Team Education Planning
Just as you will need to learn during your time as a leader, so will your team, and you'll need a plan for accomplishing your education. To create the plan, you must decide what the team must learn and the most effective way of reaching that goal. The basic process is the same as determining your own education needs, only with a group twist.
Changing conditions affect your team as much if not more than they affect you. A team educational strategy will be broader than your own. For example, a factory team might need extensive education in a new manufacturing technique. A social service agency could require a crash course in new legal requirements. Instead of simply considering what each individual needs, you have to look at the collective set of knowledge, experience, and skills the entire team must possess.
A mistake to avoid is providing just enough skills and knowledge within the whole group. To the greatest degree possible, you should have crosstraining on your team. If one person is incapacitated or moves on for another opportunity, you don't want to find yourself unable to function.
One of the most natural forms of change in an organization is turnover in people. Do you have an education process for people joining the team, so they can get up and running sooner rather than later?
Analyze Team Weaknesses
You know you need to look at your own weaknesses, and the same sort of psychological issues that can come up in you can arise in any member of your team. However, you must also address the issue of how the team members interact. If these dynamics are off, you can have a group equivalent of an individual's quirks that make success difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
Also ensure that team members understand the organization. Do people realize what goes on in other areas? Do they even recognize people they should know from other parts of the company? You can invite people from other disciplines to offer presentations to your team.
Determine Team Needs
When you know what you or your team members need to learn, you are ready to determine how they can best learn it. Here are the basic issues you'll have to consider:
Subject matter break-out
Appropriate type of instruction
Location and time of instruction (if applicable)
There may not be a single answer, even if you determine that more than one person needs to acquire the same knowledge or skills. You might base your choice in part on the learning styles of different team members or on the roles in the process the team must undertake.
When you know what the team needs for learning, you have to sell the idea. Other parts of the organization might have to approve budgets or change operational timelines to accommodate the teaching. As with all other leadership issues, you also need team member buy-in. The better people understand what they are about to do and need to achieve, the more effective the learning process will be.