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May 17 , 2010

Leading an Underperforming Team to Success


The following is a step-by-step guide that will help new and experienced managers in education to anticipate the challenges of improving performance. The ideal situation for a manager is a strong team with the necessary skills to adapt to a variety of professional demands. When I say “ideal”, I mean that most managers would enjoy such an environment, and if you’re lucky that would describe your experience as a manager. However, reality is often the biggest buzz kill. More often than not a leader will find him/herself facing opposition or challenges within the team, particularly if improvements need to be made. The reason why the corporate world needs good managers is because there are two aspects that will always form part of their work: change and improvements. While bringing on improvements incorporates change inevitably, this guide will focus on what to bear in mind when taking a group of employees from A to B, getting them there safely with as few casualties as possible on the way.
This guide looks at the ten different aspects that need to be considered and reviews how they are linked to the phases the team will undergo in response to change (according to the change curve suggested by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and the stages of team formation by Bruce Tuckman). To illustrate how the suggestions would work in practice, a number of examples will accompany each section, leaving you with ideas on how to best guide your team and respond to their needs. The better prepared you are for what to expect, the better you will be able to plan.

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