Aligned Teams Succeed.
The Team Alignment Questionnaire (TAQ) was developed by Dr. Ralph Colby in 1980 to provide a method of benchmarking the trust level within a team and the effectiveness of communication about issues critical to a team’s success – purpose, values, vision, goals, procedures and roles.
There are two parts to the questionnaire. Part A measures the trust level, and Part B the effectiveness of communication, however when team members complete the questionnaire on the Internet they will not be aware of the fact that there are two parts – they will just answer 40 questions.
Using the Internet-based processing functionality that we have developed provides you with easy access to the powerful assessment instrument, eliminates paperwork and postage, and makes reports immediately available once team members have completed the questionnaires. Team members will receive an email requesting them to go to the appropriate web site where they will complete the questionnaire and have the opportunity to add literal comments about their perception of the team’s performance.
There are two reports for each team member:
Team Structure Report
This report is measuring two things:
- Clarity – how clear each individual believes the team is on the team’s purpose, values, vision, goals, procedures and roles.
- Approval – to what degree each individual approves of the team’s purpose, values, vision, goals, procedures and roles.
It is important to understand the difference here between what we are measuring on clarity and approval. With clarity, we are measuring each team members perception of how clear the team is. It is quite possible that an individual, the team leader for example, may be very clear on the vision for the team, but believe that the team is very unclear about that vision he or she may not have shared it yet!
With approval, we are measuring the individual’s personal approval. So you can have a happy smiling yellow face in a very unclear position on the graph, indicating that this person is clear about that item, and approves of it, but believes that the team is very unclear about it. The face that has a green circle around it includes this team member’s perception.
The Team Trust Level Report
This report is measuring the degree to which each team member perceives that the four elements of trust are present in this team.
- Openness – the degree to which team members openly share information and opinions with each other.
- Straightforwardness – the degree to which team members are comfortable being direct in giving and receiving feedback.
- Acceptance – the degree to which team members value and respect each other.
- Reliability – the degree to which team members can count on each other to do what they are supposed to do.
Although it is common to get a spread of responses on each scale, it is usually quite easy to identify at a glance which of the elements need the most work. The most underrated element is acceptance. It is this element that creates the climate in the team for the other three to flourish. The higher the acceptance in the team, the more comfortable people will be with being open and straight with each other. The more a person is respected by others for what they bring to the team, the more they will contribute, therefore the more reliable they become.
The significant thing about these reports is that most teams do not have a high degree of clarity and approval, nor do they score high in all four elements of trust. Some do, but the majority don’t. The main reason is that they just have not talked about it and often the reason they have not talked it through enough is that there is a lack of openness and straightforwardness in the team. The team leader may think they have agreement for their vision and goals, but those who don’t agree are not saying anything. In most cases where there is a lack of agreement, there has been insufficient participation of those people in the determining of the vision or goals.