"How's Your Team's Spirit?"
Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D.

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)
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A hidden and often undiscussed element of effective teamwork is the mood, or climate, that exists within the team. A productive atmosphere doesn't just happen, it requires conscious work. The following quiz is a start to understanding, and perhaps improving, the atmosphere that exists within your team. This Quiz was originally published in Spirit, the magazine of Southwest Airlines.


The team leader has just made an impassioned plea to improve the level of cooperation that exists within the group. As the discussion develops you note:


Which of the following statements best describes the level of risk taking, innovation, imagination, and initiative by members of the group:


Describe the level of communication between team members:


Mary, a senior member of the team, and Jose, a junior member of the team, are on opposite sides of an important issue. Both of their positions have merit. You notice that as Mary and Jose present their arguments, other team members:


The team gathers for the monthly progress and problem report about reaching individual and departmental objectives. Describe the meeting:


Your team is involved in the annual planning, budgeting and strategy setting meeting. During the critique period:


Your team is faced with making a decision on a very controversial and emotionally charged issue. The leader has asked for each individual to express his/her views. The first thought that comes to your mind is:


One of your team members has asked for some time on the meeting agenda to seek the help and cooperation of other team members on his/her assignment. During the ensuring team discussion you feel that:


All the supervisors in your department meet annually to rank the employees for salary treatment and promotional potential. You feel the discussion can best be described as:


Your manager has just asked every member of the team to independently study and submit a detailed plan for implementing a total Employee Involvement/Quality program in their area of responsibility. In subsequent conversations with other team members, the feeling is: