Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We have argued for years that unclear speaking (or writing) is indicative of unclear thinking and will impact shared team values.

For example, most people do not distinguish between the meaning of a “group” or a “team.” We find the difference so important, that it could represent the difference between “life” and “death.” Note the impact on shared team values.

Groups of people assemble. Teams get assembled.

With groups, members strive to arrive at a deliverable that is satisfactory to each member. People define “satisfaction” with respect to their individual interest. The primary challenge is providing a deliverable (or decision) that satisfies the interests of members acting on own their own as individuals (or potentially as representative of larger stakeholder interests). Individual reactions vary, even when attending a concert together and hoping to be satisfied by the music or entertainment.

Facilitating Cultural Shift from Group Orientation to Shared Team Values

Pushing in the Same Direction

The presence of teams suggests an overriding shared goal that is independent of the interests of the individual members. With high functioning teams, members emphasize the importance of the shared goal and make their personal interest subservient to the shared goal. Successful teams share a reaction, typically positive in nature. They will push or pull in the same direction to support common cause.

Distinguishing Attributes

Some of the variables you need to consider when optimizing facilitated methods for teams include understanding about the following questions:

  • How effective and trusted has group decision-making been in the past for the organization?
  • How much effort has been invested understanding the quality of decision-making?
  • To what extent will the formal leader of the team share the same or similar perspective?
  • How much do the individuals share perspective or derive from a similar level within the organization?
  • To what extent does the culture promulgate distributed decision-making, where individuals are trusted to take a course of action that supports both the organization and the individual?
  • To what extent is the group an actual unit in the organizational structure (eg, reporting to the same leadership) or diversely representing many functional or geographic areas?

Be Conscious

As a leader stress the difference between groups and teams. Expect high performance, or you might not get it. Answer the questions above to support you selection of tools along the MG RUSH decision-making continuum that best serve your team and organizational situation.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

Want a free 10-minute break timer? Signup for our once-monthly newsletter HERE and receive a timer along with four other of our favorite facilitation tools, free.


Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

Visit Our Website

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.