GARDENING FOR GOSPEL TEAMWORK
TENDING THE GARDEN (CONTINUED)
COMMUNICATION IN TEAMS:
Teams communicate to give birth to a new reality.
Team communication is not just about the task, it is always about relationships.
Great teams collaborate continuously:
– Things happen between meetings.
– Calls, emails, sub-teams, sorting things, adjustments, checking in.
– Reporting back on implementing decisions.
– Members checking in on each other (and caring!)
Great teams tend to meet more often:
– Not once every quarter.
– In staff ministry teams this can even mean more than once a day!
– These meetings may be as short as 3 minutes
Teams don’t perform as well if communication is mainly ‘information’.
Great teams see communication as relationship and shared meaning!
Breakdowns in communication are usually about much more than just the words that were written or said; they’re usually about relationships that are in trouble in some way.
Affirmation of people’s work is not enough (e.g. you did that well)! Affirm their intrinsic value.
Teams can always ask in every meeting ‘What from this meeting needs to be communicated to our ministry/organisation/congregation?’ Make this a rolling question in your agenda!
The higher-performing teams adopt a fuller view of communication. They see communication as human interaction, responsible for far more than transmitting information to one another. Communication creates and shares meaning, and it constructs social realities, structures, and institutions—such as churches, teams and boards—that are then coordinated and actively managed… Fundamentally, the primary work of a team is communication that creates new reality. – Hartwig & Bird. Teams That Thrive (pp. 79-80).
BISHOPS WEAR YELLOW SOMBREROS
[ Groups of up to 6 – 15 mins]
There are many different ways for a team to communicate… To determine the most appropriate means, ask the following guiding questions:
1. Who needs to know?
2. Who needs to know what?
3. In what order do they need to know?
4. When do they need to know by?
5. Who is the best person to communicate the information?
6. What is the nature of the information? Is it sensitive or public?
7. What is the appropriate mode of communication?
8. What is the time-frame to communicate with the respective people or groups?
9. Who will be responsible to ensure it is communicated?
– Bruce Hills. Together: Five Enduring Principles for Effective Teamwork (pp. 68-69).
Sit in a circle. Imagine you are the College Of Bishops of the LCANZ.
Each choose a state or district. If needed invent districts!
Each of you give yourself an imaginary bishop name.
As a team you have just decided on an official colour.
You have decided together that from now on LCA Bishops will wear yellow sombreros!
As a team make up a reason that you chose yellow sombreros.
As a team decide what the theological meaning was meant to be.
GO THROUGH THE COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST ABOVE
AND ANSWER EACH QUESTION.
THE LIGHT CYCLE
PLANNING, ACTION, DEBRIEFING
Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to continuously evolve plans while they’re being executed… It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships, and fosters team learning. In my experience, teams who debrief regularly are more tight-knit than those who don’t. They communicate more effectively across the board. They are more aligned on values and purpose. In essence, they become higher performing teams. – D. Sundheim, Debriefing: A simple tool to help your team tackle tough problems.
HOW TO DEBRIEF SAFELY?
Have a clear shared purpose for your team, without it don’t bother.
Leaders foster an environment of humility (they are vulnerable, admit mistakes, apologise, and are willing to receive critical feedback).
Have a set debriefing structure.
Have a set time limit.
Have a regular time and pace.
Don’t start a debriefing session without a process.
Show the team the structure or process and ensure they feel safe with it.
If conflict has occurred, it may be necessary to move to conflict resolution or reconciliation processes and not start a debriefing or feedback session!
Agree that it’s OK to make mistakes and that a ministry requires mistakes.
Ensure we give feedback about the work, never about value or personality.
Wire debriefing and feedback into the normal teamwork cycle.
DEBRIEFING FRAMEWORK 1 – FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS:
1. What were we trying to accomplish?
2. Where did we hit (or miss) our objectives?
3. What caused our results?
4. What should we start, stop, or continue doing?
– D. Sundheim. Debriefing: A simple tool to help your team tackle tough problems.
DEBRIEFING FRAMEWORK 2 – WHAT? SO WHAT? WHAT NOW?
1. WHAT? (Descriptive. Not evaluating or analysing. Just info and the story.)
- What happened?
