A reader asks:


In my interviews, I am being asked about team building with teachers. How do I approach that?”

SC Response
In an interview there is a right answer and a wrong answer. But there is no telling what the panel is looking for, so in this case, “right or wrong” can be very subjective. Therefore, I would give them the correct answer and let the chips fall where the may.

Typical team building exercises, in general, are a waste of time. At best they create the illusion of team. I caught you during the “trust fall” so now we are a team. Hooray!

Creating a real team is an on-going process built on creating esprit de corp, a sense of purpose, goal accomplishment, and shared responsibility. And a little shared ordeal goes a long way towards cementing the deal.

So as a leader, I have to set the expectation that working as a team will be the new norm. I have to create time for teachers to work as a team. I have to make it clear that a viable product will be produced by the team. I have to monitor and support the teams. I have to celebrate team wins. I have to conduct blame free autopsies of team failures. And finally, I must repeat this process over and over until it becomes the norm. A true mission oriented team is a powerful entity. But it rarely built by chance.

Whether or not your interview panel will like this answer is a coin flip. But if they don’t like the answer, we both know that you wouldn’t be happy or successful there.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…