#303 from Innovative
Leader Volume 6, Number 10
Values for Functional Teams
Ms. Loy-Ferri is founder of TIGERS Success Series, helping organizations with leadership, group dynamics and value-based team building. P.O. Box 8236, Spokane, WA 99203. Phone (541) 385-7465. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanted to know
what is necessary to create an ethical, quality focused,
successful and productive group of people?
My study reviewed group dynamics’ research in education,
psychology and business. I
then developed a model to help organizations increase
productivity, improve morale and develop leadership skills.
People are rarely
fired for not knowing how to perform work... given that they were
hired for their skills or for their potential to be trained on the
job. People are most
often fired because they don’t know how to get along with
coworkers or customers.
business owners with a stable workforce have learned this lesson
early on. However,
leaders of larger organizations who are shifting their operations
from traditional work practices to group-centered enterprises are
awakening to the realization that more than work design comes into
what the organization holds to be important, and identifying
behaviors that support group efforts, as well as those behaviors
that tear group efforts down, are essential tools for the savvy
When behavior is
known to create harmonious and productive groups, it can be
behavior is known to distract from harmonious and productive
growth, it can be counseled to.
Understanding core values that promote functional group
dynamics is, therefore, paramount for anchoring the group’s
culture and for understanding why some people work well together
and why some don’t.
is a group-development model that addresses key values that affect
group harmony and productivity.
It requires six core values:
Trust, Interdependence, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk and
Trust is the belief and confidence in the integrity,
reliability and fairness of a person or organization.
Trust is an essential human value.
Like a fine oil, trust is the lubrication that keeps teams
functional when conflict arises.
It is difficult to acquire, and if abused, harder to
destroyed, people will be asked to, or choose to, leave the
Competition between workers
Interdependence relies on behaviors founded on sharing,
Encouraging management to believe they can change people
Win-win problem solving and the reduction in win-lose and
lose-lose conflict solutions
Genuineness is a personal quality each person needs to
bring to the team. It
promotes sincere, honest, respectful and direct communication in
an open and responsible way.
Obstacles that most often impede genuine behavior stem from
both internal and external sources.
Internal obstacles include fear of change, abandonment and
being wrong. This
results in reality avoidance, dishonesty, rationalization and
performance anxiety. External
obstacles focus on fear of repercussions.
Triangulation or allowing people to discuss concerns and
complaints with co-workers or others who have no power to bring
matters to closure
Critical thinking skill development
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and ideas
of another person. It
is essential for resolving conflict in ways where everyone wins.
Each employee has certain rights that are linked to
include the right of respect, emotional safety, physical safety
and opportunity for fulfillment.
Empathy, therefore, has a powerful influence on successful
conflict resolution and team harmony.
Narcissism and self-obsession
Care for self and others
Risk is a potential exposure to loss or injury resulting in
fear of the unknown. On
the downside, the fear of risk results in stagnation because if
people are penalized for calculated risk-taking, they become
fearful of new ideas. On
the upside, risk is the fuel behind change and quality
organizations that fail to look at errors as learning tools are
not as responsive to market competition as organizations that do.
Punishing people who make mistakes
Performance feedback and coaching
Success means effectively achieving what an organization
has set out to do. It
is a fundamental rationality for why teams are formed.
For this reason, it’s essential that team members clearly
understand and commit to organizational change and to an
organization’s mission and goals.
If people resolutely feel that a change or a goal won’t
be successful, they will demand a change in leadership or quit.
Lack of personal commitment and accountability for
Building commitment and ownership of company goals at all
levels of organization
strike a balance between how work is done and the people doing the
work. When values are
recognized and held as important, the resulting conduct creates
greater harmony among people, which results in less strife.
The payoff is increased creativity and improved morale.
In those organizations where behavior standards are spelled
out and the expectations of how people are to treat one another
are commonly known, both group harmony and
increased productivity follow.