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Team Maturation

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Cohesion

Brief definition/description of team cohesion Expand answer
  • Team cohesion describes the extent to which members bond or strongly connect with each other and with the purpose of the team.
  • Team cohesion emerges over time and has been one of the most investigated team constructs over the past century.

References

  • Salas, E., Grossman, R., Hughes, A.M., and Coultas, C.W. (2015). Measuring team cohesion: Observations from the science. Human Factors: The Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 57(3), 365-374. doi:10.1177/0018720815578267.
Why is team cohesion important? Expand answer
  • Research has shown that team cohesion is strongly associated with team effectiveness and team performance.
  • Team cohesion positively predicts positive member attitudes and members’ willingness to continue working together in the future.

References

  • Beal, D.J., Cohen, R.R., Burke, M.J., and McLendon, C.L. (2003). Cohesion and performance in groups: a meta-analytic clarification of construct relations. Journal of applied psychology, 88(6), 989.
  • Mathieu, J.E., Kukenberger, M.R., D’Innocenzo, L., and Reilly, G. (2015). Modeling reciprocal team cohesion-performance relationships, as impacted by shared leadership and members’ competence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(3), 713-734.
  • Mathieu, J., Maynard, M.T., Rapp, T., and Gilson, L. (2008). Team effectiveness 1997-2007: A review of recent advancements and a glimpse into the future. Journal of management, 34(3), 410-476.
  • Mathieu, J.E., Gallagher, P.T., Domingo, M.A., and Klock, E.A. (2019). Embracing Complexity: Reviewing the Past Decade of Team Effectiveness Research. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6(1).
Types of team cohesion Expand answer

Social cohesion

  • A collective sense of belonging based in which team members feel a part of the team.
  • Team members know each other and have social relationships with each other.

Task Cohesion

  • Bonding between group members based on a shared commitment toward achieving the team’s goals and objectives.
  • Team members having working relationships with each other.

References

  • Salas, E., Grossman, R., Hughes, A.M., and Coultas, C.W. (2015). Measuring team cohesion: Observations from the science. Human Factors: The Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 57(3), 365-374. doi:10.1177/0018720815578267.
How to build team cohesion Expand answer
  • Interact on a personal level
    • Activities such as eating meals together, playing sports, having happy hours and doing charitable work together helps members to get to know each other and therefore builds social cohesion.
  • Increase team identity
    • Team members who feel deeply connected to their team are more likely to develop cohesion.
  • Establish clear objectives, ground rules and specific commitments
    • Establishing structures and procedures that are followed by all members helps the team to coalesce around shared norms and practices, building cohesion
  • Build shared (or horizontal) leadership
    • Allowing multiple members to adopt leadership functions traditionally handled by one hierarchical leader forges closer ties among team members and mutual influence, which increase cohesion.
    • Shared leadership has been shown to be a strong predictor of cohesion over time.
  • Establish healthy ways of handling conflict as it occurs
    • Conflict dealt with quickly and in an agreed upon manner facilitates team cohesion.
  • Build trust in teammates by giving everyone a voice.
    • Ensuring that team members feel safe to be vulnerable and to participate openly in discussions supports the emergence of team cohesion.
  • Celebrate team wins
    • Showing appreciation for member and team successes builds camaraderie and reinforces team efforts.

References

  • Mach, M., Dolan, S., and Tzafrir, S. (2010). The differential effect of team members’ trust on team performance: The mediation role of team cohesion. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(3), 771-794.
  • Mathieu, J.E., Kukenberger, M.R., D’Innocenzo, L., and Reilly, G. (2015). Modeling reciprocal team cohesion-performance relationships, as impacted by shared leadership and members’ competence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(3), 713-734.
  • Seven strategies for developing cohesive teams

Team Communication

Perspective Taking Expand answer
  • Perspective taking occurs when a person attempts to understand another person’s thoughts, motives, and/or feelings as well as why they think and/or feel the way they do.
  • Perspective taking is attempting to understand others in a non-judgmental way.

References

  • Parker, S. K., Atkins, P. W., & Axtell, C. M. (2008). Building better workplaces through individual perspective taking: A fresh look at a fundamental human process. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 23, 149.
Why is perspective taking important? Expand answer
  • Perspective taking has been found to reduce stereotyping and prejudice through increased empathy.
  • Perspective taking has the potential to help teams deal with the challenges of diversity in a virtual or face-to-face environment by increasing team member’s awareness of other’s differences, promoting understanding, and improving team trust and performance.
  • Teams that use perspective taking have been shown to have higher levels of team trust, team creativity (which has a positive relationship with performance), and more helping among team members.
  • Perspective taking “is perhaps the single most powerful and effective tool for engaging conflict constructively.”
    • “When you are able to demonstrate to your conflict partner that you comprehend their view, respect their position, and have empathy and regard for their feelings and values, despite seeing things differently, incredible progress is possible. Most conflicts become more volatile and intense with the failure to acknowledge differences constructively…Simply put, when done well, perspective taking is disarming because it demonstrates a willingness to consider the views, positions and feelings of others.”
      • Flanagan & Runde, 2009, p. 22

References

  • Flanagan, T., & Runde, C. (2009). How teams can capitalize on conflict. Strategy & Leadership, 37(1), 20-22.
  • Galinsky, A. D., and Moskowitz, G. B., 2000, “Perspective taking: Decreased stereotype expression, stereotype accessibility, and in-group favouritism,” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 78, 708-724.
  • Van Dyne L., and LePine, J. A., 1998, Helping and voice extra-role behaviors: Evidence of construct and predictive validity, Academy of Management Journal, 41, 108-119.
  • Hoever, I. J., Van Knippenberg, D., Van Ginkel, W. P., & Barkema, H. G. (2012). Fostering team creativity: perspective taking as key to unlocking diversity’s potential. Journal of applied psychology, 97(5), 982.
How to build perspective taking Expand answer
  • Recognize that active perspective taking requires intentional effort and is not necessarily subconscious or automatic.
  • Allow opportunities for team members to get to know one another and share values, attitudes, and personality, which promotes familiarity.
    • Icebreakers can facilitate social interaction in meetings.
  • Recognize that someone’s immediate circumstances, past experiences, beliefs, and culture can influence their perceptions and feelings.
    • There is often a reason behind someone’s actions that might extend beyond the workplace.
    • Perspective taking is especially important on teams with different cultures because it is easy to assume that everyone has a background like yours.
  • Appreciate differences among team members
    • Acknowledge when a teammate sees an issue differently than others and ask, “Can you tell us more?”
    • Take a moment to remind yourself and/or your team that others can have different thoughts, feelings, and knowledge than you and that these differences can help your team grow
    • Remember that different is not bad, deficient, or less than.
  • Try to relate to a teammate’s perspective by imagining yourself in their position, keeping in mind their specific experiences and beliefs.
  • Attempt to find things in common with a teammate through past experiences or feelings.
    • Ask yourself: “What is life like for that person? What might be influencing how they perceive this situation? How can I try to understand how they feel?”
  • Work through the obstacles to successful perspective taking (see below)

References

  • Flanagan, T., & Runde, C. (2009). How teams can capitalize on conflict. Strategy & Leadership, 37(1), 20-22.
  • Parker, S. K., Atkins, P. W., & Axtell, C. M. (2008). Building better workplaces through individual perspective taking: A fresh look at a fundamental human process. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 23, 149.
  • https://ampcreative.com/guide-to-perspective-taking/
Obstacles to successful perspective taking Expand answer
  • Fundamental Attribution Error
    • Attributing other’s behavior to their personality or characteristics about themselves while giving ourselves the “benefit of the doubt” and attributing our behaviors to external factors
      • Example:
        • Your coworker is late to a meeting. Your first thought is that they should get their act together and be more conscientious and punctual. However, when you are late to a meeting, you attribute your tardiness to the fact that your child had to be unexpectedly picked up from school because of illness. A similar external reason for tardiness may also be true of your coworker.
      • Assess whether you give grace to yourself that you don’t extend to others in explaining their behavior.
        • Extend compassion to teammates and try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
      • Naïve Realism
        • Believing that we see the world objectively, rationally, and correctly
          • Example:
            • Your team meeting begins to get off topic and turns into a discussion about current politics. You and your teammate differ in political views and you say something about the current mayor that upsets your coworker. Your coworker later approaches you and shares that what you said was upsetting, but you believe your political view was right, so you don’t think that you said anything wrong.
          • Ask yourself:
            • Is it possible that you do not know the complete situation?
            • Are you assuming your teammate’s perspective is wrong without listening?
          • Intergroup Bias
            • Trusting and favoring those that remind us of ourselves or previous positive experiences
              • Example:
                • A team leader is tasked with putting together a new team for a project. He looks over the possible team members and chooses five people from his department because they all have similar backgrounds.
              • Remind yourself of this bias and gather input from people who differ from you or the team as a whole
  • Confirmation Bias
    • Choosing, supporting, and/or recalling information that confirms our pre-existing notions.
      • Example:
        • During a meeting, you present the status of an ongoing project. A teammate working on the same project interjects and re-interprets something that you listed on a slide of your presentation. You get upset and do not listen to their interpretation because it directly contradicts yours.
    • Be open and accepting of opposing viewpoints or information from others during collaboration. Remind yourself that it is okay to be incorrect and that all team members have valuable perspectives.

