Team Talk Audit Form
- When team members say "we," "us," or "our," what are they usually referring to?
- When team members say "you," who is it addressed to? a single person, a subgroup, or the whole team?
- Do team members refer frequently to functional groups, job specialties, or other identities?
- With what group(s) do team members identify themselves?
- Do team members make explicit reference to perceived independence?
or to perceived interdependence?
- Do team members assert their individual intentions? (e.g., no
matter what, I am going to ....)
- Do team members ignore the questions of others?
- Are power differences highly apparent? Are they emphasized or not?
- Do team members express their own needs to one another? (e.g. I
need you to xxxx or I need us to yyyy)
- Do team members express shared needs? (e.g. we need to ....)
- Do team members act as if they are independent of one another or
interdependent with one another?
- Do the same people tend to dominate the conversation?
- Do the same people tend to interrupt others?
- Do those who are interrupted stop talking?
- Do other people typically answer?
- Do some people tend to ignore questions?
- Do askers wait for answers? Do they answer themselves?
- Do questions seem to challenge another's expertise, make the
questioner look smarter, or create an opportunity for someone else to
- Do the same people always change the subject? Often without
letting other people finish what they were saying?
- Is there a predictable response to such shows of power? That is,
are there certain people who always answer, always stop talking when
interrupted, rarely try to change the subject, speak less frequently
and never dominate the floor?
- Does everyone on the team exhibit the kind of behaviors mentioned
above from time to time?
- Do team members with higher organizational power refrain from:
- dominating the floor?
- asking more questions than others?
- interrupting others?
- Do team members with higher organizational power:
- invite or allow others to change the topic?
- seek the opinions of all team members?
- answer questions others ask of them?
- allow themselves to be interrupted?
- ask questions to get new information and wait for answers?
- Do team members with lower power:
- assert their opinions?
- ask questions?
- interrupt others?
- To what extent do team members call attention to difference in
power among them or seem to minimize those power differences?
- Do team members use formal forms of address, such as Mr. or Ms., or
do they address each other with nicknames or in-group names?
- Do team members show excessive politeness to some or all members?
- Do team members hedge their assertions? (e.g. I'm no engineer,
but I don't think we can pass the safety tests")
- Do team members use formal words or expressions? (e.g. "This
meeting has been convened to assess progress toward desired goals.")
Do they use slang or colloquialisms?
- Do team members impersonalize requests or assertions by avoiding
pronouns and using passive voice? (e.g. "It has been found during the
product review process that the current design fails to meet needs.")
- Do team members apologize before making requests or demands? Or
do they make demands or requests without hedges or apologies
(e.g. "Hand me that, willya?")
- Do team members slur sounds and leave out words? (e.g. "there's
- Do team members claim or imply common membership or point of
view? (e.g. "Do we all agree with this decision?")
- Do team members express liking or admiration for one another?
- Do team members express their individual needs or feelings?
(e.g. "I don't feel comfortable with this.")
- Do your team members feel socially distant or close?
- Do team members use power differences to resolve disagreements?
- Are there explicit or implicit threats or judgments, met with defensiveness?
- Do team members tend to avoid conflict by:
- postponing decisions when disagreements persist?
- deciding to take problems to their managers?
- Do decisions get delegated to team "experts" or the leader?
- Does the team compromise by voting?
- is the tone of team conflicts nonthreatening and nonjudgmental?
- is there an attempt to keep conflicts descriptive and/or factual?
- Do team members express their feelings frequently, openly?
- Is debate an accepted practice?
- Does the team listen fully to dissenters?
- Do team members try to verify understanding by restating
- Do team members try to integrate dissenting views into the common
- Do team members examine implications of each point of view in a conflict?
- Does the team manage conflict through force, avoidance, or
constructive confrontation? How about collaboration?
- Do team members use power differences to win or to cause others
- Do team members take and argue positions?
- Do team members use language of loss, debt, or concession?
- Do team members reframe disagreements in light of others' ideas?
- Do team members try to understand and articulate the underlying
interests of all parties?
- Do team members try to find objective criteria for resolving
- Does the team try to invent new solutions by asking what-if questions?
- Is your team's negotiation process win-lose or win-win?