- What did it feel like?
- What happened next?
2. SO WHAT? (Evaluative. Focus on the outcomes and effects.)
- So what was good?
- So what was not so good?
- So how would you rate your teamwork?
3. NOW WHAT? (Transformative. Focus on what you will do next.)
- What did we learn for the future?
- What can we take into the next time?
- What will we change next time?
From ‘Vital Training’ by Vital ProJeX Australia: www.vitalprojex.com
WORD DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD: Debrief Format 1
WORD DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD: Debrief Format 2
EXERCISE 12. DEBRIEFING.
[ in pairs – 8 mins ]
Pick a recent ministry experience or event you were involved in implementing.
Pick one of the above two debrief frameworks below to use.
Each take turns to be debriefed about it
One person acts as the leader and asks the questions, the other answers.
The questioner will listen hard and may ask for clarification.
How could you use debriefing processes in ministry teamwork?
WEEDING & PRUNING:
TEAM CONFLICT, LOSING MEMBERS, CLOSING TEAMS
REFLECT ON WHAT THE CONFLICT MEANS:
- Sometimes this is about that!
- Forming, storming, norming, performing.
- Are you due for storming? Don’t stifle normal storing!
- Is this just team members working out boundaries, pace and place?
- Keep short accounts and deal with things as they come up.
- On healthy teams conflict can be beautifully creative!
When we shut down conflict in groups and teams, we suffer from groupthink and settle on inferior decisions. We miss out on opportunities for innovation and collaboration. We limit the vision to what only one mind can envision. And as we do, group members grow dissatisfied in the group or team’s work and their relationships with others, often resulting in alienation or combustion. – Ryan T. Hartwig. Burst: Bursting the Bubbles of 5 Teamwork Myths.
IF A TEAM IS NOT UNIFIED AROUND PURPOSE:
- For teams without clear purpose, conflict is probably inevitable.
- The question for these teams is can you sit down and agree on purpose.
- If you cannot agree on purpose, you are not a team.
- Do whatever follows (finishing, reconfiguring) peaceably.
DISTINGUISH INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT FROM HEALTHY CONFLICT:
- Healthy teams discover creativity from differences.
- This is a normal part of the creative process.
- But if conflict is “interpersonal” then it really is personal!
- Be ready to name inappropriate behaviour!
- Bad behaviour teams that is tolerated can become the norm.
- In marriage might seek counselling.
- Teams can get help for conflict too!
PRAY FOR PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL ONE:
- Be clear that if your team is missional, you will have opposition.
We are in a battle, and relationships are the battleground where Satan likes to defeat us. He will attack our relationship with God and our relationships with other people. We must guard these. He knows where we are vulnerable, even if we don’t. An incalculable amount of damage has been done to Christian work through Christians falling out. Splits in churches have sometimes set them back decades. Conflicts between denominations and individual churches often damage new converts and prevent people coming to faith. Teamwork will involve us in spiritual warfare. We need to ask God to help us in relating to others, to give us the grace to forgive when we cannot find the power to do so from within ourselves, and to ask him for his love for those people we find difficult. Pray for each member of your team and ask for the Lord’s direction in all that you do together. – Gordon Jones. Teamwork (p. 204).
WORD DOCUMENT DOWNLOAD: Tips For Resolving Team Conflict!
Often teams lose members.
This can happen healthily without conflict, or it can happen explosively.
1. Not everyone will take the journey.
2. Not everyone should take the journey.
3. Not everyone can take the journey…
The only place that never loses people is the cemetery.
– John Maxwell, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork (p. 65).
Ecclesiastes 3:1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Teams have an expiry date. Some teams should close.
Let people grieve. Celebrate what they did. Give thanks to God. Formally finish!
A CELEBRATION OF TEAMWORK
I realised I love them… now we are a team!
The liberating love of Christ does not merely open us up to the possibility of teamwork; it actively compels us to teamwork. If we claim to be gripped by the gospel, we must be active participants in gospel teamwork. We hear this in Paul’s opening words to the believers in Philippi, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now… It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partners with me in grace.” (Phil 1:3-4:7). – Jeff Mingee at www.servantsofgrace.org/the-gospel-and-teamwork/#_ftn2