References

  • Parker, S. K., Atkins, P. W., & Axtell, C. M. (2008). Building better workplaces through individual perspective taking: A fresh look at a fundamental human process. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 23, 149.
  • https://ampcreative.com/guide-to-perspective-taking/
Further Resources Expand answer
Information Sharing Expand answer

Brief Definition/ Description of Information Sharing

  • Information sharing (also referred to as knowledge sharing) is the cognitive process through which team members discuss information with their team.
  • Information can either be:
    • Commonly known among all group members (shared information) or
    • Uniquely known by a single group member (unshared information)
      • Uniquely held information is especially valued because member cognitive
  • Information sharing also represents how broadly or openly knowledge is communicated on topics such as team goals, progress, and coordination.

References

  • Knowledge Sharing: Leveraging Trust and Leadership to Increase Team Performance
  • Argote, L. (2012). Organizational learning: Creating, retaining and transferring knowledge. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Mohammed, S., Rico, R., & Alipour, K. (2021). Team Cognition at a Crossroad: Toward Conceptual Integration and Network Configurations. Academy of Management Annals, 15(2), 455-501.
  • Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & DeChurch, L. A. (2009). Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology94(2), 535.
  • Stasser, G., & Titus, W. (1985). Pooling of unshared information in group decision making: Biased information sampling during discussion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 1467–1478.
  • Stasser, G., & Titus, W. (1987). Effects of information load and percent- age of shared information on the dissemination of unshared information during group discussion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 81–93.

 

Importance of Information Sharing Expand answer
  • Research across many studies has shown that information sharing positively predicts team performance.
    Sharing unique information:

    • Allows the team to build on available knowledge within the team to increase the team’s collective knowledge, which improves performance.
    • Allows for more important and relevant information to be considered in decision-making processes, thus yielding better decisions.
  • Sharing information openly:
    • Improves team socio-emotional functioning
    • Promotes trust and cohesion
    • Increases the opportunity for unique information sharing
  • Information sharing can increase a team’s competitive edge when new knowledge is not replicated among competitors.

References

  • Knowledge Sharing: Leveraging Trust and Leadership to Increase Team Performance
  • Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & DeChurch, L. A. (2009). Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology94(2), 535.
  • Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., DeChurch, L. A., Jimenez-Rodriguez, M., Wildman, J., & Shuffler, M. (2011). A meta-analytic investigation of virtuality and information sharing in teams.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes115(2), 214-225.
  • Mohammed, S., Rico, R., & Alipour, K. (2021). Team Cognition at a Crossroad: Conceptual Integration and Network Configurations. Academy of Management Annals, 15(2), 455-501.
Critical Cases for Information Sharing Expand answer
  • Unfortunately, group members are more likely to disproportionately discuss already commonly known information relative to members’ unique/value-added information.
    • This is detrimental because fixating on commonly known information:
      • Merely rehashes the same information, thus preventing knowledge to build because of the significant knowledge overlap across members
      • Fosters myopic decision making because of the significant knowledge overlap across members
  • Situations where teams fail to share information when it is most important for them to do so:
    • Members already know all the necessary information
    • Members can make decisions independently
    • Members are highly similar to one another
    • Tasks are simple and tasks are independent
  • Research across many studies showed that teams that met more virtually:
    • Shared more unique information than open information
    • But open information sharing had a greater impact on team performance than unique information
    • So virtual teams should
  • In contrast, teams that met more face-to-face:
    • Shared information more openly than uniquely
    • But unique information had a greater impact on team performance than open
    • information

References

  • Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & DeChurch, L. A. (2009). Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology94(2), 535.
  • Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., DeChurch, L. A., Jimenez-Rodriguez, M., Wildman, J., & Shuffler, M. (2011). A meta-analytic investigation of virtuality and information sharing in teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes115(2), 214-225.
How Team Leaders Can Facilitate Information Sharing Expand answer
  • Because information sharing is a cognitive process involving the whole team, information sharing requires top-down processes starting with a team leader to set a team standard and climate for fostering information sharing

Create Opportunities for Information Sharing

  • Dedicate time during team meetings specifically for information sharing
  • Promote information sharing channels that can happen asynchronously, so team members need not wait until formal meetings to share information
    • Consider using real-time chat platforms that streamline instant messaging to remove barriers to sharing information
    • Select a single platform for communicating (e.g., Microsoft teams, Slack, etc.) to reduce fragmented sharing

Set a Positive Example as a Leader

  • Share your unique information and share information broadly
  • Be transparent about your successes and failures in the team
  • Establish information sharing as a norm within the team

Identify Expertise

  • Identify team members as having expert roles because knowing that each group member can offer unique expertise increases the likelihood of sharing information
  • Value the expertise each team member brings to the team

Empower the Team

  • Remind team members that they collectively have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for superior problem solving
  • Encourage team members to actively share their uniquely held information
  • Empower team members to actively seek out decision-relevant information from their teammates

 

Promote a Cooperative Climate to Increase Unique Information Sharing

  • Shift the focus and goal from individual performance to overall team performance
  • Remove incentives to hoard unique information for later use
  • Acknowledge and praise team members for sharing information

 

Foster Psychological Safety

  • Create an environment in which team members can exchange information without the fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, or punished
  • Fostering psychological safety helps to build trust, an important condition for sharing knowledge

References

Conflict Resolution

Brief description/definition of conflict resolution Expand answer

Conflict resolution is the process by which a peaceful ending occurs between two or more individuals experiencing disagreement.

Why is conflict resolution important? Expand answer
  • Unresolved conflict can lead to higher team member anxiety, stress and hostility between team members.
  • Allowed to fester, conflict can impair the team’s performance and lead to team members no longer wanting to work together.

References

  • de Wit, F.R.C., Greer, L.L., & Jehn, K.A. (2012). The paradox of intragroup conflict: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(2), 360–390. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024844
Types of conflict Expand answer

Relationship Conflict

  • Emotional and interpersonal disagreements causing anger, tension and animosity in the group
  • Has been found to decrease team performance

Task Conflict

  • Disagreements over ideas, opinions and task content
  • Has been found to have a curvilinear relationship with team performance (too little or too much lowers performance)

Process Conflict

  • Disagreements over how to get work done and who should do what
  • Has been shown to decrease team performance

Temporal Conflict

  • A form of process conflict describing disagreements concerning when work should be accomplished, how long tasks should take and how work should be paced

References

  • de Wit, F.R.C., Greer, L.L., & Jehn, K.A. (2012). The paradox of intragroup conflict: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(2), 360–390. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024844
  • Jehn, K.A. (1997). A Qualitative Analysis of Conflict Types and Dimensions in Organizational Groups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(3), 530.
  • Mohammed, S., Alipour, K., Martinez, P., Livert, D., and Fitzgerald, D. (2017). Conflict in the Kitchen: Temporal diversity and temporal disagreements in chef teams. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 21(1), 1-19.
Things to remember about conflict Expand answer
  • Results are likely to be better with active engagement rather than avoidance.
    • Conflict that stays unresolved can have long-term negative impact on a team.
  • Conflict is inevitable and both positive and negative consequences may occur depending on how conflict is managed.
    • Expect conflict and be proactive, adjusting to the different types of conflict to resolve the situation.
  • People must be motivated to address conflict.
    • Explain the importance of conflict resolution to foster a shared value of addressing conflict.
  • Behavioral, cognitive and emotional skills can be acquired to reduce dysfunctional conflict.
    • Training these skills in your team may result in less damaging conflict and quicker conflict resolution.
  • Emotional skills require self-awareness.
    • Train team members to be sensitive to how they communicate or assign tasks/roles, understanding that teammates might be interpreting these behaviors differently.
  • The environment must be neutral to feel safe.
    • Don’t put team members on the spot to resolve conflict.
    • Be aware that some interpersonal conflict should not be discussed in a team meeting but one-on-one.

