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The Task of Building a Team

Stages of Team Development

In 1965, Dr. Bruce Tuckman created a model to describe group development. Many have “renamed” the stages of development over the years, but essentially the same descriptions of the challenges and the necessary tasks carry through today. We have chosen to work within the original descriptions for the sake of consistency. The stages are:







The start-up stage is called Forming. Group members get acquainted, begin to build trust, and check out the leader’s ability to manage the group. There is mix of excitement, optimism, and fear as the group begins to create a plan for achieving the potential of the group.

Tasks for This Stage

  • Get acquainted and build relationships
  • Agree on a common purpose that describes what they will do.
  • Agree on how they will do that work.
  • Establish goals, roles, and procedures.


The storming stage can produce three very different groups:

  • Passive-Aggressive Group—these are the unhappy, seething, uncooperative, no-progress groups. Group members are often individuals moving alone toward unclear goals. They […]
By |January 19th, 2012|Comments Off on The Task of Building a Team

Are You A Good Boss or Bad Boss?

ASK is a useful acronym for remembering the key elements of the one-on-one process.

  • A – Ask questions. In a one-on-one you want a dialogue, not a monologue where you do all the talking.
  • S – Seek solutions. Engage employees in discussion about progress on their goals, developmental areas, or problems. Get their opinions and ideas first, and then add your own comments.
  • K – Keep plans and commitments. Take notes to document your discussion. Ask employees to do the same so you can review progress at future meetings, and track mutually agreed upon plans of action.

The following outline includes the steps and talking points for conducting a one-on-one meeting.

Step 1 – Pre-meeting preparation (action plans, numbers, goals, etc.)

Step 2 – Greeting (be positive, do some small talk, ensure privacy.)

Step 3 – Ask employees to reconfirm their goals and to share their results and progress on their plans.

Praise progress, recognize good performance, and identify areas to improve.

  • How did your day/week/month go?
  • What progress did you make on your goals and action plans?
  • What […]
By |January 17th, 2012|Comments Off on Are You A Good Boss or Bad Boss?

Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…

Good Boss vs. Bad Boss

Communication alone makes this a worthwhile process. Good Bosses are effective communicators and they engage their employees through one-on-one interaction. A one-on-one meeting is a focused formal coaching process.

How often should a manager do one on ones? This question stirs up controversy especially as businesses have moved toward self- directed teams and employee empowerment. […]

By |January 12th, 2012|Comments Off on Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…

Coaching for Excellence

The Impact of Daily Performance Management through coaching.  A study that compared training alone to daily performance management through coaching and training found that training alone increased productivity by 22.4%, and training plus coaching increased productivity by 88%. […]

By |January 10th, 2012|Comments Off on Coaching for Excellence

Effective Team Leadership

Qualities of an Effective Team Leader

Before you begin to lead others, it’s important that you have a complete picture of the qualities you will be offering the team through your leadership. Do a very basic 360 assessment. Ask people who report to you, your boss, and some of your peers to evaluate your ability to build or rebuild a team. This can help you focus on some of the strengths and work area before you begin the team-building process. […]

By |January 5th, 2012|Comments Off on Effective Team Leadership

Creating a High Performance Team

The Value of Teams

In Antarctica the sun sets at the start of winter, and temperatures can dip below—100⁰. No planes can land at the Amundsen-Scott Pole Station; it is cut off from the rest of the world. Its crew members must depend on each other until the sun rises six months later.

Dr. Jerri Nielsen Fitzgerald was the only Doctor at the station in the winter of 1999. During a routine self-exam she discovered what she thought might be cancer but she needed a biopsy to be certain.

The National Science Foundation arranged for a U.S. Air Force plane launched from New Zealand to overfly the pole. As the plane neared, members of the station crew went on the ice and lit fires in barrels to mark a drop zone. Six parachutes drifted out the darkness, bringing bundles of supplies and medication.

With the help of stateside doctors consulting via satellite link, Dr. Nielsen trained a team to help perform the biopsy and the cancer treatments that followed, such as staining slides, using an electronic microscope, and administering […]

By |January 3rd, 2012|Comments Off on Creating a High Performance Team

The Leader of Teams

So, You’re Going to Lead a Team

CASE STUDY: The New Leader

Paul was hired by the organization that was first on his list after college. After a little time spent in a small cube they promoted him, moved him to an extra cube, and gave him an assistant and a direct report. Paul did so well on a couple of projects they offered him a “real” office and promotion and a team! He was thrilled. How hard could it be to put together a team and produce a product in six months?

That may not be your story but the question still remains: Do you have what it takes to lead a team? Do you have the skills to start from nothing and build a productive, collaborative team? Are you up for the challenge of repairing a damaged or weary team? Being asked to lead a team is a big career step. For some it means going from peer or co-worker to becoming the boss of those co-workers. It means you’ve been singled […]

By |December 29th, 2011|Comments Off on The Leader of Teams

Building Customer Loyalty Through Help

The truth is, you are in business for yourself even if you work for someone else. You aren’t doing it for free; you need to make a living. You are your own corporation. Incorporate yourself! While each individual must accept personal accountability and responsibility for his or her job and life, the help of others is also important. It’s been said that two heads are better than one, and a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. You can succeed alone, but you’ll multiply your success through the help of others.

They key word is network, network, and network. Do this both inside and outside your company. In other words, make a consistent and persistent effort to make new friends and meet other people. At work, meet as many people as you can in the company.  In sales, for example, the most successful salespeople get referrals. This means that loyal customers give them the names of other people who could use their product or service. You will build more customer loyalty […]

By |December 26th, 2011|Comments Off on Building Customer Loyalty Through Help