Evaluate Your Team's Skills and Interests with a Roles Venn Diagram
Especially as a new team leader, it can be challenging to know what skills your team members have and how they want to develop their careers, not to mention how these interests ladder up to the tasks the organization needs. This simple exercise can help you identify opportunities for your team, as well as skills gaps.
Before your meeting, have each individual on the team identify what tasks the company needs, what tasks they’re good at doing, and what tasks they love doing. Ideally, the majority of your work will fall into the “sweet spot” where these three domains intersect, but inevitably, some tasks will fall out of (at least) one circle. For instance, you might be good at some tasks that the company needs, but not necessarily love it—like managing expense reports. Alternatively, you might love designing slides and reports, but not be very good at it.
Evaluate how you spend your time versus how you want to spend your time. All too often, we spend too much time doing those things the company needs that we’re good at (because, well, they’re needed), or doing the things we love that the company needs (even if they take us longer than they should). To be more effective, think of ways to delegate, automate, or otherwise minimize the time spent on the former category, and find training opportunities for the latter. As for the things you’re good at and love, but that the company doesn’t need? Set up a brainstorm session or interview colleagues to explore ways it could add value.
Convene with your colleagues to share your results. First, each person should share the skills that are in their “sweet spot.” If one of your “good and needed” tasks falls into their sweet spot, ask if they’re willing to take it on. Then, each person should get feedback on their plans to delegate tasks or improve their skills, as your colleagues may have ideas or know of resources that can help. (For an easy way to share skills and interests with the rest of the organization, try creating a Skills Inventory.)
Review what the company needs that you’re neither good at nor love doing. Last, but certainly not least, compare these tasks with your colleague’s results. If a few team members have identified the same skills gap, that’s a good indication that you should either hire someone to fulfill those needs, or outsource the task to a third party. You may even be able to compile several related tasks into a preliminary job description that can then be shared with HR.