References

  • Overton, A.R., and Lowry, A.C. (2013). Conflict management: Difficult conversations with difficult people. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 26(4), 259–264. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1356728.
Conflict resolution procedures Expand answer
  • Set ground rules such as treating each other with respect and dignity.
  • Complete a team charter detailing how the team will handle conflict before it arises.
  • Listen to everyone’s perspective.
  • Focus on the issues, not the person.
  • Have opposing participants paraphrase what others say to ensure everyone understands the reasons for conflict.
  • Summarize the conflict and have everyone agree that all grievances have been expressed.
  • Brainstorm possible resolutions and remove the solutions that are viewed as ineffective by one or more participant.
  • Summarize possible solutions that are agreed upon by all participants and choose the best resolution.
  • Assign next steps, ensuring that everyone has specific actions to take and assignments are accepted.
  • End meeting by thanking each other for working to resolve conflict.

References

Team-Building

Brief definition/description of team-building Expand answer
  • Team-building involves a set of strategies designed to help team members build camaraderie, develop more effective interpersonal interactions, and form a cohesive team.
  • Going beyond icebreakers, team-building activities have a focused objective and tend to include four main components:
    • Goal-setting – sets long-term vision, creates a mission statement, sets SMART goals
    • Role clarification – sets standards and expectations regarding what each member will contribute in the team
    • Interpersonal relations – helps team members understand each other better and improve communication, trust, and team cohesion
    • Problem-solving – helps team members improve how they manage problems by setting goals, clarifying roles, and improving interpersonal interactions

References

  • Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C.S., Lyons, R., and Goodwin, G.F. (2009). Does team building work? Small Group Research. Small Group Research, 40(2), 181–222.
Why is team-building important? Expand answer
  • Team-building allows teams to practice core processes such as collective goal-setting and problem-solving.
  • Across many studies, team-building activities involving goal-setting, role clarification, interpersonal relations and problem-solving have been shown to increase trust, cohesion, psychological safety and feelings of team effectiveness (potency).
  • Goal-setting and role clarification demonstrated the strongest influences on outcomes.
  • Team-building also increases team processes such as coordination and communication.
  • When an organization invests in team-building, it communicates support for team members and a commitment to developing teams.

References

  • Shuffler, M.L., Diazgranados, D., Maynard, M.T., and Salas, E. (2018). Developing, sustaining, and maximizing team effectiveness: An integrative, dynamic perspective of team development interventions. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 688–724. https://doi.org/10.5465/annals.2016.0045
  • Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C.S., Lyons, R., and Goodwin, G.F. (2009). Does team building work? Small Group Research. Small Group Research, 40(2), 181–222.
Sample team-building activities Expand answer
  • Team-building activities range from very simple (taking a walk together) to very extravagant (a retreat requiring travel)
  • Task-based activities (e.g., collectively building a team mission statement, identifying how member roles intersect with each other)
  • Social games
  • Retreats
  • Escape rooms
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Group volunteering
  • Hikes/obstacle courses
  • Team fun run
  • Camping/survival challenges
  • Cooking challenges
  • Team sports days
  • Picnics

References

  • Depping, A.E., Mandryk, R.L., Johanson, C., Bowey, J.T., and Thomson, S.C. (2016, October). Trust me: social games are better than social icebreakers at building trust. In Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 116-129). ACM.
  • Team-building activities
How to use team-building effectively Expand answer

Preparing for team-building

  • Planning is essential
  • Assign a team-building facilitator who will be in charge of planning and managing team-building activities
  • Be clear about the purpose of the team-building
  • Focus on what the team most needs for effective performance, because team-building is most effective for addressing specific team needs
  • Ask team members about team needs
  • Target specific areas for team improvement (e.g., work on a specific deficiency, improve communication skills, build trust, reduce conflict)
  • Creatively select team-building activities that will address the team-building objectives and will be engaging
    • When in doubt, ask if the activity selected:
      • Satisfies one of the core goals identified
      • Will be fun and challenging
  • Consider location, facilities, budget and activities in selecting a venue
  • Consider informing members about the topic of the exercises beforehand to allow members reflect and come better prepared to engage

During the Team-Building

  • Begin with icebreakers to lighten the mood and prepare members for more serious discussion.
  • Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak and balance out turn taking among members to foster inclusion.
  • Establish that there are no right and wrong answers to foster a climate of interpersonal or psychological safety.
  • Consider recording videos and pictures from the retreat to highlight the fun moments and make the event more memorable.
  • Before everyone leaves, gather feedback from participants to evaluate team-building effectiveness.

After the team-building

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the team-building activities
    • Did the team-building achieve the stated goals and objectives?
  • Plan for regularly recurring team-building interventions
    • Should not be a one-time fix
    • Team-building is best viewed as an ongoing process and therefore should occur throughout the lifespan of a team

References

Further resources Expand answer

Team Empowerment

Brief definition/description Expand answer
  • Team empowerment means that team members feel that they have control over and find meaning in their work. This includes the following four key elements:
    • Autonomy – the extent to which team members have control over carrying out their work
    • Impact – the extent to which a team’s work is perceived as making a difference in a company
    • Competence – the extent to which team members believe they can carry out their work skillfully
    • Meaningfulness – the extent to which team members care about the work they do

References

  • Kirkman, B. L., & Rosen, B. (1999). Beyond self-management: Antecedents and consequences of team
  • empowerment. Academy of Management Journal42(1), 58-74.
  • Kirkman, B., Chen, G., & Mathieu, J. (2020). Improving employee performance by developing
  • empowering leaders & companies. Behavioral Science & Policy6(1), 23-36.
  • Maynard, M. T., Gilson, L. L., & Mathieu, J. E. (2012). Empowerment—fad or fab? A multilevel review of
  • the past two decades of research. Journal of Management38(4), 1231-1281.
Why is team empowerment Important? Expand answer
  • Team empowerment is associated with higher task performance and greater innovation.
  • Members who feel a sense of empowerment tend to go above and beyond in their work and be more helpful to their coworkers.
  • Team empowerment is associated with higher job satisfaction and commitment to the organization.
  • Empowered team members tend to experience less work strain and have lower turnover intentions.

 

References

  • Kirkman, B., Chen, G., & Mathieu, J. (2020). Improving employee performance by developing
  • empowering leaders & companies. Behavioral Science & Policy6(1), 23-36.
  • Seibert, S. E., Wang, G., & Courtright, S. H. (2011). Antecedents and consequences of psychological and
  • team empowerment in organizations: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied
  • Psychology96(5), 981.
Pitfalls to avoid Expand answer
  • Before empowering team members, determine whether they are:
    • ready, by communicating why empowerment is needed,
    • willing, by sincerely indicating that changes are legitimate and that members will be supported, and
    • able, by having the resources to provide team members with training and adequate support.
  • Be prepared to invest in team empowerment long-term, as the most successful programs are established as ongoing processes rather than a one-time deal.
  • Minimize barriers to building empowerment across several levels of the organization.
  • The following are questions to ask yourself to avoid common pitfalls across organizational levels:
    • Team Member barriers to empowerment:
      • Are team members equipped to handle increased responsibility so competence is maximized?
      • Do team members expect a pay increase in return for higher autonomy and workload increases?
    • Leader barriers to empowerment:
      • Are leaders avoiding micromanagement to facilitate team autonomy?
      • How can leaders coach team members to help them succeed with more autonomy?
      • Do any leaders feel threatened by the idea of empowering their teams?
    • Company barriers to empowerment
      • Are there any organizational restrictions that make it difficult to provide teams and leaders with adequate support and resources?
      • Do team member job requirements leave too little room for alteration in the pursuit of empowerment?

