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The Office Team Building Questionnaire: Does Anybody Really Care?

You could use a team building questionnaire to assess team strengths and weaknesses. But why bother? Don't you already know what it will say?

Graphic Showing Team HuddleSure you do. The three big C's will certainly show up as areas in need of development

The Office Team Building Questionnaire: Does Anybody Really Care?

Collaboration, Communication and Conflict Resolution. You guessed it. You don't need an assessment or survey to tell you that these will be the three big issues. Even though you know, there is value in conducting the assessment. Before we get to that, let's talk about the big three C's.

Collaboration Gets Flagged In All Team Building Questionnaires and Assessments

Which is why so many people think collaboration is too difficult and unattainable. There are few who can cite great examples and personal experiences in a truly collaborative environment.

Elusive as it is, collaboration remains a critical skill for teams to develop. It's also a critical skill for team members who aspire to next-level roles.

Collaboration isn't the same as compromise, and is shouldn't be confused with cooperation. True collaboration sets a higher standard -- all your needs get met AND all the other party's needs get met, too.

To truly collaborate, people must be able to trust each other and open up to reveal the hierarchy of their needs and the underlying drivers of those needs. When collaboration is the call out on the questionnaire, there's more digging to do.

Sure, you could jump straight to team building activities and training on how to collaborate. But people will not collaborate unless and until they have the relationships and trust and time to do it. Your team assessment should drill down to get those deeper level issues in order to open the door to collaboration. 

Team Building Questionnaires Also Spotlight Gaps in Team Communication

Like collaboration, skills can be taught that will help people improve their communication. But first, be sure team members have the sincere desire to listen and to deliver information well.

When there is tension within a team or members are working at cross-purposes, communications breakdowns more often relate to a lack of desire than to a lack of skill.

A quality team assessment can help you identify what's really going on. Addressing the barriers to communication and bridging the gaps in relationships and trust will get you a lot farther than canned communications training ever will. 

Conflict Resolution Will Probably Show Up, Too

Before you leap to solution and conduct a conflict management training session, step back and look for the underlying causes of unhealthy conflict. What is it that's causing people to be at odds with each other? 

Chances are that the conflict stems from poor communication and/or poor collaboration. Internal competition is often the culprit.

No, you don't need a questionnaire to tell you these things about your team. But you may find one to be helpful in surfacing root causes of these symptoms.

Team Effectiveness Starts with Awareness and Accountability

Teams operate on auto pilot. They tend to accept and go along with the norms, even when those norms neglect collaboration and communication and result in unhealthy conflict.

That's why change can't happen until there is a full halt and change of direction. Team questionnaires give you a clear, compelling and undeniable cause for changing course. They call attention to the team's opportunities to develop. Best of all, they involve members of the team in diagnosing the underlying causes of obvious problems. 

Without a questionnaire, even accurate diagnosis feels like assumptions. Assumptions are easy to deny. Evidence and examples come from taking time to hear from team members.

With awareness comes accountabililty. Assumptions won't yield any willingness to be accountable for change. Giving people their own words and scores gives you a much better shot at getting them to be more accountable for change.

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