Do you have a team or teams of talented individuals who aren’t necessarily working effectively together? Are individual members of these teams working to achieve their own agenda or goals, rather than those of the overall team or the organization? Do you have interpersonal conflict or a lack of communication with the team? We’ll you’re not alone – you may even be personally experiencing the frustration of working within a dysfunctional team yourself!
Individual Versus Team Coaching
We have coached thousands of managers or team leaders in many areas of career development; however, more recently, the focus of much of our coaching is placed on how to get their teams working more effectively together. Many organizations provide individual coaching for the manager or the team leader in order to get them to solve issues within the team. While we can and do individually coach leaders on effective team building techniques, the learning is not transferred to the individual members of their team unless the members also participate in the development. And, if team members don’t fully realize what the real and underlying issues are, they are not in a position to understand the impact that the issues have on the organization, on the team, or even on them as an individual. And, most importantly, they don’t gain awareness of how they can personally contribute to building a stronger team.
Why Issue Based Team Building Needs To Take Place Before Experiential Team Building
Over the years, many of our client organizations have turned to experiential team building in an attempt to enhance team dynamics. While experiential team building can be quite effective in certain situations, positive outcomes are only realized when the real and underlying issues have been identified and resolved. If they haven’t been resolved, the real issues will surface again and again over time. Issues within the team are often caused because individuals don’t value differences within the team.
Individual Differences Should Be Viewed As A Positive
Individuals are unique and bring to the team different experiences, skills, styles, motivations, needs, and yes, even stress behaviours. So, we believe that a team leader’s most difficult task is getting the team members to truly value individual differences and to identify gaps within the team. Dealing with differences can be stressful but the lack of difference can present even more stress. For example, you might have team members who are great at organizing, planning, and expediting, but who lack strength in the area of communication. As a result, they encounter issues in communication with each other, within their team, or with other teams, and this causes frustration or stress for everyone! The same can be said for a team that lacks strength in the areas of planning, organizing, or expediting.
Uncovering Strengths and Gaps Within The Team
Identifying the strengths and gaps within a team can be approached through various assessment tools; we use the Birkman Method Questionnaire and CareerWise’sä Perception Analysis Questionnaire. The Birkman results help the team to identify styles, needs, and the resulting stress behaviours if needs are not being met. The feedback from the CareerWiseä Perception Analysis Questionnaire helps to identify strengths and gaps (development opportunities) from not only the team’s perspective but also the perspective of others in the workplace. The results of the assessments combined provide a foundation on which the team can build an action plan for development.
Developing A Team’s Competency To Resolve Their Own Issues
Once the team understands the real and underlying issues and the impact they create, we facilitate them in the brainstorming of ideas to resolve the issues. This in itself begins to create improved team dynamics. While we can initially provide a safe, non-threatening and objective environment in which to address issues, our goal is to develop the team’s comfort and competency in recognizing, addressing, and resolving their own issues in the future.
CareerWise Coaching Group’sä Issue Based Team Building Programs are always customized to meet the specific needs and level of the team we are working with. While it is ideal to begin the team building process with the senior management team and work down to the teams reporting to them, we deliver one-time programs for teams at various levels. The program is focused on coaching participants through various assessments and exercises to:
Identify required personal and team development.
Develop individual and team competencies.
Establish team and individual goals aimed at achieving positive outcomes.
Hear what the individuals participating in our Team Building programs have to say about us through their:
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