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Very small teams


I am developing a programme (pre-course booklet and a half day workshop) to introduce the concept of team building and team development to high flyers who currently work in very small teams (typically two or three). Whilst I've loads of ideas around activities I would like to include some "theory" but I'm not sure Tuckman or Belbin are particular relevant. Any ideas on how I could approach this would be welcomed.

Many thanks
Jennifer James

7 Responses

  1. look to a model which examines relationships between people
    Jennifer, my thoughts would be to look to a model which examines relationships between people rather than ‘team building’in it’s traditional sense.

    The model I have had greatest success with is that of DiSC which provides a simple framework to understand; one’s own behaviours and that of others and how to develop effective working relationships. If you put ‘DiSC Profile’ into google you will find lot’s of information.

    Cultivate Training & Development

  2. small team/groups
    I agree with Lindsay.

    Learning Styles (Honey and Mumford) is another good one to help people appreciate the differences between them and how to make those an asset rather than a problem.

  3. team building
    Why not include Rackham’s workon communication styles. Then there is Kilman on conflict which could enable you to do some practical activities on consensus. There is so much group theory around, I think you might need to start with a much clearer objective what you want them to be doing as a result of attending this session. I will be interested in hearing how you get on.


    Charlotte Mannion
    Quick Learn Limited

  4. Team building
    In addition to all the other replies, I find MBTI and FIRO-B absolutely invaluable for teams of all sizes.

    I also find a preliminary confidential SWOT analysis, collated, clustered by common theme and then fed back to the group without individual attribution, also very helpful where there may be important covert issues affecting the team that are not being addressed (or even acknowledged) by it.

    Best wishes!


  5. Keep Tuckman!
    Hi Jennifer

    I think Tuckman is a useful framework whatever the size of the team because most teams when they work together usually find themselves going backwards and forwards through the stages.

    To be effective, teams need to have clarity on goals, roles and processes. Some of the tools suggested in the responses to your query could be very helpful to help facilitate discussions within each of the 3 core areas.

  6. Look at Katzenbach and Smith
    Hi Jenifer

    Tuckmen and Belbin are OK but very dated and simplistic. For high flyers I would point then at Katzenbach and Smith particularly “Teams at the Top” which highlights the need to recognise when you as a manager move in and out of small “real” teams, but spend much of the time in working groups. My experience is that managers find it useful to recognise when they need to be a team and when they don’t”.

    If you would like to discuss further then drop me a line.

    Best Wishes


  7. Look at Nancy Kine’s “Time to Think”
    Nancy provides an excellent model for creating a “thinking environment”. This is execellent for any team which really wants to move forward. has a section entitled thinking environment.
    I use a lot of this with management teams – we talk about what really matters, in a carefully agreed environment.

    [email protected]


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