Team Effectiveness Discussion Guide

EQ Durban, EQ South Africa
Written by: Avril Kidd
This discussion guide is focused on the five team dynamics Google found to be important for team effectiveness. The guide can help teams identify areas where they might want to improve and elicit ideas of how to do that. has produced the following Team Effectiveness Discussion Guide to help you improve your team dynamic.

Below is a sampling of improvement indicators and guiding questions:

Psychological Safety

Signs that your team needs to improve psychological safety:

● Fear of asking for or giving constructive feedback.

● Hesitance around expressing divergent ideas and asking “silly” questions.

Questions to ask yourself:

● Do all team members feel comfortable brainstorming in front of each other?

● Do all team members feel they can fail openly, or will they feel shunned?


Signs that your team needs to improve dependability:

● Team has poor visibility into project priorities or progress.

● Diffusion of responsibility and no clear owners for tasks or problems.

Questions to ask yourself:

● When team members say they’ll get something done, do they?

● Do team members proactively communicate with each other about delays and assume responsibility?

Structure and Clarity

Signs that your team needs to improve structure and clarity:

● Lack of clarity about who is responsible for what.

● Unclear decision-making process, owners, or rationale.

Questions to ask yourself:

● Do team members know what the team and project goals are and how to get there?

● Do team members feel like they have autonomy, ownership, and discrete projects?


Signs that your team needs to improve meaning:

● Work assignments based solely on ability, expertise, workload; little consideration for individual development needs and interests.

● Lack of regular recognition for achievements or milestones.

Questions to ask yourself:

● Does the work give team members a sense of personal and professional fulfillment?

● Is work matched to team members based on both skills/ability and interest?


Signs that your team needs to improve impact:

● Framing work as “treading water”.

● Too many goals, limiting ability to make meaningful progress.

Questions to ask yourself:

● Do team members see their work as creating change for the better?

● Do team members feel their work matters for a higher-order goal?

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