Campus Blog

Six Aspects of Team

Sarah Evers March 16, 2015

If you're leading a team then you know you that this is crunch time. There are a few precious weeks with these people who have been entrusted to your care before your staff peel off to focus on MPD and prepare for their summer assignments.

You can help your team end well by reminding them that they are not lone rangers. You can lead a discussion on what it means to be a TEAM. 

Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith have collaborated as authors on several books about teams . The Harvard Business Review includes their article on the Discipline of Teams as one of the Top 10 Reads on Teams (You can read the article on HBR here). They define TEAM as:

A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and shared approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

This definition identifies six essential elements for a team. These six elements are the great foundation for a team discussion. If it feels overwhelming to tackle all six elements at a time, then consider taking 15 minutes at each staff meeting for the next 6 weeks to explore each of these areas.

What you learn from this discussion will help you identify some of the strengths of your team as well as some of the gaps.

Here are a few questions to help get the ball rolling for your team discussion:

Complementary Skills

  • What gifts and skills do you see in others on our team?
  • What gifts and skills do you bring?
  • What gifts and skills are missing on our team?
  • How does that hinder us?
  • How can we work around that?
  • Who can join us with those gifts and skills?
  • How does knowing that God intentionally put our team together for this time influence your perspective?


How important is it to YOU to accomplish the team purpose?
What (and to whom) is your commitment?
What kind of commitment is required to move forward?
How will team members know that you are committed?
What does it mean to you to know that your teammates are committed to our mission?
How does our common faith enhance or complicate your commitment?

Common Purpose

What do you hope we will accomplish together that you can't do alone?
What is the team purpose/mission?
What do you wish our team purpose was?
What are the hidden purposes (or sub-purposes) of the team?

Performance Goals

What are your goals?
What are our team's goals?
How do those work together?
How do we measure success?
How do we celebrate success?
How are tasks and responsibilities assigned?
How do your goals connect to our team purpose?

Shared Approach

How do we get the work of the team done?
What processes have we agreed to use?
How's that going?
What processes would help us move forward?
How do team members stay connected and on the same page?

Mutual Accountability

How do we hold each other accountable?
For what are we accountable to one another?
How do you stay on mission/purpose/task?
How do we encourage follow-through?
How is transparency between team members maintained?

What questions might you add to this list?  What other ideas come to mind when you read these questions?

* Image by Stèfan . Flickr Creative Commons License.

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