September 19, 2011

How to Make and Use a Team Strengths Document

Managing a team that takes care of a wide variety of work, and inspired by research that argues a person's best work is achieved in their areas of strength and interest, I created a Team Strengths Document, which helps everyone understand our highest areas of potential and weakness, both as individuals and as a team.
Team Strengths Doc
The first column is a list of various aspects of the work - some specific, some over-arching. The first row is each team member's name with two rating columns under each name. In the first column under each name, the team member rates his/her interest in each area of work on a scale of 1-10. In the second, the team member rates his/her own performance in that area. In the last two columns, the whole team's ratings are averaged for each area. Ratings are color coated by rules to make the data more digestible.

For individuals, the greatest areas of growth opportunity are those with the highest scores in both the interest and performance columns. After that, look for high interest ratings that are next to low performance ratings. Most of the time, the person hasn't had the chance to learn and practice that kind of work to reach their potential. Together, the team can help each other with training, shadowing & experience to shore up those numbers.

For the team, the averages can show areas where you might be able to expand, others where you can seek group training, and others where you may need to focus your recruitment efforts. It's also been a great reference for discussions among the team and one on one.

To use the template, make sure you have a Google account and copy the sheet to one of your own Google spreadsheets, so you can edit and share it with your team.

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