Team Tutors' Briefing Notes

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Team Tutors' Briefing Notes Powered By Docstoc
					       Team Tutors’ Briefing Notes

A set of Notes, which define and, fully, describe
  the responsibilities, skills and knowledge of,
   effectively, fulfilling the role of Team Tutor
     on Management Training Programmes

        This document provides sample extracts, from the Team Tutors’ Briefing
       Notes. Its purpose is to ‘give you a flavour’ of the style and content of the full
       document to assist you in deciding whether to purchase the complete set of
                                       Briefing Notes.

   Written by Albert Lawson, Principal Development Adviser, Lawson Training & Development
   Hamlet House 366-368 London Road Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 7HZ Tel: 01268 785901

Section                                     Page(s)

Introduction                                    3

Key Result Areas (KRAs) Job Description         4

Relationships                                   5

KRA 1: Observing and Monitoring               6 – 16
   •   Team Formation and Development
   •   Team Task Briefing
   •   Task Definition and Protocols
   •   Timekeeping
   •   Selecting a Team Leader
   •   Six Stages of Task Achievement
   •   General Advice on Team Observation

KRA 2: Recording                             16 - 19

   •   Sociograms

KRA 3: Evaluation                              20

KRA 4: Feedback                              21 - 23

   •   Preparations for Presentation
   •   Your Presentation

KRA 5: Counselling                           23 – 27

   •   Self Concept
   •   Present Alternatives
   •   Counselling Guidelines

Summary and Conclusions                         27

Appendices                                   28 - 31


A Management Training Programme is a highly dynamic event. It must, of course, be led
by a knowledgeable and inspiring Leader but most of a Programme’s success derives from
harnessing the skills, knowledge, creativity and energy of the delegates, themselves.

It is, to a great degree, achieved by, regularly, dividing the delegate group into separate
Teams, to undertake specific Tasks, which are directed towards the achievement of the
Programme’s learning outcomes. The activities, of each Team, are overseen by a Team
Tutor. Competent, creative and committed Team Tutors are an essential component in the
successful running of any Management Development Programme.

Great care must be exercised in selecting people to act as Team Tutors. Invariably, Team
Tutors are Training Professionals and are capable Programme Leaders, in their own right.
Often, they are, simply, supporting a colleague, who is leading a Programme, as part of a
Tutorial Team. Many of the qualities and skills of Programme Leading and Team Tutoring
are the same, as later Sections, in these Notes, will demonstrate.

Sometimes, suitable line management personnel are selected and trained as Team Tutors.
They can give added credibility and expertise to Training Programmes, where their specific
disciplines or departments are represented, among the delegates. However, special care
must be taken to avoid crossing seniority or relationship boundaries.

Whatever the Team Tutor’s background, the importance of the role cannot be overstated.

The Team Tutor:

   •   Has the most contact with the delegates.
   •   Is the immediate source of information on Team Tasks.
   •   Has a role in providing Programme-related advice and counselling to delegates.
   •   Acts as timekeeper for the Team.
   •   Must ensure that appropriate Team and delegate behaviour is maintained.
   •   Evaluates and provides feedback on Team and delegate performance.
   •   Provides the Programme Leader’s ‘eyes and ears’ on delegate morale and progress.

These Notes define and, fully, describe the responsibilities, skills and knowledge of being a
successful and effective Team Tutor.

(A completed ‘Key Result Areas Job Description’, for a Team Tutor, appears on page 4. A
blank version, of the form, is provided, as Appendix 1. This allows the Practitioner to make
any relevant modifications, to the wording of the completed Job Description, or for other

                       Key Result Areas Job Description

Job Title:   Team Tutor                           Department: N/A

Reports to: Training Programme Leader             Division:      N/A

                                                  Location:      N/A

 Overall Purpose:
 To monitor, record, evaluate and provide suitable feedback on the activities and
 performance of the assigned Team and its individual Members; providing Team and
 individual Counselling Sessions, as appropriate.

Key Result Areas (KRAs)

 KRA 1: Observing and Monitoring
 To observe and monitor the activities and behaviours, of the Team and its individual
 Members, throughout the Task, ensure that the Task brief and its protocols are adhered to,
 at all times.

 KRA 2: Recording
 To record, in a prescribed manner, the systems adopted by the Team, leadership,
 planning, decision-making processes, significant communication transactions, ‘alliancing’,
 hostility, etc and the overall development of Team ethos and morale.

 KRA 3: Evaluation
 To evaluate the recorded behaviours of Team Members and the pattern and content of
 communications, between them, to establish realistic conclusions about their ability, or
 otherwise, to function as a Team.

