Mentoring – assessing team performance

Analysis tool

One of our aims is to provide you with useful tools to aid your mentoring and management processes. This tool, to quickly categorise your team’s performance, is the result of study by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, and shows five different types of team that vary in their effectiveness.

Jon R. Katzenbach & Douglas K. Smith, - team performance

Working group

A working group is a collective that come together to perform specific tasks. They may be  budget review committees, workplace health and safety advisers or maybe even the workplace social club.

  • Their main purpose is to share information, ideas or viewpoints
  • There are no performance drivers requiring them to become a team
  • They are relatively effective.

Pseudo team

These are a group who think they are a team but lack the direction, goals or discipline to become an effective team.

  • They often work as individuals.
  • There is a great need for improvement, as they are often not as effective as a working group.
  • They are the weakest of all teams.

Some sales teams fall into this category, as can restaurant wait staff, accounts processing teams, and others that have no common commitment or interdependence that ties them together.

Potential team

This team is trying to improve its performance but needs more clearly defined goals, objectives and accountability.

Real teams

These are skilled members striving to achieve common goals, exhibiting the characteristics of effective teams. Most successful sporting teams, for example would fall into this category, as would skilled hospital ward staff. ( I noted this at the Wesley Hospital recently after I had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The level of cooperation, skill and interdependence was excellent to see).

High performance teams

These teams exhibit all the characteristics of real teams and have a high level of skill and interdependence, committed to each other. The SAS and Emergency Response teams are examples.

Where does your team fit?

For help with managing and mentoring your teams, please call us.

Here is more information on the work of Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith and tips on developing your team.


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