References

  • Kirkman, B., Chen, G., & Mathieu, J. (2020). Improving employee performance by developing
  • empowering leaders & companies. Behavioral Science & Policy6(1), 23-36.
How to build team empowerment Expand answer
  • Empowering actions taken by leaders 
    • Have your team members’ best interests at heart
      • Demonstrate care and concern, especially as they navigate their new responsibilities.
      • Remember that empowering teams is about lifting them up rather than threatening your position as leader.
      • Mentor employees through mistakes or struggles with their increased autonomy.
      • Lighten up and spread some joy at work to help balance out higher job demands with a pleasant and replenishing atmosphere.
    • Role model the four elements of empowerment to teams:
      • Autonomy – take the initiative to make decisions and offer solutions to problems
      • Impact – explicitly communicate how specific actions taken by yourself and team members have directly contributed to organizational goals or outcomes
      • Competence – recognize and draw on your own skills and strengths to help accomplish team goals
      • Meaningfulness – show sincere enthusiasm for your work
    • Ask for member input and then implement their ideas when making decisions
    • Coach teams by:
      • clarifying how much authority they have,
      • describing how much you, as the leader, should be kept in the loop,
      • explaining how they can get help with their expanded responsibilities,
      • accepting and building on their ideas and input,
      • communicating what resources they have at their disposal and how they can access these resources,
      • providing constructive and thoughtful feedback,
      • recognizing them for their hard work and effort.
    • Be open and transparent about important strategic information to help support team member thinking and decision making (See entry on psychological safety).
      • Examples include speaking with candor regarding sharing budgetary restrictions, explaining why particular policies or initiatives were implemented, or sharing leads that may be helpful for a project.
    • Empowering actions taken by organizations:
      • Foster a supportive climate by establishing values, norms, and beliefs that encourage empowerment.
      • Provide organization-wide support that makes it clear to employees that the company truly wants them to feel empowered.
        • Attain backing from, or hire, leaders who will support a culture of empowerment.
        • Establish widespread training that communicates the available resources, purpose, and support for team empowerment.
        • Provide rewards to team members who engage in empowerment practices.
      • Cultivate trust by providing the resources to support team empowerment.

References

  • Kirkman, B. L., & Rosen, B. (1999). Beyond self-management: Antecedents and consequences of team empowerment. Academy of Management Journal42(1), 58-74.
  • Kirkman, B., Chen, G., & Mathieu, J. (2020). Improving employee performance by developing empowering leaders & companies. Behavioral Science & Policy6(1), 23-36.
  • Seibert, S. E., Wang, G., & Courtright, S. H. (2011). Antecedents and consequences of psychological and team empowerment in organizations: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology96(5), 981.

Leadership in Teams

Brief definition/description of leadership in teams Expand answer
  • Leadership provides direction and support to enable team members to successfully accomplish team goals.
  • Effective team leaders foster interconnectivity and integration among members so that there is a synergistic combination of member resources and expertise.

References

  • Morgeson, F.P., DeRue, D.S., and Karam, E.P. (2010). Leadership in teams: A functional approach to understanding leadership structures and processes. Journal of Management, 36(1), 5-39.
Why is leadership in teams important? Expand answer
  • Across many studies, task-focused leadership (e.g., directing actions, boundary spanning, providing rewards) has been shown to improve team effectiveness and team productivity.
  • Across many studies, person-focused leadership (e.g., showing consideration for members, empowering members, charisma) has been shown to improve team effectiveness, team productivity, and team learning.
  • Leadership in teams aids in correcting team errors and provides much needed direction in challenging circumstances.

References

  • Burke, C.S., Stagl, K.C., Klein, C., Goodwin, G.F., Salas, E., and Halpin, S.M. (2006). What type of leadership behaviors are functional in teams? A meta-analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(3), 288-307.
  • Baran, B.E., and Scott, C.W. (2010). Organizing ambiguity: A grounded theory of leadership and sensemaking within dangerous contexts. Military Psychology, 22(1), S42-S69.
Sources of team leadership Expand answer

Leadership in a team may be:

  • Internal (leader is a member of the team) or external (outside the team’s daily activities) to the team
  • Formal (responsibilities are explicitly acknowledged) or informal (emergent, stepping up when there is a leadership need without direct responsibility given)
  • One person or multiple people

References

  • Morgeson, F.P., DeRue, D.S., and Karam, E.P. (2010). Leadership in teams: A functional approach to understanding leadership structures and processes. Journal of Management, 36(1), 5-39.
15 high-performance team leadership functions across the team life cycle Expand answer

The following leadership functions satisfy critical team needs and direct behavior toward team goal attainment.

Leadership functions in the transition phase

(Evaluation and planning activities toward the purpose of accomplishing goals)

  • Compose team – select team members with the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics to aid the team in accomplishing its mission
  • Define mission – ensure the team has a clear vision and understanding of its collective purpose
  • Establish expectations and goals – communicate expectations and maintain clear standards of performance
  • Structure and plan – clarify member roles, task performance strategies and operating procedures for the work to be completed
  • Train and develop team – help team members develop skills, provide task-related instructions and help new members learn how to perform tasks
  • Sensemaking – help the team make sense of ambiguous events and facilitate the team’s understanding of situations
  • Provide feedback – review performance results, offer corrective feedback and reward meeting performance standards

Leadership functions in the action phase

(Activities directly contributing to team goal attainment)

  • Monitor team – keep informed of team member actions, notice errors in task procedures, request information from team members and recognize changes in the team’s external environment
  • Manage team boundaries – represent the team to other parts of the organization, advocate for the team to others and buffer the team from external influences
  • Challenge team – question the status quo, suggest new performance strategies and improve how the team accomplishes work
  • Perform team tasks – assist team members in doing their work and “pitch in” to help out wherever needed
  • Solve problems – engage the team in problem solving, seek out multiple perspectives and generate solutions to team problems
  • Provide resources – obtain resources for the team and ensure that equipment and supplies are available
  • Encourage team self-management – empower the team to decide who should do what and solve problems as they arise
  • Support social climate – demonstrate concern for team members’ well-being and respond to team member needs promptly

References

    • Morgeson, F.P., DeRue, D.S., and Karam, E.P. (2010). Leadership in teams: A functional approach to understanding leadership structures and processes. Journal of Management, 36(1), 5-39.
Evidence-based team leadership tips Expand answer
  • Leadership is a key intervention point for improving team effectiveness, but there is no one right way to lead a team.
  • Key team leadership activities involve creating clear, compelling and consequential team goals and creating a team and organizational structure that facilitates teamwork.
  • Leadership that empowers team members (e.g., encourages participative decision making and builds team efficacy) has been shown to be especially effective in promoting team learning, building psychological safety and reducing status and power differences.
  • Leadership interventions should be appropriately timed. For example:
    • Build team motivation at the beginning of a team’s task cycle
    • Consult the team about its work strategy in the middle of a team’s task cycle
    • Help members reflect on and learn from the lessons of collective work at the end of a team’s task cycle

References

  • Hackman, J.R. (2002). Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Burke, C.S., Stagl, K.C., Klein, C., Goodwin, G.F., Salas, E., and Halpin, S.M. (2006). What type of leadership behaviors are functional in teams? A meta-analysis. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(3), 288-307.
  • Edmondson, A.C. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2), 350–383. https://doi.org/10.2307/2392254
  • Hackman, J.R., Wageman, R., and Fisher, C.M. (2009). Leading teams when the time is right: Finding the best moments to act. Organizational Dynamics, 38(3), 192-203.
Brief definition/description of shared leadership Expand answer
  • Shared leadership refers to the distribution of influence across multiple team members.
  • Rather than relying on one person as in traditional, vertical leadership models, members may share or rotate leadership responsibilities to allow for:
    • Greater utilization of expertise in the team
    • Mutual accountability for team deliverables
    • Higher team engagement and commitment among members
  • Shared leadership fits well with the changing nature of work that is more dynamic, complex, ambiguous, and has flatter organizational structures.

