Tools to Diagnose Team Health
- Anatomy: This is the scaffolding or skeleton of a team, "strategic goals, critical priorities, roles and responsibilities of team members, and key success metrics." Anatomy is the component most managers singularly prioritize when hiring and developing their teams -- the roles and responsibilities of individual managers.
- Circulation: The tangible ways teams communicate and collaborate with each other -- particularly critical for teams who are distributed across different regions and timezones. "Do they have common tools and templates that they use to keep each other informed? What is their approach to resolving conflict? How do they strive to create shared reality? Circulation is especially critical if you have a distributed team that is not co-located, because you do not have the informal interaction opportunities at the watercooler, in the car park, during lunch."
- Personality: How the team’s individual “traits” come together to form its culture and behavioral norms. “It’s really about the chemistry between the team members,” says Bahrami. “How do they deal with conflict, for example. How they deal with setbacks, how they make decisions, how they support each other and form a foundation of trust."
Bahrami emphasizes that there is no singular "magic formula" for teams, and that leaders' energies are best spent as diagnosticians who regularly assess the health and effectiveness of their team. To support managers in their role as diagnosticians, Bahrami developed a set of tools for leaders and members to assess vital health signs on a regular basis. "The 'A-Ha!' moment really comes when they see the gap between what their assessment of the team's health is and their team member’s assessment," Bahrami says. "It's the equivalent of someone going for their annual check-up and finding out that their blood sugar has really increased and saying, 'Wow. I had no idea. I thought I was eating well, I was keeping my cholesterol in check.'"
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