Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Common Team Challenges

In a couple of weeks I'm speaking at this year's HRPA Conference, co-leading a session entitled "Tips, Traps and Frameworks for Creating High Performing Teams". As a coach and consultant who works with teams who want to get better, I am often asked What are some of the key challenges a team can face in their life-cycle?

In today's post I am tackling three very common team challenges faced in almost every industry:

New Leadership - In this era of change, teams encounter new leadership, sometimes more frequently than they would wish. New leaders bring the possibility of new opportunities and certainly a new history for the team. It may take 90 days for a new person to feel comfortable in their role, AND it may take a team even longer to feel comfortable with a new leader.

Ask yourself:
What are your plans to really get to know your team? Discuss expectations?
How is leadership having an impact on your team?
As a new leader what is important to recognize and acknowledge within this team? What changes do you want to make?

Matrix Management - A majority of my career existed against the backdrop of matrix management often across global boundaries. As a Program Manager and Director, it was very common for my own team to have several supervisors. How do you create a sense of team identify when operating in a matrixed environment? It is possible, and requires strong relationship building and communication skills. This team challenge is a definitely a topic for several posts. I hope that you will check out what I have said about matrix teams under our tags.

Ask yourself:
What communication channels need to be opened in your matrix environment?
What information needs to be shared?
What roles need to be clarified?

Silos - Silos are a common challenge in so many workforces today. Even as organizational change is designed to "bring down the silos" many times, new ones emerge or old ones become even more entrenched.

Ask yourself:
What is your organization doing to foster communication between different parts of the organization?
How is your team impacted by silos?

If you are attending HRPA's conference this year, I look forward to meeting you!

Warm regards

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized Team Services
Team Coaching, Workshops, Retreats
Phone: 416.996.TEAM (8326)
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)

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