References

  • Carson, J.B., Tesluk, P.E., and Marrone, J.A. 2007. Shared leadership in teams: An investigation of antecedent conditions and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 1217–1234.
  • Zhu, J., Liao, Z., Yam, K.C., and Johnson, R.E. (2018). Shared leadership: A state-of-the-art review and future research agenda. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39, 834-852.
Why is shared leadership important? Expand answer
  • Across multiple studies, shared leadership has been shown to improve team performance, over and above more traditional vertical leadership.
  • Shared leadership improves team performance for face-to-face as well as virtual teams.
  • Across multiple studies, shared leadership increases team confidence.
  • Shared leadership has a positive influence on creativity and innovation.
  • Shared leadership also increases cohesion, trust, psychological safety, team learning and goal commitment while decreasing conflict.

References

  • Nicolaides, V.C., LaPort, K.A., Chen, T.R., Tomassetti, A.J., Weis, E.J., Zaccaro, S.J., and Cortina, J.M. (2014). The shared leadership of teams: A meta-analysis of proximal, distal, and moderating relationships. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(5), 923-942.
  • Wang, D., Waldman, D.A., and Zhang, Z. (2013). A meta‐analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(2): 181‐198.
  • D’Innocenzo, L., Mathieu, J.E., Kukenberger, M.R. (2014). A meta‐analysis of different forms of shared leadership‐team performance relations. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1964-1991.
  • Hoch, J.E., and Kozlowski, S.W. (2014). Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(3), 390-403. doi:10.1037/a0030264
  • Zhu, J., Liao, Z., Yam, K.C., and Johnson, R.E. (2018). Shared leadership: A state-of-the-art review and future research agenda. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39, 834-852.
Conditions under which shared leadership has a stronger relationship with team effectiveness Expand answer
  • When team tasks are highly interdependent and require high coordination
  • When teams have shorter rather than longer tenure
  • When the shared leadership consists of new genres (e.g., visionary leadership, charismatic/transformational leadership, empowering leadership) rather than traditional forms (e.g., task-oriented leadership, relationship-oriented leadership)
  • When shared leadership is measured using network approaches rather than overall assessments (aggregation-based measures)

References

  • Nicolaides, V.C., LaPort, K.A., Chen, T.R., Tomassetti, A.J., Weis, E.J., Zaccaro, S.J., and Cortina, J.M. (2014). The shared leadership of teams: A meta-analysis of proximal, distal, and moderating relationships. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(5), 923-942.
  • Wang, D., Waldman, D.A., and Zhang, Z. (2013). A meta‐analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(2): 181‐198.
  • D’Innocenzo, L., Mathieu, J.E., Kukenberger, M.R. (2014). A meta‐analysis of different forms of shared leadership‐team performance relations. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1964-1991.
Factors that promote shared leadership in teams Expand answer

Formal team leader characteristics

  • Leaders who are charismatic and inspire followers to move beyond the status quo (transformational leadership)
  • Leaders who empower followers (e.g., build member efficacy and encourage participation in decision-making)
  • Leaders who are committed to service and the well-being of followers above focusing on their own personal gains (servant leadership)
  • Leaders who demonstrate humility (open to new ideas and feedback, acknowledge the contributions and strengths of others)
  • Leaders who supportively coach team members

Team characteristics

  • Shared purpose/vision – having a common understanding of the team’s mission and purpose
  • Task cohesion – member bonding around the purpose of the team
  • Social support – team members providing emotional and psychological strength to each other
  • Trust – willingness of team members to be vulnerable with other teammates
  • Voice – team members’ input into how the team accomplishes its work

Shared team member characteristics

  • Warmth across team members
  • Integrity
  • Self-leadership – members self-direct and motivate their own performance
  • Proactive personality

References

  • Zhu, J., Liao, Z., Yam, K.C., and Johnson, R.E. (2018). Shared leadership: A state-of-the-art review and future research agenda. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39, 834-852.
  • Carson, J.B., Tesluk, P.E., and Marrone, J.A. (2007). Shared leadership in teams: An investigation of antecedent conditions and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 1217–1234.
  • Chiu, C.Y.C., Owens, B.P., and Tesluk, P.E. (2016). Initiating and utilizing shared leadership in teams: The role of leader humility, team proactive personality, and team performance capability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(12), 1705.

Team Climate

Brief definition/description of team psychological safety Expand answer
  • Psychological safety is the shared expectation that team members can safely take interpersonal risks.
  • In a psychologically safe team, team members can ask questions, share ideas, be vulnerable and make mistakes without the fear of being punished or humiliated.
  • Psychological safety is not about being nice, but candid, direct and vulnerable.

References

  • Edmondson, A.C. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2), 350–383. https://doi.org/10.2307/2392254.
  • Edmondson, A.C. (2018). The fearless organization: Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation, and growth. John Wiley & Sons.
Why is psychological safety important? Expand answer
  • Psychologically safe teams learn more, which is related to increased performance.
  • Across many studies, teams with high psychological safety have higher task performance, work engagement, creativity and information-sharing.
  • The relationship between psychological safety and learning as well as performance is strongest for complex, knowledge intensive tasks involving creativity and sensemaking.
  • Team members with higher psychological safety are more committed to and satisfied with their team.

References

  • Edmondson, A.C. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2), 350–383. https://doi.org/10.2307/2392254.
  • Frazier, M.L., Fainschmidt, S., Klinger, R.L., Pezeshkan, A., and Vracheva (2017). Psychological safety: A meta-analytic review and extension. Personnel Psychology, 70, 113-165.
How to build psychological safety Expand answer

Leaders Should Set the Stage

  • Frame today’s problems as not being able to be solved by one person or perspective, so everyone’s ideas are needed in a knowledge economy where work is collaborative and complex.
    • “We have never solved this problem before, so we are all learning together.”
    • “Your participation is essential to success.”
  • Acknowledge your own fallibility and limits.
    • “I may miss something; I don’t have all the answers; I am not an expert in X.”
  • Allow for team member mistakes.
    • Mistakes should be considered part of growth and learning rather than punished.
  • Be vulnerable
    • A leader or respected team member who is vulnerable and authentic will help cultivate psychological safety among team members.
    • Leading by example will both consciously and subconsciously signal to team members that the environment is psychologically safe.
  • Be aware of power and status dynamics.
    • Power and status influences may limit psychological safety.
    • If necessary, allow team members a set-aside time to talk about their ideas without a leader present.

Invite engagement

  • Proactivity invite input.
    • “We need to hear from you; Your voice may make the difference; We need your brain in the game.”
  • Provide time in meetings for team members to voice their concerns.
    • All concerns should be taken seriously and discussed by the team.
  • Ask plenty of good questions.
    • Invite divergent, “outside of the box” thinking by asking:
      • “What are we missing?”
      • “Who has a different perspective?”
      • “Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment”
    • Invite a deeper level of thinking by asking:
      • “Unpack that. Tell me more.”
      • “Can you give us an example?”
      • “What would happen if we did X?”
      • “Was everything as good as it could have been?”
  • Create rules of engagement.

Respond appreciatively

  • Recognize that even if you set the stage and invite engagement, psychological safety may be damaged if you don’t respond productively.
  • Show genuine interest in comments.
  • Listen to understand, not to respond.
  • Affirm every member’s comments in some way.
  • Generate accountability.
    • All members should be encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and be affirmed for such behavior.
    • Holding others accountable helps other members to be more responsible while moving the entire team toward growth.
  • Don’t humiliate members for admitting mistakes. Rather, help them get back on track.

Note that these steps need to be implemented on a continuous basis and not just at one point in time.

References

Further resources Expand answer
Brief definition/description of team innovation climate Expand answer
  • Team innovation climate is the shared commitment of team members to the overall goal of generating and implementing novel and useful solutions to existing problems
    • Team innovation climate reflects shared beliefs or “the way we do things around here” concerning the creation and execution of novel techniques that improve outcomes

 

References

  • West, M. A., & Farr, J. L. (Eds.). (1990). Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies. John Wiley & Sons.
  • West, M. A. (1990). The social psychology of innovation in groups. In M. A. West & J. L. Farr (Eds.), Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies (pp. 309–333). John Wiley & Sons.
Why is team innovation climate important? Expand answer
  • Innovation is a competitive advantage in organizations and is in greater demand than ever because of global competition and changing environments and customer needs.
  • Multiple studies have found that team innovation climate has been shown to improve team innovation.

