- Science and Engineering Education Focus on the Individual’s Work
- No Experience
- Product Orientation
Necessities and Advantages
- Complexity Requires Many Experts
- Education Improved
- Social Advantages
- Product Improved
Team Building and Team work
- Goal Statement
- Social Contract
- Interpersonal Relations
- Communication/Information Exchange
Guidelines for Effective Meetings
(Partially from Bush, MIT M.Sc. Thesis, 1998)
- Keeps Rules
- Avoids Domination
- Keeps Time
- Record Keeper
- Takes Notes
- Distributes Notes
- Rotate Roles!
- Running a Meeting: See Separate Handout
- Start meetings on time and hold them in a place where the group won’t be distracted or interrupted.
- Come to meetings prepared.
- Assign someone in the group to prepare an agenda before each meeting to be finalized and agreed upon in the first few minutes of the meeting.
- In speaking, the most important thing to aim for is balance. Try to balance the input of each member.
- To maximize the group’s collective wisdom, seek to hear from everyone.
- As a group, appoint a leader during each meeting to notice who is speaking and who is not and to invite the comments of those who are silent.
- Encourage each other to speak for no more than 2 minutes at a time unless a group member has a report to give.
- Individually try to find a place where you are not monopolizing nor withdrawing from the conversation at hand.
- When you do speak, try to be honest, courteous, and to the point regarding your own work and the work and ideas of others.
- Avoid interrupting and side conversations; one conversation at a time is plenty, while three or four concurrent conversations make it impossible to go anywhere collectively.
- Stories whether about basketball games or political farce, should probably be saved for other forums.
- View listening as more important than speaking.
- Listen well enough to be able to paraphrase what is said.
- Give feedback to each other in non-threatening supportive ways (a good way to do this is to focus on the group goals and how a particular issue assists group objectives without attacking any group member).
- Seek feedback from each other, because it is most often useful even if disconcerting.
Expect to disagree with each other.
- Do not personalize disagreement; instead, try to learn from it.
- Acknowledge as a group that wisdom and information can come from many different sources: facts, feelings, hunches, opinions, ideas, mistakes, and even silence.
- Seek to maximize the information you obtain from each other in your meetings through asking questions.
- Be careful with the decision-making process. Once a decision has been made, it is very difficult and painful to backtrack.
- Be patient with the process of shaping consensus; make sure everyone agrees with a decision before moving on. One member’s disagreement is a liability to group effectiveness.
- Make sure you hear and address all sides of an issue.
- If necessary, go through several iterations of analyzing alternatives, eliminating the most obvious, re-analyzing, eliminating, etc.
- If the decision-making process is not handled with care, a decision will probably have to be rethought at a later date after unneeded headache and work.
Assess Group Interaction
- Once a week discuss what goes well/not well re. group work.
- End meetings on time.
- Make significant progress towards the goal of a meeting before ending.
- Whenever these two objectives conflict, be sure to discuss why significant progress was not achieved and whether to continue or meet another time.
- Summarize what the meeting accomplished.
- Set the date and time of your next meeting, the possible agenda, and any necessary preparations or tasks.
Indicators of Successful Teamwork in Industry
- Obtaining the opinions and involvement of other group members in issues that concern them before making final decisions.
- Being willing to help team members even when inconvenient or requires extra effort.
- Voluntarily offering relevant experiences, ideas, and findings to team members.
- Making timely contribution to someone else’s action plan or project when requested.
- Acknowledging a colleague’s contribution to a project when working with a client or senior manager, sharing the credit.
- Being non-defensive and receptive to the suggestions, ideas, opinions, and needs of colleagues; making effort to understand before criticizing.
- Considering impact your plans and actions will have on others.
- Being unwilling to criticize third party who is not present, not gossiping.
- Coming prepared to present or participate when you have a role to play in meetings.
- Expressing appreciation for teamwork extended to you and your people that was helpful.
- Identifying and helping to pick up loose ends even though they may not be in your area of responsibility.
- Keeping people advised of changes and developments and new information on a task or project.
- Being supportive of team’s objectives once they are set, rather than sabotaging, fault-finding, or being negative behind the scenes.
- Pitching in when the whole team needs help in meeting a deadline or solving a problem, even if it’s “not your job”.
- Trusting the team to develop consensus on an issue, even if it takes a little more time.
Not all Groups are Teams: How to Tell the Difference
Katzenbach, Jon R., and Douglas K. Smith. “The Discipline of Teams.” Harvard Business Review (1993).
|Strong, Clearly Focused Leader||Shared Leadership Roles|
|Individual Accountability||Individual and Mutual Accountability|
|The Group’s Purpose is the Same as the Broader Organizational Mission||Specific Team Purpose that the Team itself Delivers|
|Individual Work-products||Collective Work-products|
|Runs Efficient Meetings||Encourages Open-ended Discussion and Active Problem-solving Meetings|
|Measures its Effectiveness Indirectly by its Influence on Others||Measures Performance Directly by Assessing Collective Work-products|
|Discusses, Decides, and Delegates||Discusses, Decides, and Does Real Work Together|