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Thirteen Steps to a More Productive Team

Updated: May 20, 2021

As major organizations have to learn to deal with increasingly rapid change, teams are becoming more and more critical.

Productive Team

So what is the best team building method?


Leaders find themselves members of all kinds of teams, including virtual teams, autonomous teams, cross-functional teams, and action-learning teams. Many of today's leaders face a dilemma: as the need to build effective teams is increasing, the time available to build these teams is often de-creasing.

A common challenge faced by today's leaders is the necessity of building teams in an environment of rapid change with limited resources.


Are you pressed for time? Here are 13 steps of the process - If you have more time, I go into each one in detail below as well


To successfully implement the following team-building process, the leader will need to assume the role of coach or facilitator and fight the urge to be the "boss". More significant improvement in teamwork tends to occur when team members develop their own behavioural change strategies rather just executing a change strategy that has been imposed upon them by the "boss".

  1. Ask each team member confidentially how well is the team doing working as a team and how well need to be doing.

  2. Calculate the results

  3. Ask each team member two key behaviour that could change to help close the gap between now and the better future.

  4. Prioritize the behaviours and identify the most important to change

  5. Each team member holds a one-on-one dialogue with all other team members and suggests two areas for personal behavioural change.

  6. All team members announce their one key behaviour for personal change to the team.

  7. Hold monthly meeting to check on the progress of the team.

  8. Conduct a mini-survey after six months for confidential feedback from each team member.

  9. Calculate results

  10. In a team meeting discuss mini-survey results and discuss further in one to one sessions

  11. Conduct brief monthly progress reports

  12. Conduct a summary session with the team one year after the process has started.

  13. Ask the team members if they believe that more work on team building will be needed in the upcoming year.

Are you still reading? Great! Go grab a cup of coffee or tea, get comfortable, and let's dig deep!




Ask each team member confidentially how well is the team doing working as a team and how well need to be doing


Ask all members of the team to confidentially record their individual answers to two questions: a) On a 1 to 10 scale (with ten being ideal), how well are we doing in terms of working together as a team? and b) On a 1 to 10 scale, how well do we need to be doing in terms of working together as a team?

Calculate the results

Calculate the results and discuss the results with the team. If the team members believe that the gap between current effectiveness and needed effectiveness indicates the need for team building, proceed to the next step.


Ask each team member two key behaviour that could change to help close the gap between now and the better future


Ask the team members, "If every team member could change two key behaviours that would help the team close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Which two behaviours the team should try to change?" Have each team member record his or her selected behaviours on flip charts.



Prioritize the behaviours and identify the most important to change


Prioritize all the behaviours on the flip chart and use consensus to determine the most crucial behaviour that needs to be changed as a team.


Each team member holds a one-on-one dialogue with all other team members and suggests two areas for personal behavioural change


Each team member should hold a one-on-one dialogue with all other team members. During the conversations, each member will request that his or her colleague suggest two areas for personal behavioural change (other than the one already agreed on above) that will help the team close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

All team members announce their one key behaviour for personal change to the team


Each team member should review his or her list of suggested behavioural changes and choose the one that seems to be the most important. Have all team members then announce their one key behaviour for personal change to the team.


Hold monthly meeting to check on the progress of the team


One hour monthly team meetings to discuss the progress of the team members as a team and as individuals.


Conduct a mini-survey after six months for confidential feedback from each team member

This survey will include:

  • The one common behavioural item.

  • The one personal behavioural item.

  • The overall team member item.

A final question can gauge the level of follow-up – so that team members can see the connection between their level of follow-up and their increased effectiveness.





Calculate results


Calculate each individual's results (on all items) and calculate the summary results for all team members (on the common team items). Each team member can then receive a confidential summary report indicating the degree to which colleagues see his or her increased effectiveness in demonstrating the desired behaviours. Each member can also receive a summary report on the team's progress on the items selected for all team members.


Perhaps the rest of the steps are quite self-explanatory and not required for me to break down, but one point is essential to keep in mind, for all of the above to stick, you will need to FOLLOW- UP.


Why is Follow-up so important?


Follow-up is how we measure our progress. It is how we remind people that we are making an effort to change. Follow-up turns changing for the better into an ongoing process—not only for you but for everyone involved.


And lastly, remember change is a process and not an event.

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