 

References

  • Bain, P. G., Mann, L., & Pirola-Merlo, A. (2001). The innovation imperative: The relationships between team climate, innovation, and performance in research and development teams. Small Group Research, 32(1), 55-73.
  • Hülsheger U.R., Anderson N, Salgado JF. (2009). Team-level predictors of innovation at work: a comprehensive meta-analysis spanning three decades of research. Journal of Applied Psychology. 94(5), 1128-1145.
Elements of team innovation climate Expand answer
  • Support for innovation
    • Expectation that team members desire to pursue innovation
      • Are team members open to change?
    • Shared objectives/vision
      • Commitment of team members to the overall goal/objective
        • Is every team on the same page regarding what needs to be accomplished?
  • Task orientation/climate for excellence
    • Shared commitment to improve task performance, both at the individual and team levels
      • Are team members willing to do the work asked of them?
    • Participation safety
      • The shared belief among members that they can participate at all times
        • Can team members participate without feeling afraid of the consequences?

References

  • Houston J.M., Jackson C.A., Gilliotte P.M. (2017) Team Climate Inventory (TCI). In: Zeigler-Hill V., Shackelford T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_90-1
  • West, M. A. (1990). The social psychology of innovation in groups. In M. A. West & J. L. Farr (Eds.), Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies (pp. 309–333). John Wiley & Sons.
How to build team innovation climate Expand answer
  • Ensure that team members are sufficiently diverse in backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and expertise to generate different solutions
    • Homogeneous team members can narrow idea generation
  • Ensure clarity regarding leadership
    • Everyone in the team should agree upon who the leader is and should not conflict regarding this role.
  • Foster empowering leadership
    • Encourage open communication among team members without undermining anyone
  • Clarify objectives/goals and team expectations in advance
    • “The purpose of today’s meeting is to come up with innovative solutions to problem X.”
  • Allocate time and resources for innovation within the team
    • Set a specific time during team meetings to brainstorm innovative ideas
  • Establish effective communication structures
    • Find out which method of communication is most preferred and suitable for the team, and use that to conduct meetings, send updates, and ask questions
  • Promote psychological safety
    • Create an environment in which members can share “out of the box” ideas without fear of being humiliated or embarrassed
    • Encourage ALL team members to participate
      • Promote equal participation by asking questions like, “What do you think about this idea?”
    • Show support and appreciation towards team members for voicing their ideas or questions.
      • Communicate that every idea and question matters, no matter how simple
        • g., “Thank you so much for suggesting this idea.”
  • Value and build teamwork
    • Foster collaboration among members and networking opportunities because innovation is generally a team rather than individual endeavor
    • Build a cohesive team in which members bond with one another and are committed to team goals

References

  • Four ways to build team innovation
  • Hoch, J. E. (2013). Shared leadership and innovation: The role of vertical leadership and employee integrity. Journal of Business and Psychology, 28(2), 159-174.
  • Proudfoot, J., Jayasinghe, U. W., Holton, C., Grimm, J., Bubner, T., Amoroso, C., … & Harris, M. F. (2007). Team climate for innovation: what difference does it make in general practice?. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 19(3), 164-169.
  • van Knippenberg, D. (2017). Team innovation. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 211-233.
  • West, M. A., Borrill, C. S., Dawson, J. F., Brodbeck, F., Shapiro, D. A., & Haward, B. (2003). Leadership clarity and team innovation in health care. The leadership quarterly, 14(4-5), 393-410.

Team Structure

Brief definition/description of team meetings Expand answer
  • Team meetings are formal or informal blocks of time set aside to discuss and evaluate team progress.
  • The focus can be on problem-solving, decision-making, sharing information, setting new goals, addressing the completion of current goals, managing timelines and/or ensuring that team members are on the same page.
Why are team meetings important? Expand answer
  • Well-conducted team meetings have been shown to increase team productivity.
  • On the positive side, constructive communication in team meetings shape outcomes for both the team and the organization for years into the future. On the negative side, team meetings with dysfunctional communication can have long-term adverse effects on teams.

References

  • Kauffeld, S., and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012). Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research, 43(2), 130–158. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496411429599
  • Mroz, J.E., Allen, J.A., Verhoeven, D.C., and Shuffler, M.L. (2018). Do we really need another meeting? The science of workplace meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 484–491. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418776307
  • Rogelberg, S.G. (2019). The surprising science of meetings: How you can lead your team to peak performance. New York: Oxford University Press.
Primary purposes of team meetings Expand answer
  • Share information – disperse goal-relevant and/or critical information to team members
  • Solve problems and make decisions – troubleshoot new or unusual issues and decide what to do
  • Develop and implement team/organizational strategy – set goals and a vision for the team and implement goals/vision
  • Conduct a debrief (after-action review) following milestones or significant events – discuss what went right and wrong and how to improve for the future

References

  • Mroz, J.E., Allen, J.A., Verhoeven, D.C., and Shuffler, M.L. (2018). Do we really need another meeting? The science of workplace meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 484–491. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418776307.
How to plan and run a successful meeting Expand answer

Before

  • Only meet when needed
    • Team members will value meetings more when their time is not being wasted.
    • Some check-ins can be done virtually or over email.
    • Brainstorming is best done individually, not as a group.
  • Invite only those necessary for the meeting based on the meeting goals and the expertise needed.
  • Engage attendees prior to the meeting by asking for their input.
  • Distribute the agenda prior to the meeting with priorities noted.
  • Set up and review technology aids prior to the start of the meeting to prevent delays.
  • Establish meeting roles (e.g., note-taker)

During

  • Start conversationally and invite people to talk socially for a few moments. This process invites people to talk as colleagues rather than strangers and facilitates psychological safety.
  • Before addressing the specific meeting content, ask people to connect around a question (e.g., What are you aiming to achieve and what about that is important?)
  • Review the agenda verbally at the start of the meeting to make sure the goals and desired outcomes clear.
  • Ensure that established ground rules are being followed
  • Do not allow distracting technology (e.g., members to be on their cell phones)
  • Delegate roles to attendees to increase member engagement.
  • Energize the attendee’s positive behaviors by including humor and laughter in the meeting.
  • Elicit input from everyone, encourage attendees to speak freely and solicit dissenting opinions.
  • Reduce distractions while adhering to the agenda.

Closing the meeting

  • Assign tasks and ensure everyone is in agreement on action items.
  • Conclude with a positive evaluation of the process and the experience.
  • End on time or earlier than scheduled when all items have been addressed.
  • Within 24 hours, send a follow-up email recapping meeting minutes, decisions made and assignments given during the meeting to ensure team members understand their roles, responsibilities and action items.
    • Send to those who attended the meeting and those who were absent.
  • Periodically, evaluate the effectiveness of your meetings by verbally asking or surveying members.

References

  • Mroz, J.E., Allen, J.A., Verhoeven, D.C., and Shuffler, M.L. (2018). Do we really need another meeting? The science of workplace meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 484–491. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418776307.
  • Rogelberg, S.G. (2019). The surprising science of meetings: How you can lead your team to peak performance. New York: Oxford University Press.
Further resources Expand answer
Brief definition/description of team debriefs Expand answer
  • Team debriefs (also known as after-action reviews or reflexivity) are structured learning experiences that encourage team members to reflect on recent action that resulted in success or failure.
  • After discussing past action, debriefs include steps to change future processes.
  • Fundamental components of team debriefs include:
    • feedback
    • reflection
    • discussion

References

  • Keiser, N. L., & Arthur Jr, W. (2021). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of the after-action review (or debrief) and factors that influence its effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(7), 1007.
Why are team debriefs important? Expand answer
    • Debriefs have been shown to increase team performance and the individuals within teams by 20% to 25% compared to teams that did not use them.
      • Therefore, debriefs are a relatively inexpensive and quick but effective way to facilitate team effectiveness.
    • Debriefs foster team learning and members being on the same page about team goals.
    • Debriefs lead to improvement in attitude, cognitive, process, and task performance in and outside of training.
    • When used in conjunction with team training, debriefs are an effective way to improve team functioning.

