Team Types and Training Programs

This weekend I spent some time catching up on Daniel Crosby’s organizational blog – IncBlog. I enjoy reading Daniel’s posts because he presents some smart, out-of-the-box thinking, makes you go hmm, content. One post that intrigued me was The Four Types of Teams – What’s Yours? which speaks about the four team types and the team’s classification of overall performance and rapport. The four team types detailed are:

Pretending (low Rapport, low Results) – This TeamType is characterized by a lack of clear direction as well as a lack of commitment to one another. If left unaided, Pretending teams are likely to fail in the short term future. In order to become viable, Pretending teams must learn to develop systems of accountability and performance, as well as invest in one another on a personal level.

Befriending (high Rapport, low Results) – This TeamType is marked by a strong personal investment in the team but a lack of commitment to what the group should be accomplishing. Without appropriate change leadership, Befriending teams will continue to build strong relationships but produce lackluster results. Bringing about this change can be especially difficult as being a part of a Befriending team is typically a very enjoyable experience.

Attending (low Rapport, high Results) – This TeamType is characterized by a commitment to driving measurable organizational goals but less of an understanding of how people facilitate that process. Without appropriate change leadership, Attending teams can experience high turnover, burnout, and short-term successes followed by a longer term need to rebuild. Advocating for change within Attending teams can be difficult inasmuch as members may point to a record of success to justify their approach.

Ascending (high Rapport, high Results) – The Ascending TeamType is marked by a commitment to people and performance simultaneously. Ascending teams understand that they are at their happiest and most productive when they are working toward a common goal, sharing ideas freely, and supporting one another in their climb to the top. The goal with an Ascending team is to maintain the commitment to Rapport and Results, and to highlight the means by which they have achieved their success. Simply put, the Ascending team is the type all other teams are striving to become.

As I read through these team type classifications, I began to put some thought in how training would need to be constructed for these teams. Typically when training is drafted, many things are considered to include:  adult learning theory, learning styles, audience make-up (i.e., engineering, finance, etc.), knowledge level, etc. However, how many trainers or instructional designers do you know that are considering the audience’s rapport and results drive?

In my personal experience, I can say the trainings I have attended have not provided any consideration to the audience’s rapport or results drive. What about you – what has been your experience with thought being given to consider rapport or results drive?

Over the course of May, we will explore how you could give consideration to the team classification in regards to a training program.

Stay tuned!


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