Researched and Written by David Watters
Performing Arts Team: Effectiveness and Interaction with Key Customers and Other Stakeholders
At the time of writing, my Performing Arts Team is relatively small and consists of one fulltime member of staff (David Watters, Musical Theatre Coordinator) and 3 part time staff (MD, Musical Theatre & Singing, JB, Urban & Jazz Dance and MN, Acting)
The Belbin Model has proved a useful tool in assessing character traits of individuals within the team. The system clearly has some credibility but I would not base judgements entirely upon this. We are all more complex than this system suggests and although Belbin does state that individuals can cross over into a number of roles, I personally still find his 9 roles to be limiting.
The team functions well and this, I feel, is due to the shared backgrounds of each team member. To explain, all trained initially as performers before becoming teachers, all also continue to work as professional performers or in performance related fields such as choreography, musical direction or direction.
Coming from disciplined backgrounds and having qualified in our specialist areas at respected institutions, the team have an understanding of the required standards necessary for our students to progress into Higher Education.
We share a similar outlook on teaching strategies and, as performers, have good interpersonal skills. We have been trained to take criticism as a positive interaction and to continually seek self-improvement. Giving and receiving feedback presents no challenge and we all instill this in our students.
There is consistency in expectations across disciplines and this has a positive impact upon learners. Some students may initially find the intense demands of a disciplined life to be challenging but we all agree that this is a necessary aspect to our particular subject.
The current team interact well with each other, show respect and commitment to the goals of the department.
As a leader I see my role as one of support and supervision, of encouragement and empowerment. In many ways I feel that our team meet the needs of our customers (the learners) when I follow Adair’s guidlines of:
- Planning – seeking information, defining tasks, setting aims Initiating – briefing, task allocation, setting standards
- Controlling – maintaining standards, ensuring progress, ongoing decision-making
- Supporting – individuals’ contributions, encouraging, team spirit, reconciling, morale
- Informing – clarifying tasks and plans, updating, receiving feedback and interpreting and
- Evaluating – feasibility of ideas, performance, enabling self assessment