References

  • Tannenbaum, S.I., and Cerasoli, C.P. (2012). Do team and individual debriefs enhance performance? A meta-analysis. Human Factors, 55(1): 231–245.
  • Qudrat-Ullah, H. (2007). Debriefing can reduce misperceptions of feedback: The case of renewable resource management. Simulation & Gaming, 38(3), 382-397.
  • Keiser, N. L., & Arthur Jr, W. (2021). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of the after-action review (or debrief) and factors that influence its effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(7), 1007.
Four essential elements of a team debrief Expand answer
  • Active self-learning – participants engage in self-discovery and are actively involved (are not merely passive recipients)
  • Developmental intent – the primary intent for improving or learning is nonpunitive rather than judgmental or administrative
  • Specific events – reflect on specific events or performance episodes rather than general performance or competencies
  • Multiple information sources – include input from multiple team members or from a focal participant and at least one external source, such as an observer or objective data

References

  • Tannenbaum, S.I., and Cerasoli, C.P. (2012). Do team and individual debriefs enhance performance? A meta-analysis. Human Factors, 55(1): 231–245.
Team debrief sample questions Expand answer
  • What were we trying to accomplish?
    • Review the objectives you were attempting to meet.
  • What happened in the critical team event?
    • Review the order of events that occurred.
  • Where did we meet and fail to meet our goals?
  • What caused our results?
    • Do a root-cause analysis to get to the fundamental issues holding the team back or facilitating success.
    • Sample areas to consider (as applicable) include:
      • Leadership
      • Communication
      • Coordination
      • Workload distribution
      • Role clarity
  • What should we start, stop, or continue doing? What can we improve for next time?
    • What additional resources can assist us next time?
  • What are important takeaways and lessons learned?

References

Procedures for conducting effective team debriefs Expand answer
  • Debriefs should closely follow a critical team event and have more impact when they do so.
    • Schedule a debrief soon after a training or actual event to maximize the success of a debrief. People tend to forget important details when time passes.
    • 30 to 60 minutes is ideal for most debriefs.
  • More than just an informal conversation, debriefs are generally structured.
    • Have a plan for the meeting and ask specific questions.
    • Debriefs that are highly structured were more effective in the military, while structured debriefs were less important in healthcare and other industries
  • Review the importance and value of team debriefs so that members buy into the need for the exercise.
  • Team debriefs are collaborative and give everyone a voice in a psychologically safe space.
    • Make the team debrief a place where it is known that team members can speak freely in a learning rather than judgmental environment.
    • Encourage every member to speak up and voice if anything needs to be included or corrected.
    • Team leaders should model being vulnerable and admitting errors.
    • Rather than point fingers, recognize that everyone had a hand in producing both good and bad results.
  • Utilize video or text feedback for aids rather than relying on memory when possible, as more objective debriefs improved debriefs over subjective debriefs.
  • Cover both team failures and successes in debriefs.
    • Celebrating successes help keep team morale high for future events. If debriefs become all about failure, team members will not want to attend in the future.
  • Keep debriefs shorter for teams, specifically with military or health-care teams
  • Pair the debrief with feedback if additional team training is needed.
    • Debriefs are distinct from traditional feedback in that:
        • They are more collaborative and include all team members rather than the team leader.
        • They focus more on processes that led to successes or failures rather than just the outcome.

References

  • Tannenbaum, S.I., and Cerasoli, C.P. (2012). Do team and individual debriefs enhance performance? A meta-analysis. Human Factors, 55(1): 231–245.
  • Allen, J.A., Reiter-Palmon, R., Crowe, J., and Scott, C. (2018). Debriefs: Teams learning from doing in context. American Psychologist, 73(4), 504–516.
  • Voyer, S. & Hatala, R. (2015). Debriefing and feedback. The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 10(2), 67–68.
  • Rudolph J.W., Simon R., Rivard P., Dufresne RL, Raemer D.B. (2007). Debriefing with good judgment: Combining rigorous feedback with genuine inquiry. Anesthesiol Clin. (2):361-76.
  • Keiser, N. L., & Arthur Jr, W. (2021). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of the after-action review (or debrief) and factors that influence its effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(7), 1007.
Further resources Expand answer
Brief definition/description of hybrid teaming Expand answer
  • Hybrid teaming is a work structure that allows team members to work in multiple environments. Some team members work in an office or designated workspace, some work remotely, and some alternate between the two.
    • The flexibility of hybrid teaming allows employees to have more control over their hours, when and where they work, and where they are the most productive while also granting organizations more power to attract and hire talent from various locations.

References

Why is virtual and hybrid teaming important? Expand answer
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many organizations to move their employees to remote work, virtual and hybrid teaming has become more common with almost a fourth of the American workforce working remotely.
  • This upsurge of virtual and hybrid teaming is expected to continue after the pandemic, with most workers desiring to continue working remotely at least some of the time.
    • Many workers have expressed that they will consider leaving their current position if they must go back into the office full time.
  • Many American workers in professional settings perceived an increase in productivity after going virtual

References:

  • Bartik, A.W., Cullen, Z., Glaeser, E., Luca, M., & Stanton, C. (2020). What jobs are being done at home during the COVID-19 crisis? Evidence from firm-level surveys. (No. w27422) National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Barrero, Jose, Nicholas Bloom and Steve Davis. “Why working from home will stick,” National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 28731, April 2021
  • Jones, J. M. (2020, August 21). S. Remote Workdays Have Doubled During Pandemic. Retrieved from Gallup: https://news.gallup.com/poll/318173/remote-workdays-doubled-during-pandemic.aspx
  • Ratican, S., Antenucci, R., & Ratican, C. (2021). Identifying Job Satisfaction and Employment Trends During the Covid 19 Pandemic. International Journal of Economics, Business and Management Research.
  • (2021). Entering The Era of Hybrid Work: Understanding How the Workplace Must Evolve: A Global Survey of Company Leaders and Knowledge Worker . Dimensional Research.
Best Practices for Leading Hybrid Teams Expand answer
  • Treat virtual and hybrid team members with empathy and compassion
    • Be conscious and understanding of the experiences of one’s colleagues and offer support to those dealing with challenges.
  • Ensure your whole team is equipped to succeed with the technology they have:
    • Implement all necessary training
    • Establish norms for how technology will be used (E.g., when it is appropriate to send messages or schedule virtual meetings)
    • Clarify which platforms your team will communicate on (Slack, email, Skype, etc.) and meet on (Webex, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc.)
  • Use a pulse-check survey to ask team members what they need, assess how things are going, and determine what has improved or worsened
  • Assist in goal setting with team members by making expectations clear and providing necessary guidance to facilitate task/project completion
    • Transparency and clear direction are more important when leading from a distance.
  • Create norms and set team expectations by discussing:
    • How and when team members are going to communicate
    • Which team members have access to certain information
    • Which team members need to be in upcoming meetings
    • Each team member’s plan to structure their working hours, making it clear when they will need to be in-person or virtual
  • Strive for equitable treatment of in-person and remote workers
    • Focus on how you divide your time between virtual and in-person team members
    • Set up all team members for success by making sure they are equipped with the right tools and resources to do their job in the environment they’re working in (in-person workers often have more access to office equipment)
    • Evaluate each member’s performance as objectively as possible by using outcome and performance metrics rather than judging performance based on in office visibility
  • Understand the skills, preferences, strengths, and weaknesses of your team members.
    • This is your job as a leader and allows you to better find ways for your team to work together effectively by building on each other’s skills, strengths and preferences, and compensating for weaknesses

References:

Best Practices for Hybrid Team Meetings Expand answer
  • Plan meetings with intention, considering when the meeting is occurring, necessary duration, and required number of participants
  • Strive for greater inclusion by having all members attend in-person or virtually
    • Hybrid team meetings in which some members are remote and others are in-person are the most difficult structure to navigate
    • Having an “all or nothing” approach to meetings avoids creating division between in-person and remote employees
    • If one employee will be virtual for a meeting, make the entire meeting virtual.
  • Establish group norms for when mics and cameras are required to be on
    • Keep in mind that “cameras/mics always on” policies contribute to fatigue and burnout
  • For longer virtual meetings, schedule time for breaks to decrease video conference fatigue
  • Utilize the appropriate virtual meeting technology for your context
    • Encourage the full use of the platform’s functions (e.g., use chat, blur distracting backgrounds, use breakout rooms)
    • Try to stick with integrated platforms for ease of use and simplicity (e.g., if your organization uses Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings then Microsoft OneDrive might be best for sharing documents)
    • Don’t overdo technology, having multiple tools that have the same function can become overwhelming for team members
  • Use best practices for meetings

