogue and making commitments that will be
used by the team during the remainder of your time together. The team-product you are asked to
develop is a description of specific changes/decisions you team made. Be sure that this summary
includes an update of the set of team goals. Finally, think carefully about when and where you will
meet to ensure that you can include time to relax and deepen relationships as well as conducting the
work of your team. You should set aside at least 90 minutes… for this exercise.
Step 3. Working Alone. Develop your personal evaluation of this experience. That may take two
forms which the instructor must clarify. It may simply be added in to your journal. Or, it may take
the form of a 1-page evaluation (single space) of this experience to hand in. In your evaluation
record important things you learned from the discussion—good or bad. Then, most importantly,
summarize what specific steps you personally will take, to improve your experience during the
remaining time you have together as a team. There is no need to be comprehensive—select the 2-3
items that are most noteworthy for you. This is not an easy exercise, but it can help you develop a
very important set of skills for the workplace—TAKE PRIDE ABOUT HOW YOU APPROACH
By the way, what’s the point of the compass, and why do we call this an azimuth check?
The compass is believed to have been invented by the Chinese between 221-206 B.C.(1) and has been used until recently—the GPS is
making it obsolete. It was used help travelers navigate. To use it, travelers first needed to know the direction they wanted to travel.
The compass shown here reflects the dial was turned so that a heading of around 220º could be travelled. To move in that direction,
the compass was held level with the ground so that the magnetized needle could freely spin and the person would continue to follow the
arrow at the top while making sure that the North seeking arrow stayed aligned with 0º on the dial. Walking along, the person
frequently checked their azimuth to stay on course! This exercise allows your team to assess if it too, is on—course!