 KRA 4: Feedback
 To conduct feedback presentations, in both Team and/or General Session, so that Team
 Members and other delegates can learn from the Tutors’ Team observations, evaluations
 and conclusions.

 KRA 5: Counselling
 To undertake Team and ‘One-to-One' Counselling Sessions, as required.

                                    Key Result Areas

KRA 1: Observing and Monitoring

The Team Tutor’s role in observing and monitoring his assigned Team encompasses all the
activities, interpersonal relationships, communication and Team dynamics that occur, in
Team session.

There are some general principles that we can draw upon in observing and monitoring
Team formation and development. Theory informs us that we can expect four stages.

     1. Forming

        This is the stage when Team Members first come together. The group is not a
        Team, at this stage; just a collection of individuals. Members tend to be polite but
        very guarded in their relationships and approach to others. They spend their time
        making judgements of each other.

        This is, often, a quiet time for Team activity because people are weighing each other
        up rather than committing them, totally, to the Task.


     5. ‘Mourning’.

         When a Task has been completed and Team Members go their separate ways, it is,
        usually, with some regret. Team Members have established meaningful relationships
        and been highly motivated during their time, together. In achieving a common
        objective, they have also succeeded, together. Team Members can find it difficult to
        ‘part company’.


The Team’s ‘Modus Operandi’

A Team must decide how it intends to achieve a Task. An unwise Team adopts no
regulated action plan. As the King of Hearts says, in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, “Begin, at the
beginning and go on until you reach the end; then stop” (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898).
Whereas, the logic of this quotation cannot be denied, its inference of unguided
meandering has no place in successful Task achievement.

A Task Team must employ an approach that focuses on its objective, identifies and,
effectively, deploys its physical and intellectual resources and designs and implements an
Action Plan, which will guide the Team, through, to a successful result.

As part of your Team Tutor role, you might be expected to brief your Team on a suitable
method that can be utilized to achieve the Task. There is a six stage plan that can be used,

successfully, to achieve, any Task, irrespective of its nature, scale or timeframe. It applies,
equally, to moving house or building a house! Its principle can be employed to achieve
corporate objectives or a Team Task objective, on a Management Training Programme. Its
strength lies in its universality.

The six stages are:


2. Analyse the Task

     At this stage, the Team must do two things.

     •   Information-gathering The Team Leader directs the Members to offer all the
         information that is known about the objective that is being addressed. All relevant
         facts are recorded, on the flipchart. Once, all the, available, information is recorded,
         completed flipchart sheets are posted, in sight of all Team Members, for continuous
     •   Generating Ideas Once all the known information is recorded and displayed, the
         Team embarks on another ‘flipchart session’. At this point, the Team Leader directs
         the Members to offer any ideas to provide a list of action options to achieve the
         objective. There might be a number of obvious responses that take only analytical
         thinking to identify. However, the Team Leader encourages the Team Members to
         offer more creative ideas that might be considered thinking ‘outside the box’. Often,
         the ‘wackiest’ ideas turn out to be ‘winners’. In this regard, he may employ a ‘Team
         Brainstorming’ technique.

         In whatever way, the ideas are generated, either by analytical or creative thinking;
         they are all recorded on flipchart sheets. No ideas are rejected, at this stage. You
         now have a list of options from which the Team can select an optimum course of

     Summary Questions:

     •   What range of analytical and creative ideas/options can we develop to achieve our
         objective, successfully?
     •   Do the present Members, of the Team, have the necessary skills and knowledge to
         complete this Task? Within the protocols of the Task, can we ‘pull in’ other people
         from outside?
     •   How much time is available to complete this Task?


4. Develop an Action Plan

     Having committed to an objective and action option) s), the Team must, now, discuss,
     develop and agree an Action Plan to achieve it. A blank sample version of an Action

     Plan Form is provided as Appendix 2. To aid clarity, you are advised to refer to the
     copy of the Action Plan Form, whilst reading the following information,

     An effective Action Plan must have a series of headings, as follows:


6. Evaluate Performance against the Objective

     The final stage in the six stages’ Task Achievement Plan is the Team evaluating its
     performance against the performance standards, established at the Objective-setting
     stage. This final stage is, all too often, overlooked. The Team Leader must insist that
     the Team conduct an Evaluation of how it performed, during the Task, both as a Team
     and Individuals.


KRA 2: Recording

There are many ways of recording the activities that occur, during a Team Task session.
They can range from the simple use of handwritten ‘scratch’ notes to the sophisticated
video recording of the whole event. Whatever method is selected, it must meet two criteria:

     •   It must provide a quick, easy and accurate way of recording all types of activities and
         communication transactions, by the Team Members.
     •   It must provide, or be easily converted into, a feedback presentation for, later use, in
         Team or General Session.

