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Evaluate Team Performance

4th November 2014 | Peter Hawkins

In our last blog post, we learnt about the 5 disciplines of high-performing teams: 1) Commissioning, 2) Clarifying, 3) Co-creating, 4) Connecting, 5) Core learning. Now we look at how to evaluate our teams effectively based on these 5 disciplines by asking the right questions.

Leadership Team Coaching in Practice (9780749469726)Since writing the second edition of Leadership Team Coaching (Hawkins, 2014), I have been asked, by both client teams and training programmes, ‘how can we test or measure progress in each of the five disciplines?’ This became a very useful springboard for further exploration, which led to developing the following measures, which can be used by team coaches or by teams to evaluate and monitor their own progress. These measures are designed to facilitate exploration and further development, not the scoring of achievements, ticking off accomplishments or self-blame. Further and more detailed explorations of evaluating and assessing team performance and progress can be found in Chapter 11 of Leadership Team Coaching in Practice, including a questionnaire based on these questions:


1) Commissioning

  • Has the team created an agreed upon and inclusive list of all their commissioners (all those who have a right to require something from the team)?
  • Have they included their past and future commissioners – such as founders, future customers, possible potential buyers of the company?
  • Does the team have a clear sense of what each commissioner needs from them to succeed and how they could inadvertently fail this commissioner?


2) Clarifying

  • Has the team generatively co-created a mission, including purpose, strategy, core values and vision that is better than the team leader or any team member could have created by themselves?
  • Has the team envisioned future emerging challenges?
  • Have they stepped into the shoes and experience of each of their key stakeholders and clarified what their wider eco-system needs from them?
  • Have they clarified their own aspirations?
  • Have they used the outputs from 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 to clarify their collective endeavour? (See Leadership Team Coaching in Practice, 2014: Chapter 1)
  • Have they field-tested their emerging clarity through dialogue with their commissioners, with their stakeholders and with those they lead?
  • Have they tried to live their aspirations and behaviours in their own meetings and in their engagements with staff and stakeholders and refined them in the light of these trials?


3) Co-creating

  • Is there shared ownership of the collective endeavour, team objectives and goals, and shared leadership? (See Hawkins, 2014: chapter 10.)
  • Do all the team members hold each other mutually accountable for individual and team agreements?
  • Does the team generate new thinking together that is better than the individual thinking brought into the meetings?
  • How often do team members intervene in a way that enables improvements in the process and functioning of the team, by for example: interrupting old stuck patterns; raising awareness of what is happening live in the room; reframing problems or challenges; mediating conflict; enabling new connections; and so on?


4) Connecting

  • Does the team have a clear, shared and inclusive list of all their key stakeholders?
  • Have they clarified who will take the lead responsibility for each stakeholder connection on behalf of the team?
  • Do all the stakeholders feel engaged with the team and is the team kept well informed and well communicated with?
  • Do all the stakeholders feel able to influence what the team does and how it engages?


5) Core learning

  • Can each team member say what they have learnt and/or the capabilities and capacities they have developed in the past year, which they would not have learnt or developed without their involvement with the team?
  • Can the team identify what they have learnt together and the capacities they have collectively developed in the past year?
  • Does the team have a plan for how they will enable the learning and development of each team member?
  • Does the team have a plan for how they will enable the learning and development of the team as a whole?


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This is article is an edited extract from Leadership Team Coaching in Practice

HR, Organizational Development & Coaching

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