Are you a new team leader or a leader who was recently assigned a team? Do you have a good team already and know that a challenging new project is coming up? Now is a perfect time to assess your team’s development, their capabilities, and their readiness level.
Capabilities and readiness represent the tangible vs. intangible sides of an employee and, by extension, the entire work team. A team leader can quickly ascertain the general capabilities of each team member by reviewing their CV and by speaking with each person about their experience, training, relevant education and so on. That’s the tangible stuff – the things that are written down.
On the other side of the coin is each team member’s personality; their will; their attitude about the job and the task at hand. These are the intangibles that can govern the dynamics of the team. Understanding more about each team member and how well they respond to a challenge is invaluable in helping determine how to assign tasks, motivate the team, and meet deadlines.
To assess a team member’s capability, consider these four questions:
- Does the person have experience performing the task?
- Has the team member received proper training or education to do the task?
- Does the person clearly understand the task?
- Do they have a clear understanding of their role on the team?
Each team member’s readiness for a new challenge can also be assessed in four ways:
- Confidence in their capability
- Sense of security in their job
- Clear incentive
- Willingness to see the job through or learn new skills
Having a team member who displays all four capability traits AND all four readiness traits is ideal – but we live in the real world. Each project is unique, and even the most capable team member may find themselves having to learn an entirely new skill. This kind of challenge can shake a person’s confidence, but if they’re not worried about losing their job if they admit they don’t know something, and they’re willing to do what it takes to learn that skill, the problem is only a minor hiccup in the overall workflow.
Excerpted from One Team, One Dream by Gregg Gregory
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