A system is proposed and described, below, called, ‘Sociograms’. It is recommended
because, not only does it provide a most effective way of recording activities and verbal
exchanges, between Team Members, but also enables the Team Tutor, actually, to prepare
master copies of the post-Session feedback presentation, as the Team Task is taking


An example of a completed Sociogram form is reproduced on page 18. It is an actual
extract from the observations, of a Team Tutor, who participated in the ‘Dragon-Slayer’
Practical Exercise, on a ‘live’ Management Training Programme. A blank Sociogram form,
for duplication and use, on your own Team Sessions, is provided as Appendix 3.


KRA 3: Evaluation


As has already been said, caution must be exercised in making judgements about
observed behaviour. It is, to say the least, ill-advised to make ‘sweeping’ statements about
someone’s attitudes and character, just based on isolated incidences, observed on a Team
Task, as part of a Management Training Programme.

However, the effect of an individual’s actions and remarks on Team colleagues is
admissible, if there is seen to be a clear link. For example, the negative effect, on Team
performance, by a Team Leader, who adopts a very autocratic style, is usually self-evident.
The cohesion, between Team Members, created by having to compete with other Teams,
is, clearly, exhibited, by their preparedness to cooperate and ‘pull together’. .Always,
declare your interpretation, of a behaviour, if you are confident that it is valid. Such
revealing interpretations, positive or negative, enable Team Members to ‘grow’.

Here are some guidelines, which will help you make your interpretations of behaviour.


KRA 4: Feedback


The focus of our attention, in this section, is on presenting Feedback to a group of people.
However, it is job-specific. Our aim, here, is not to teach you how to become accomplished
presenters. That is dealt with, elsewhere, in our Management Training ‘Armatorium’. The
purpose, of this section, is to brief you on the skills, knowledge and system of using
Sociograms, so that you can, consistently and confidently, present Feedback.

You must ensure that your Sociogram Forms are in a suitable condition for reproduction as
overhead transparencies. If you have been careful, in recording the behaviour of Team
Members, during the Task, you will have made your entries, on the Forms, in a clear and
lucid way. They may need a little ‘tidying-up’. Perhaps, in some cases; they may need to be
completely redrawn and rewritten. Whatever the situation, you must end up with a set of
Sociogram master copies, of sufficient quality, to provide you with a clear set of overhead

Convert all your Sociogram master copies to overhead transparencies.

You must, now, decide what and how you are going to present the information recorded on
your Sociograms, as follows:


Now let us turn our attention to the arrangements that you will need to make to the
Presentation area, itself. Whether conducting your Presentation in the Team Room or the
Main Session Room.

Just a few, simple guidelines:


     •   Your Presentation

         Having, successfully, completed all your preparations, you are, now, ready for your
         Feedback Presentation. We will consider the conduct, of your Presentation, in
         chronological order.

         You may be one, of a number of Team Tutors, presenting, in General Session.
         Whether, you are first, ‘on the boards’ or further down the Speakers’ list, make sure
         that your ‘operating area’ is laid out, as you planned. You don’t want to be moving
         materials and equipment around, during your Presentation.

         Place the transparency, of your first Sociogram, on the overhead projector, but do
         not turn on the projector. With a blank sheet of paper, obscure all of the
         transparency, except the information about the first time period.

         Make sure that the delegates are settled and that you have their attention, before
         you start. You might have some, pertinent opening remarks.

         Explain that you recorded your observations in periods of ten minutes and that you
         are going to ‘feed back’ your observations, to the group, one period, at a time. Tell
         the group that you will be pleased to take questions, at any time, during your
         presentation. Turn on the projector, exhibiting the first time period.


KRA 5: Counselling

Of all the many tasks that a Team Tutor must undertake, on a Management Training
Programme, the role of Counsellor must be among the most challenging. With the modern,
more participative and involving approach in Management Training, the Team Tutor must,
continuously, enhance his persuasive and advisory skills. However, there can be a role
conflict. The difficulty is that the Team Tutor has, on the one hand, to encourage and
support Team Members, yet, on the other, sometimes, be critical. Circumstances will
determine the role.


     1. Self-concept

        Before a helper can even begin to counsel a receiver, he should understand what is
        likely to be going on, in the receiver’s mind whilst counselling is taking place. To get
        anywhere close to the mark, the helper must know, as much as possible, about the
        receiver’s personality, feelings and attitudes.


     2. Counselling Guidelines

        If you want to be a more effective Counsellor, here are some guidelines to help you
        get more out of the helper/receiver relationship

        (Sample Note – There are eight key guidelines given in the Briefing Notes)


Summary and Conclusions


(This concludes the pre-purchase sample of the Team Tutors’ Briefing Notes)