References:

  • Bennett, A. A., Campion, E. D., Keeler, K. R., & Keener, S. K. (2021). Videoconference fatigue? Exploring changes in fatigue after videoconference meetings during COVID-19. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(3), 330–344.
  • Knight, R. (2020, October 7). How to Manage a Hybrid Team. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2020/10/how-to-manage-a-hybrid-team
  • Meluso, J., Johnson, S., & Bagrow, J. (2020, September 15). Flexible Environments for Hybrid Collaboration: Redesigning Virtual Work Through the Four Orders of Design. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/wehsk
  • Nader Ale Ebrahim, Shamsuddin Ahmed, Zahari Taha. Virtual Teams: a Literature Review. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2009, 3 (3), 2653-2669.
  • Shockley, K. M., Gabriel, A. S., Robertson, D., Rosen, C. C., Chawla, N., Ganster, M. L., & Ezerins, M.E. (2021). The fatiguing effects of camera use in virtual meetings: A within-person field experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(8), 1137.
  • Waters, Shonna. “The Success behind Virtual Teams: The Ultimate Guide.” BetterUp, 18 May 2021, https://www.betterup.com/blog/virtual-teams.
Common Challenges of Hybrid Teaming Expand answer
  • In a dispersed working team, tacit knowledge exchange is often impaired (I.e., the skills, ideas, and experiences of your teammates are not easily accessible and harder to utilize)
  • Many remote workers are concerned that working from home will exclude them from key meetings, resulting in missing vital information
  • Remote employees often have feelings of being excluded, unfair treatment, and have been found to be promoted at a drastically lower rate than their in-person peers
  • Video meeting fatigue and burnout levels have increased as remote work has increased

References:

  • Bloom, N. (2021). Hybrid is the future of work. Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research.
  • (2021). Entering the Era of Hybrid Work: Understanding How the Workplace Must Evolve: A Global Survey of Company Leaders and Knowledge Workers. Dimensional Research.
Further Resources Expand answer
Brief definition/description of cross-team collaboration (also known as multiteam systems or teams of teams) Expand answer
  • Collections of different groups who work together to achieve a common goal
  • Multiteam systems (MTSs) are two or more local teams that interface directly and interdependently to accomplish collective goals in response to environmental contingencies.
  • Defining features of MTSs include:
    • superordinate or collective goal
    • highly interdependent or tightly coupled local teams
  • Examples include:
    • Teams of designers, developers, content marketers, and sales representatives all working together toward a common goal
    • Teams of police, firefighters, emergency management technicians, surgical teams, radiology, and recovery teams working together to help severely injured accident victims
    • Teams of architects, engineers, general contractors, and subcontractors working together to construct a building

References:

  • Mathieu, J., Luciano, M., & DeChurch, L. (2018). Multiteam systems: the next chapter. In D. S. OnesN. Anderson, & C. Viswesvaran The sage handbook of industrial, work & organizational psychology(pp. 333-353). SAGE Publications Ltd, https://www.doi.org/10.4135/9781473914957.n16
  • Mathieu, J. E., Marks, M. A., & Zaccaro, S. J. (2002). Multiteam systems. In N. Anderson, D. S. Ones, H. K. Sinangil, & C. Viswesvaran (Eds.), Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology, Vol. 2. Organizational psychology(pp. 289–313). Sage Publications, Inc.
Why are MTSs important? Expand answer
  • Compared to teams working in isolation, MTSs have the potential to tackle more complex tasks and challenges important problems challenges because they provide greater specialization, flexibility, and rapid integration of member contributions
  • The benefits of effective MTSs include faster project progress, innovation and creativity, increased engagement, and upskilled employees who learn from each other.

References:

Complexity of MTSs Expand answer
  • MTSs must be simultaneously aware of the functioning of and balance the needs of:
    • local teams and
    • the larger MTS
  • The factors that help local teams function more effectively may hurt MTS performance
    • Local teams may have distinct goals and priorities that may conflict with one another and with the larger MTS goal
    • Members often feel greater allegiance to their local team than the larger MTS system
    • Empowering local teams and developing intra-team cohesion may undermine commitment to the MTS
    • The benefit of multiple local teams, including diverse skill sets, expertise, workload demands, can also create real or psychological divides between teams.
    • Affective states (e.g., trust, psychological safety, cohesion) are especially problematic for encouraging divisions if they are strong within local teams but not across teams.
  • Alternatively, the factors that help MTSs function more effectively may hurt local team performance
    • When interactions between teams exceed interactions within teams, intra-team conflict may increase
    • Informal coordination with other teams can undermine local team performance
  • Although dynamic environments often require MTS structures, too much dynamism can break down MTS functioning and reduce system effectiveness.

References:

  • Shuffler, M. L., & Carter, D. R. (2018). Teamwork situated in multiteam systems: Key lessons learned and future opportunities. American Psychologist73(4), 390.
  • Ziegert, J. C., Knight, A. P., Resick, C. J., & Graham, K. A. (2022). Addressing performance tensions in multiteam systems: Balancing informal mechanisms of coordination within and between teams. Academy of Management Journal, 65(1), 158-185.
Tips to facilitate effective collaboration in MTSs Expand answer
  • Seek to balance coordination between teams and within teams so that one is not significantly greater than the other
    • Because of the complexities noted above, teams should strive to strike a balance in the time dedicated to across and within local team interactions.
      • Teams that balance local team and MTS interactions can half the failure rate relative to imbalanced systems.
    • Incorporate between-team elements as part of the collaborative team culture
      • Members of MTSs need to develop skills that facilitate effective processes between teams as well as within teams.
        • Boundary spanning is a critical facilitator of working effectively across teams, so some members should network across multiple local teams.
      • Establish a positive MTS culture in which collaboration across teams is valued and rewarded.
      • Emphasize the overall MTS goals and specify how local team goals contribute to the overall MTS goals.
    • Establish MTS structures and work design that maximize coordination and collaboration between teams
      • In addition to team charters for local teams, create a multiteam charter that specifies between-team norms for communication and leadership
      • Establish norms, guidelines, ground rules, and a meeting structure that supports efficient and effective collaboration across teams.
      • Use participative and iterative system design procedures to sustain member motivation and identify methods of minimizing process loss and maximizing process gains.
    • Establish a clear leadership structure
      • Leadership has been shown to have significant positive effects on inter-team coordination and MTS performance.
      • Leadership is a powerful MTS process that must be integrated and managed across the system to maximize its benefits.
      • Identify patterns or networks of leadership influence in MTSs to help manage “who influences whom” to achieve system goals.
      • Leadership should be at both the MTS and local team levels
        • MTS leadership emphasizes managing cross-team interactions whereas local team leadership focuses on coordinating the workflow among team members.
        • MTS leadership fosters inter-team coordination and MTS performance, but may not improve team performance; therefore, local team leaders are needed within an MTS.
      • Choose a centralized communication method (see Team Charters)
        • Consolidate tools so everyone uses the same technology to improve communication and simplify logistics and the allocation of resources
    • All teams should be comfortable using the chosen technology

References:

  • Asencio, R., Carter, D. R., DeChurch, L. A., Zaccaro, S. J., & Fiore, S. M. (2012). Charting a course for collaboration: A multiteam perspective. Translational Behavioral Medicine2(4), 487-494.
  • DeChurch, L. A., & Marks, M. A. (2006). Leadership in multiteam systems. Journal of Applied Psychology91(2), 311.
  • Shuffler, M. L., & Carter, D. R. (2018). Teamwork situated in multiteam systems: Key lessons learned and future opportunities. American Psychologist73(4), 390.
  • Ziegert, J. C., Knight, A. P., Resick, C. J., & Graham, K. A. (2022). Addressing performance tensions in multiteam systems: Balancing informal mechanisms of coordination within and between teams. Academy of Management Journal, 65(1), 158-185.
  • Step-by-step guide to better cross-team collaboration
  • 11 Tips to Instantly Improve Cross-Team Collaboration