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The Concepts: Linking Skills

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Linking Skills are the activities and behaviors that managers and others need to exhibit in order to successfully integrate and coordinate the work of a team. These skills were identified through extensive interviews with teams and team leaders worldwide. Data collected from, for example, banking teams, engineering teams, administrative teams, marketing teams, production teams, and research teams, in the private and public sectors, highlighted a number of common elements that were responsible for integrating a team into a coherent 'whole'.

Team Management Systems has three versions of the Linking Skills Profile Questionnaire. Version 1 is the Linking of People Profile Questionnaire and contains 36-items suitable for all team members. Version 2 is the 66-item Linking of People and Tasks Profile Questionnaire, ideal for senior team members. Version 3 is the Linking Leader Profile Questionnaire especially designed for team leaders. It uses 78-items to assess all Linking Skills.

All three versions are multi-rater assessments where a number of different people rate an individual's Linking Skills.

Margerison-McCann Linking Leader Model

Margerison-McCann Linking Leader Model

Arranged around the outside of the model are the six People Linking Skills. These skills need to be implemented as part of the workplace behavior of the team leader and all team members, if a team is to be high-performing. These skills are:

PEOPLE LINKING SKILLS WHAT LINKERS DO
Active Listening Listen before deciding
Communication Keep team members up to date on a regular basis
Team Relationships Encourage respect, understanding, and trust among team members
Problem Solving and Counseling Are available and responsive to people's problems
Participative Decision Making Involve team members in the problem solving of key issues
Interface Management Coordinate and represent team members

Inside the People Linking Skills are the five Task Linking Skills. These are essential to the key tasks of the leader and the more senior team members.

TASK LINKING SKILLS WHAT LINKERS DO
Objectives Setting Set achievable targets with the team but always press them for improved performance
Quality Standards Set an example and agree on high quality work standards with the team
Work Allocation Allocate work to people based on their capabilities and preferences
Team Development Develop balance in their team
Delegation Delegate work when it is not essential to do it themselves

At the core of the Linking Leader Model are the two Leadership Linking Skills of Motivation and Strategy. Unless the leader has these skills and makes them part of their daily behavior then the team is unlikely to reach its full potential.

LEADERSHIP LINKING SKILLS WHAT LINKERS DO
Motivation Inspires others to give their best
Strategy Devises effective action plans to achieve goals

Unless all Linking Skills are exercised effectively, a team may lose momentum and direction.

Related Resources Related resources: Download Center, Session Designs, Research, Translations, Testimonials

Accreditation is required to use the Linking Skills Profiles. Accreditation status can be achieved by either attending a public workshop in your area, by E-Accreditation, through an in-house workshop or a webinar accreditation. Each method allows you to be recognized worldwide as an accredited member of the Team Management Systems network.

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