TEAMWORK SKILLS

In the Spotlight framework:

  • many level 1 Spotlight skill elements involve learning from colleagues
  • all level 4 Spotlight skill elements involve informal collaboration
  • the coordinating skill set (C2) covers the collaborative interweaving of various job-holders’ activities.

Examples of activities of formal and informal teams using Spotlight skills

Teamwork factor and Spotlight skill element

Level 1 – learning informally from/being coached by colleagues

Level 3 – solving problems in the course of team working

Level 4 – sharing solutions creatively with colleagues

A. Shaping awareness – capacity to develop, focus and shape your own and other participants’ awareness

 

Awareness of team contexts

A1. Sensing contexts or situations

Builds a general understanding of terms and technology used by specialists in the work area.

Notices and imitates useful approaches that colleagues have developed.

Solves a problem for the team by sifting key issues from masses of detail.

Handles uncertainty by exchanging rapid situational updates with colleagues, using codes or signals.

In conversations with colleagues, shares ideas and approaches to solving client/technical problems.

Awareness of team dynamics, of individuals’ impacts on each other; critical reflection on own impacts

A2. Monitoring and guiding reactions

 

Gains insight into causes of unexpected behaviour.

In a difficult or dangerous situation, learn to cross-check your own and co-worker’s reactions.

Monitors and manages own reactions when solving problems in volatile situations.

Handles situations where participants have varying levels of awareness and want different degrees of disclosure.

Is alert to the work group’s emotional undercurrents, power relationships, strengths and needs.

Prepare for a key and unpredictable encounter by rehearsing and gaining feedback from a team colleague.

Shares observations about causes of problems and finding solutions.

Critical self-evaluation and assessment of team impacts

A3. Judging impacts

Learns to predict the impacts of reactions on the behaviour of others.

Learns to read a situation and consider consequences before responding.

 

Picks the right moment for conveying news, judging from reactions how much to say.

Checks if others agree with understanding of what is going on.

Helps create a supportive context for giving and receiving feedback.

Constructively challenges practices that compromise others’ safety or dignity.

B. Interacting and relating – capacity to negotiate interpersonal, organisational and intercultural relationships

 

Negotiation of team roles

B1. Negotiating boundaries

In responding to requests from colleagues, learns to establish the boundaries of the role.

 

 

Confronts team problems quickly and directly (for example, ‘You aren’t going to want to hear this, but …’). 

Finds a pleasant way of saying ‘not now’ when people with more authority make requests that would prevent meeting deadlines.

 

Shares work around and give colleagues space to learn, even when it would be easier to do it all yourself.

Constructively gives and receives feedback in unequal power situations.

Tactfully shares knowledge and experience with more senior but less experienced colleagues.

Finds ways to gain the cooperation of people who have more power.

Communicating in teams

B2. Communicating verbally/non-verbally

Learns to use conversation to put people at ease and keep their spirits up.

Learns how to listen, allowing colleagues to talk through their concerns.

Paces communication to the varying attention spans of different listeners.

Pitches language to people in the group with varying levels of technical understanding.

 

Provides explanations and solutions for non-experts by using familiar comparisons.  

Coins catch-phrases that will serve as a shared guide to action.

Builds a stimulating or safe working environment.

Working in cross-cultural teams

B3. Connecting across cultures

Learns to interact easily and respectfully with people from diverse cultures.

Learns to see one’s own and work-team’s behaviour from the perspective of another culture.

Works effectively with people who have different approaches to time.

By thinking within different cultural frames, negotiate solutions to problems caused by cultural misunderstandings.

Learns from the perspectives of staff from other cultural backgrounds.

Informally translate and interpret between work colleagues and members of cultural communities.

C. Coordinating – capacity to organise your own work, link it into to the overall workflow and deal with disruptions

 

Coordinating and networking

C2. Interweaving activities with others’

Learns to keep notes of loose ends that need to be followed up with colleagues.

Learns when to interrupt others and when not to.

Learns to record information accurately and to convey it at the right time.

Learns to avoid duplicating the work of others.

Monitors each step of a group work process so that everything is at hand for individuals with varying work styles.

Carries out all steps to ensure legal and safe procedures when working with others in a rapidly changing situation.

Reorganises the weekly plan with colleagues as new demands crop up.

Develops and shares short-cuts.

Uses networks to mobilise support networks for a quick response.

Organises long-term work cycle to be available to team members when they are undertaking challenging tasks.

Maintaining and (re)balancing team

C3. Maintaining/
restoring workflow

Learns to patch up minor misunderstandings before they escalate.

Learns to refocus quickly after something goes wrong.

Learns to deal calmly with a system breakdown or emergency.

Learns to fix things that have not been followed up, without undermining others.

Acts to prevent minor issues growing into bigger problems.

Collaboratively develops a system of cross-checks for making safe decisions in situations where information is ambiguous, rapidly changing or unavailable.

Cultivates contacts in various parts of the organisation to speed processes through the system.

Works with others to optimise resources.

Develops shared techniques and back-ups for solving problems under high pressure.