This is the third in a series of five posts to describe how managers can coach people to practice genuine collaboration in the workplace. These posts represent excerpts from the ATD’s new book, Focus On Them. Winsor Jenkins is a contributing author of the book.
In my first post, we established a road map described as a Team Mini-Charter for Developing a Culture of Collaboration—along with understanding the significance of an operating platform to support your team’s ability to lead with mindset and produce outstanding team results.
The second post introduced collaboration’s operating principles to explore how managers can leverage them to support their teams’ efforts to produce outstanding results. In this post, let’s take a closer look at collaboration’s competencies.
The table below offers a breakdown of principles and competences:
|Focus on team, not position
|Change agility and learning agility
|Understand that everyone can play
|Drive/energy, initiative, and technical expertise
|Global skills, relationship building, and sensitivity
|Rely on each other
|Relationship building, team management, and being a team player
|Promote both individual and team values
|Global skills, integrity, relationship building, and sensitivity
|Seek skillful, adaptable players
|Change agility, learning agility, organizing, and planning
|Charge the team to perform the work
Results-oriented and visioning
|Empower players to win
|Problem solving, decision making, and risk taking
|Coach teams to respond to changing conditions on their own
|Change agility, problem solving, decision making, and communication
|Develop partners on the field
Communication, coaching and counseling, delegation,
|Achieve cross-cultural agility
|Global skills, learning agility, relationship
building, and self-objectivity
Described as the team’s skillset for practicing genuine team collaboration, the idea of teaching people a new range of competencies may seem to be a challenging task in the beginning. Developing competence takes time, but it’s not as complicated as you may think.
Once you and your team are comfortable with the language of competency development, the development process starts with diagnosis. To proceed with diagnosing what needs developing, a relatively easy place to start is by sorting competencies into three categories:
3. Needs Improvement.
A second development step often is to schedule a 360-degree assessment to capture feedback from supervisors, peers, and direct reports. I have used this option many times—as both an internal and external coach—and found it to be highly beneficial for both people and the organization. It provides meaningful feedback for people on the team, and it represents a great platform for coaching.
Next, you can create action plans once strengths have been identified and assessed. From there, it’s a case of targeting selected competencies for growth, followed up with periodic coaching to help reinforce learning and application. Typically, competencies that fall into the “Needs Improvement” category are targeted for development. Keep in mind, however, that the overuse of competencies described as “Exceptional” may surface for development. Remember, competency-based development can include anything from workshops, readings, special developmental assignments, job rotation, and coaching.
Bottom line: Your team’s ability to successfully apply collaboration’s competencies is tied to being mindful of which competencies are aligned with each of the collaboration’s operating principles.