Good and Effective Team
Building an Effective Team
The effectiveness of the team will solely depend on the pastor’s relationship with the existing board of leaders and the church. Leadership should go beyond the position of authority and responsibility. Wright defines a leader as a person who can establish a relationship with other people to influence their behavior, values and attitudes (8). The relationship should be based on shared visions, responsibilities and leadership. There are five principles that will guide the pastor in creating a good and effective team. The first principle is dependency and accountability. To be an effective leader, the pastor should realize that he requires the support of his followers. His leadership is solely dependent on the hands of the church.
The second principle emphasizes the relationship between, leadership and power. The spirituality of his character, the knowledge and skill he possesses, the benefits that he may provide and his authority as a leader of the board can help him influence the church. The third principle is character and trust. By grounding his leadership in beliefs, faith, values and commitment, the pastor will be able to win the trust of other church leaders. The fourth principle for effective leadership is vision and hope. A promising vision can be used to energize the followers’ present attitudes and actions. The final principle focuses on service. It emphasizes the need for the pastor to be a servant of the people. He must be willing to use his power for the growth of the church.
Overcoming the Dysfunctions
According to Lencioni, five key dysfunctions affect the effectiveness of a team (188). They include absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results (Lencioni 188). All these five dysfunctions can be seen in church’s seven-member board of leaders. Firstly, there is a lack of trust among team members. Essentially, the six board members are not genuinely open with the new pastor. The leaders are afraid to offer or request for help from the pastor because they are afraid of being considered unspiritual. Furthermore, there is a climate of suspicion amongst themselves and the new pastor.
As a leader of the board, the pastor must encourage the building of trust among team members. Trust among team members can be built through several tools. Personal histories exercise can be used to build trust among the board members. During meetings, each member should be encouraged to disclose personal information about them, such as hobbies, their hometown and number of siblings. Board members will be able to relate to each other on a more personal basis. This exercise will also encourage greater understanding and empathy among team members. The pastor must demonstrate his vulnerabilities to show the board of leaders that he is not perfect. This will encourage other board members to disclose their weaknesses.
However, board members should not be punished for their vulnerabilities. The second tool is team effectiveness exercise. Board members identify the roles to be performed by each leader and areas that need improvements. Personality and behavioral preference profiles is the third tool that can be used to build trust. This exercise will allow board members to understand the behavioral preferences and personalities of each leader. The fourth tool is the 360-degree feedback. Leaders are allowed to make judgments and constructive criticism. This enables them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member, including the pastor, and express their opinion without fear of repercussion. The final tool for building trust is experimental team exercise. Creative outdoor activities that require teamwork can be used to strengthen trust among group members.
The second dysfunction that can be seen in the church’s board of leaders is fear of conflict. The six leaders are afraid to share their personal view that may be contradictory to those held by the pastor. They are afraid to openly debate or disagree with the pastors ideas and are considering removing him from office. Mining is the first tool that can be used to eliminate conflict within the team. All board leaders should be expected to regularly assume the role of a ‘conflict miner.’ While occupying this position, a board member will be required to identify any conflict between members and ensure that all leaders are committed towards resolving it. The second tool is real-time permission. This is very effective when resolving conflicts. During heated debates, board members might engage in uncomfortable arguments. It is crucial to continuously remind each member to engage in healthy debates. Finally, the personality style and behavioral preference can also b used to eliminate conflict. Members will be in a position to respect the opinions held by each leader and identify the best approach that will avoid unhealthy conflicts during debates.
The third dysfunction present in the church is lack of commitment. The new pastor has presented new ways of how to conduct church activities. The other six church leaders are in disagreement with the proposals and are unwilling to express their views. The pastor can use several tool to encourage commitment from other board leaders. The first tool is message cascading. The pastor must clearly communicate his views to other leaders and the church. This exercise will enable other leaders to express the reasons they are opposed to the proposed changes. The second tool is deadlines. The pastor must inform all leaders of the dates when the final decisions will be made. It ensures that misalignments among church leaders are identified and addressed before the final decisions are made. The third tool is contingency and worst-case scenario analysis. During meetings, church leaders can express their fears regarding the resultant effect of the proposed changes. The final tool is low risk exposure therapy. The pastor can gradually implement the changes to convince other leaders that his decisions were better than they had expected.
The fourth dysfunction is the avoidance of accountability. The six leaders are afraid to hold the pastor accountable because they fear being considered unspiritual. The fist tool to promote accountability is by publishing the church’s goals and standards. By publicly clarifying the achievement to be achieved by the team, the leaders will be able to identify the improvement that should be made to meet the goals. Before the pastor joined the church, the leaders had considered visions, values and goals as a waste of time. Therefore, the pastor should convince other leader of the importance of drafting and adhering to visions, values and goals. Simple and regular progress reviews are the second tool. Once the changes have been implemented, the leaders should continuously monitor their progress to ensure it is moving towards achieving its vision. Finally, team rewards can be used to promote accountability. Individual achievements should be replaced with team performance to ensure that all church leaders are committed towards teamwork and accountability.
dysfunction is inattention to results. Other leaders forget the reasons they
hired the new pastor. They become more focused towards their personal needs and
advancements. To resolve this dysfunction, the pastor should publicly declare
the targeted results that are to be achieved. Other leaders will be willing to publicly
commit themselves to attain the proclaimed results and help the pastor to
Lencioni, Patrick. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005. Print.
Wright, Walter. Relational
Leadership: A Biblical Model for Influence and Service. Carlisle:
Paternoster, 2000. Print.