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Chapter 7. Who's Gonna Do the Work? > The Team Leader's Role - Pg. 78

Who's Gonna Do the Work? · · · · The plan involves a routine or simple task. The plan must be developed quickly. Most of the team members are likely to agree. Implementation is easy. 78 When the entire team is involved in the planning process, the team leader's role is to coordinate the meeting without superimposing his or her ideas on the group. The leader's efforts are best used to help the team reach consensus. Here are six steps the leader can take to help the team reach a decision: 1. 2. 3. Encourage all team members to participate fully in the discussion. Follow the suggestions made in Chapter 6 on how to overcome domination by a few members and reticence by others. Make sure the team members all understand and agree on what the problem under discussion really is. If the team members don't agree on the problem, they'll never agree on a solution. Elicit positive suggestions. Participants tend to emphasize their disagreements about the sub- ject. This is okay if they lead to solutions, but when the discussion concentrates on the neg- atives, the leader should turn it positive by saying, "I see your point, but let's think about how we can make this work." If after a lengthy discussion, no consensus can be reached, break the deadlock by conducting a nonbinding poll. Ask them to vote on the basis of the information they have so far. This often impels participants to bring the discussion to a conclusion. 4. Team Builder To stimulate discussion on a specific aspect of a problem, pose an interactive exercise. Example: "Let's take two minutes to see how many ideas we can come up with on this." 5. 6. Sum up areas of agreement. There are usually many more areas of agreement than disa- greement. Once consensus is reached on any aspect of the discussion, write it on a flip chart. Commend the team for making the decision and move on to the next point. If areas of disagreement exist at the end of the meeting, depending on when the plan must be completed, either arrange for another meeting, or if there is no time, make the necessary decisions yourself. Explain your reasons to the team and deal with any objections. The Team Leader's Role In the traditional organization, the supervisor or manager makes all the decisions and assigns the work to the people in the work group. When teams replace work groups, the team leader works in collaboration with the associates to get the work done. But, the team leader doesn't just facilitate, coach, and coordinate. He or she still has a significant role in assigning work.