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Team process diagnosis


I've been asked to observe a senior management team in action at a meeting. Then, to prepare a presentation regarding the effective and ineffective behaviours and approaches that we saw to give the management team an insight into how it functions as a team. The feedback won't really be aimed at individuals regarding their own behaviour - more at the team as a whole regarding it's behaviour. I'm looking for a framework/model to help with this that's easy to use. I'm very familiar with Belbin's model already.
stephen white

5 Responses

  1. Behavioural Models.
    You don’t say why you are assessing the meeting so what follows may be inappropriate. We use a couple of models when assessing interactions between individuals, both have been around for a while.

    The first is Transactional Analysis, after Heron, which defines behaviour as being indicative of one of three ego states; Parent (P), Adult(A) or Child (C). Parent further sub-divides into either Critical Parent (CP) or Nurturing Parent (NP). Child (C), sub-divides into Free Child (FC) or Adaptive Child (AC).

    Very briefly the ego states can be described as follows; Critical Parent talks down to and is critical of the other. Nurturing Parent encourages and builds up the other.

    Adult talks as an equal, is assertive, accepts that the other is an equal.

    Wild child is irresponsible and lacks self-restraint. Adaptive child is submissive and compliant.

    A simple grid can be devised whereby every transaction between two people is noted showing the ego state and person displaying the ego state. At the end of the meeting the results can be analysed. The ideal is everyone treats each other as adults.

    The second model is 6 Category Intervention Analysis. Under this model interventions (interactions between two people) are classified as being of two types, (1) Authoritative and (2) Facilitative.

    Authoritative interventions are classified as Prescriptive (giving orders), Informative (giving information) and Confronting (disagreeing). None of them are necessarily aggressive and all of them can be done in a very positive way.

    Facilitative interventions are classified as Cathartic (releasing, as in asking someone how they feel), Catalytic (causing change) and Supportive (giving support). As above all can be done to varying degrees.

    Both models have had a great deal written about them and you would need to do further research to get a sound grasp of how to most effectively use them in your situation.

    The advantage of using either model is that where I have had to give feedback I have had a framework within which behaviour id defined. They make explanation so much easier when having to encourage development.

    I hope this helps.

    Alex Paterson

  2. Team Observation
    What a great question Stephen!

    To add to others’ comments, do also watch out for *non-verbal signals* which may be any of affirmative (nods, umms and ‘right!’), seeking further info or clarification (eg implying ‘what did you mean by…’??), positively challenging (eg suggesting ‘I can see that, but what about…’) or negatively (eg in ‘Yes, but…’ category!), not understood (eg indicating ‘yerwot’??), boredom, outright opposition, ‘I think you are lying’, defensiveness and the rest? (Do read Allan Pease on Body Language – ever so good I find!)

    Further, underpinning all this, while I especially admire the TA approach and the Authoritative/Facilitating analysis already mentioned, you may also find both MBTI and FIRO-B individual profiles helpful if available to you – people are allowably different!

    Finally, don’t lose sight of your Top Team’s objectives? Did they meet them (did they even agree them!) or didn’t they? That is often a good place to start before our ‘smoke and mirrors’ stuff! – if that is how they might see it?

    Good luck!

    Jeremy Thorn


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