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I agree....positive re-enforcement is a great way to make sure your team realizes all the good things about working together to reach the common goal.

Positive reinforcement is a good technique to use when it is appropriate. Constructive criticism or feedback also improves team performance at times when positive affirmations are not warranted. The key to managing a team is to give regular feedback, whether positive or constructive.


Our team’s main issue is not being prepared for the meetings, setting an appropriate agenda, and sticking to it, and evaluating our progress to date. If begin with a clear focus on what is expected, and needs to be accomplished, along with regular updates of where we are in meeting the goals. Usually learn at meeting what is to covered, and materials provided then, rather than receiving in time to review prior to the meeting. If started with being prepared prior to meeting, would then be able to accomplish the purpose for having team and meeting.

Written By Steven Pino:
Improving Team Performance

Different people of your team will play roles. Use these natural roles to emphasize the growth of your team.

A leader will be more natural as a guide for others as long as they are not too pushy. Give them a little authority and watch them grow.

The hard worker wants to work, but do not over burden or over look them. Keep in mind that they want some recognition, whether it be in private or in public.


You make several good points Steven. One is that you need to provide recognition. A good leader recognizes staff in public and corrects them in private. Another of your points, if I am interpreting it correctly is that you should give new leaders incremental authority to allow them to grow. This is critical. Everybody needs opportunities to succeed and success breeds success. Sometimes a good strategy is to give multiple people on the team some tasks that stretch their abilities and see which one emerges as a leader. This helps you to strengthen your management pool while developing new skills for everybody.

Dr. Jamie Morley

It is always refreshing to see new team members, if it is done with thought and need. Teams don't need to be refreshed just to be refreshed. Identify a reason a new member mighgt be added first.

I agree with you. Adding people to a successful team can be disruptive. However, consider this perspective. The teams that are running the best are probably guided by the strongest managers. It is important for all employees have the opportunity to be coached by the most effective leaders. So, consider it a compliment, find a worthwhile assignment for the new team member, and welcome them to your team!

Dr. Jamie Morley

from reading through these threads it seems to me that many of the problems could be avoided IF…
1) stating a clear goal(s) before work begins -- before the team is formed
2) setting some guild line / frame work to get to the goal(s)
this should be lay out at the first meeting or even at as the team is put together
3) along with some way to adjust these "guild line" if needed as the project process


You are right on target! Setting clear goals is often as equally as important as the members of the team. Setting expectations, defining success, and establishing benchmarks help both new and established team members. Obtaining commitment from team members is also important, especially if the project is not their full time responsibility. Feedback and acknowledgement also help to keep the motivation high.

Nicely done!

Dr. Jamie Morley

One aspect that I have seen that helps improve team performance is to acknowledge when the team is doing well. Often, we gloss over the good things and focus on areas of improvement when we need to celebrate the accomplishments. This helps people feel like progress is being made!


You are so correct! Balanced feedback is essential to keep teams performing effectively. Intel uses an approach called a "brag sheet" whereby employees complete a monthly summary of their activity to their supervisor. In addition to an honest assessment of the activities, this gives them an appropriate forum to share successes. This type of strategy could work very well at the team level as well.

Dr. Jamie Morley

It's very interesting how people react when opinions differ and it's a very opportune time to stop and revisit the topics that they are disagreeing on and it should be in open form sometimes is a tendency for people to try to do this outside of the meeting room which in my opinion generally results in hidden hostility and unfavorable reactions on the part of the rest of the team members.

And e-mail is a wonderful tool but obviously the visual element is missing and the emphasis and tone of the voice are missing also and one finds himself staring strictly at printed fact and will sometimes react in a contrary measure just based on the way that the e-mail itself was worded. E-mail is designed to be a communication tool and not to be a substitute for centralized meetings where you need to develop an outcome or you have a preset goal.

When you have differences of opinion it's very important to stop and take a good solid look as as to why you have the differences of opinion and interrogate or ask I guess would be the better word individuals on exactly where they're coming from with their difference of opinion. Sometimes it's the direct result of a misunderstanding of a particular concept or I've even found that some individuals may not be familiar enough with the particular topic and have a tendency to overreact to particular statements.

Is very important to allow the team members to express themselves and plan active role in the meetings where you will witness them becoming more involved in the meeting topics and an increased participation is generally the outcome. A good leader will encourage this type of participation and may even use particular members of the team to seed the initial discussions to bring out specific areas where others may then picked up and carried the ball from there. The outcome of course is actually a well defined goal being reached.

It is difficult at times to keep everyone on the same page as there is a tendency for individuals not to be actively listening when others are speaking but may quite possibly be thinking of their response in order to play an active role which naturally the leader has encouraged to take place in the meeting. That's very important for the leader to keep everyone on track by reentering the specific goal that was originally set out to be resolved. It generally is only in my opinion a natural course of events for conversations to a very off topic and then after a. Return to the topic. This can often times lead to meetings running overtime which as we all know so well leads to frustration and actual lack of participation in the long run.

When considering team performance there is absolutely no doubt that positive feedback is a very successful motivator and individuals have a basically inherent need to receive both types of feedback regarding their comments and or solutions to specific problems. It is very important so that other team members to not gain up on one individual which eventually will cause that individual to go into silence in order to avoid confrontation. And so few a leader throughout the meeting to continually reinforce positive behavior and reward those that are participating in a positive manner which should bring about a very positive meeting.

I agree with your method. It is too easy to get into a “he said” – “she said” contest when the parties are not together. It is amazing how the stories change when you put all parties in the room and you encourage them to come to a mutual understanding.

Dr. Jamie Morley

Very true! My rule is that after an email string has gone back and forth more than twice; it is time to get up and make a phone call or, better yet, a personal visit. Since many companies have multiple locations, email is quick and cost effective. However, with the advent of gotomeeting or Skype, you can always communicate more effectively than email – it just takes a bit more effort.

Dr. Jamie Morley

Again, you make some excellent points. By giving team members “stretch assignments” they have the opportunity to grow and develop, thereby becoming move valuable members of your team. One downside to this strategy is that you should be prepared to provide guidance, in case they fail, to ensure that the team or the project does not suffer. Can you think of any other upsides or downsides to using stretch assignments to improve the effectiveness of your team?

Dr. Jamie Morley

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