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How to Manage Productive Teams with G.R.I.P


Managing productive teams is easier said than done, but there is way to do it while maximizing outcomes and limiting stress. The process is known as GRIP, an acronym for “Goals, Roles, Interpersonal and Processes.”

GOALS: The first step in this process is to find the common goal for the project at hand. This goal often answers the question of “what is the problem to be solved?” For example, “The goal of this assignment is to discover the most productive strategy for delivering team training at XYZ gym.” The word “discover” in this case is key, as it set the tone of curiosity, which plays into step three below.

ROLES: The second step of the process is to determine each team member’s role within the project. This step is key, as it ensures that each element of the project has one person making sure is it executed, even if the entire team are contributors. Further, it allows members to play their role with full permission, particularly if that role is controversial, such as devil’s advocate.

INTERPERSONAL: The third step is to agree upon interpersonal norms and certain values that will be needed to ensure the project will stay on track and be completed in a timely fashion. For example, is trusting each other to do the groundwork key for completing the project, or is listening and not over speaking? Those norms and values will be the key to making sure this team flows.

PROCESS: The final step is to determine the best process to complete the task at hand. In this step, the team needs to create a “roadmap” to show how they will reach their overall goal. During this step, the team needs to decide how to communicate moving forward (text messaging, phone calls or weekly meetings), determine what decision tools will be needed, and most importantly, set milestones as to when certain items need to be completed by.

Once each step in the GRIP process has been determined, one member of the team should create a “One Sheet Charter” with the above information and have it readily available for all team members. This sheet can be referenced frequently as the guiding light, and even when roadblocks are met, or when team dynamics are unravelling.

It may seem simple, but this is how you build teams that work efficiently and with little stress. The 30 minutes spent before any important project, is groundwork well worthwhile.


Emmett Williams is the president of MYZONE. For more information call 312-870-4800 or email Emmett.williams@myzone.org.


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