How to Prevent Teams from Failing

Article

Beck, John D. W.; Yeager, Neil M.   (1996, John D.W. Beck and Neil M. Yeager (ASQC has permission to sell reprints and reproduce the article))   Charter Oak Consulting Group, East Berlin, CT

Quality Progress    Vol. 29    No. 3
QICID: 13061    March 1996    pp. 27-31
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Article Abstract

Successful teamwork relies on the individual responsibilities of each team member and onthe group dynamics of the team itself. The team leader facilitates success by judicious use of leadership styles found in The Leader's Window, as team development passes through four stages. First, a directing style of leadership is used in the forming stage to make team members aware of their mission and goals and the expectations of management. Second, in the focusing stage, the leader uses problem solving to help the team begin implementation. Third, the performing stage is when the developing style empowers team members to fulfill their respective responsibilities. True empowerment is a sequence of giving clear directions; distributing meaningful responsibilities via the delegating style of leadership; supporting team members with the resources they need to make decisions; and acting on team members' recommendations. The fourth stage in team development is leveling, in which it is tempting to seek total team agreement before taking action. Such forced consensus should be replaced by individual team members acting on behalf of the team and by the decision making responsibilities of the team leader.

Keywords

Empowerment,Leadership,Problem solving,Teams


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