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How to Tune-up Your Team: A Checklist for Essential Maintenance

Teams don’t work very well without periodic check-ups to make sure everything is working as it should. Use the following set of questions as a) a guide for your own reflective thinking about a team you lead, b) as a discussion tool for an upcoming team meeting, or c) as a survey for each team member to complete. What you learn from the feedback will help you and the team determine what actions to take to improve performance by solving problems identified before they become more daunting.

1. Do we have clear, measurable goals as a focus for our work as a group?

2. Has each team member’s role been clearly defined? Do team members understand each other’s roles?

3. Do we fully utilize the talents of each team member?

4. Do we effectively communicate important information in a timely manner between team members? between the team leader and the team members?

5. Do we successfully resolve interpersonal conflict?

6. Do we have a group process for problem solving/decision making, which involves looking at a wide range of options and selecting the best, based on objective analysis?

7. Do we encourage ideas, opinions, and information to be expressed by all team members?

8. Do we praise and recognize team members as well as the whole group when the work they do deserves it?

9. Do team members trust each other and the leader?

10. Do we continually learn to increase our knowledge and become more competent in each of our roles?

Don’t be blindsided by team building obstacles of which you may be unaware. Pause periodically to ask and answer these critical questions, then develop a plan of action to make the needed repairs. That way your team will keep running at maximum performance without costly breakdowns.

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