What Kind of a Team We Want to Be?

It’s very useful to make explicit what we think makes a good team, and decide what kind of a team we want to be ourselves.

Here’s an exercise I have been running on most of my Leading Teams (link in Finnish) courses. I have used this to open the course.

Here are the questions:

“Think about a good team you have been part of. What was it like?” or “Think about when you experienced good leadership. What was it like?”

I let each participant choose one of the questions, and ask them to interview two-three other people about the question. I usually instruct them to change pairs, as the discussions are so interesting that they get carried away a bit.

After discussing in pairs, I ask the whole group to start shout out features that were present when they were in a good team. After that they get to shout out the features of good leadership. I collect the results in a flip chart like this.

2017-05-17 16.22.25.jpg
Results from one of my courses. Good team: communication, trust, responsibility, motivation, willigness to learn, safety, does what promises, different views, same goal, multiple skills, enough skills. Good leadership: supports, creates good feeling, shows example, just, present, has time, trustworthy, cares, knows the team, guides to same direction, clarifies goal, transparent, takes&gives responsibility, knows the work roles.


After collecting the word clouds you can decide as a team which features of a good team are the most important to you. After that you can set some concrete actions towards those goals.

This exercise has brought focus to teams that are struggling a bit on where to improve.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s