Leadership Matters: Team Development

Senior teams in schools are often put together and expected, sometimes within short time frames, to work cohesively and effectively. There can be little time set aside for developing the team enabling them to perform effectively as a unit. This consultancy package, a collaboration between ASCL Professional Development and Andy Buck’s ‘Leadership Matters’, aims to give senior school teams dedicated time to work towards a shared sense of the whole team’s goals where they are acting as a single unit and performing highly.

The package is split into six separate stages:

Stage 1: Pre-course task
Finding out about personality types and completion of a team self-assessment as well as identifying the features of the best team individuals have worked in.

Stage 2: Individual conversation
Between each team member and the facilitator drawing on the outcomes of stage one.

Stage 3: Features of great teams
The focus of the session will be on what are the features of great teams when they are working well. The outcome of the team discussion will then be compared with a model of team development (adapted from both Tuckman and Lencioni’s separate models), which can then be adapted to reflect feedback from the team involved so it is owned.

Stage 4: Building Trust
This part of the programme is likely to be both the most challenging but potentially the most rewarding in helping the team work together more effectively.

The outputs from earlier stages are shared, respecting the anonymity and based upon a set of rules of engagement agreed by the team. The team will then reflect together on strengths and areas to develop to provide a platform to think about the steps they might take together to build their shared effectiveness. The facilitator will help the team come up with a ‘team charter’ for the coming six months that will set out agreed actions and behaviours.

Individual team members will also share individual pledges - an area they are each going to really work on to enable them to make an even better contribution to the team and three ‘helpful to know’ things about themselves. These will be along the lines of “I am really energised when...”; “I am at my least productive when...”; “I can contribute the team best as  someone who…”.

The team leader is then in a position to reflect on the progress made and to thank the team.

It is anticipated that stages 3 and 4 take place away from school and comprise an evening and full day normally Friday into Saturday with a meal for the team.

Stage 5: Sharing Outcomes
In the week after the session the facilitator will write up the outcomes and share with the team including the agreed team development model, the team charter, personal pledges and the ‘helpful to know’ items.

Stage 6: Optional Follow Up
This optional twilight follow up would normally take place four to six months later and comprises a twilight session with the facilitator to check-in on progress with a particular focus on the team charter.