Programs - STRENGTHENING AN INTACT WORK TEAM
As corporations flatten their hierarchy and depend more upon teams and smaller work groups
to make decisions, greater conflict is inevitable as the decision making function is shared. Few
supervisors and fewer employees are prepared to function well within such settings, even though
most are highly motivated to be responsible and successful. Most teams need help to function successfully over the long run. This four phase program is designed for an intact team, a group of people who work together on a regular basis from a few month project to a stable multi-year department.
A sample Internet accessed survey can be viewed by clicking here: Internet team functioning survey.
The overall goal of the team building would be to create a High Performing
Team. Topics might include:
A FOUR PHASE APPROACH
- Know and build upon one another's strengths.
- Establish roles and decision making processes.
- Communicate in ways that reduce misunderstandings.
- Build agreements that resolve conflicts effectively.
- Use problem solving models that enhance creativity.
- Evaluate performance to enhance success - together.
- Interact with sponsors as customers
What is outlined here is a four phase approach that includes Assessment,
Training, Retreat and Coaching. At the end of each phase RI
consultants with the Team Lead will reevaluate and consider what is needed
in the next phase, based upon feedback from team participants. Then that
phase would then be approved and implemented. In this way the opportunity exists to reflect upon
how the team is working together, i.e., how well is it able to take
responsibility for structuring it's own methodology for addressing the team's responsibilities.
PHASE ONE: ASSESSMENT
The highest functioning teams are those that can constructively discuss
their own functioning.
Therefore, based upon the team's progress through
the phases of team building, the Team Lead decides at the end of each phase
and with the recommendations of RI consultants, whether or not to continue
to the next phase.
To have a successful team building program that really "rings their bell,"
participants need to see that whatever is being planned is based upon their
perceived needs. Phase One: Assessment, is designed to accomplish this by
askin g each member of the team about their individual concerns, goals and
challenges, before any training/team building design is created.
PHASE TWO: TRAINING SERIES
To this end, confidential individual interviews with each participant are
highly valuable. Experience shows these personal interviews simultaneously
accomplish four important goals:
The conceptual model RI uses, The Concerns Based Adoption Model,
predicts that team members will have concerns about Self (how does all this affect me?),
concerns about Task (what will I be expected to do?) and concerns about Impact
(what difference will it really make?). Most training/interventions only address the Task
concerns. The personal interviews are structured to address each of these
concerns in relation to the challenge of building a more cohesive
work team with a diverse group of individuals.
- Educates RI consultants as to participants' perceived concerns
related to the team's goals, their prior experience with team building, and
those priorities which individual team members believe are greatest.
- Begins the process of building a necessary level of trust with RI
consultants so that participants see that consultants can speak directly to
their stated concerns. This trust also lays a strong foundation should mediation
of conflicts be required at a later date,
- Reduces potential resistance participants might have to participating
in "yet another teambuilding program", especially if they have had negative
experiences in the past and,
- Increases motivation to share the responsibility to make the proposed
team building program realistic and relevant.
The individual interviews typically last between 1-2 hours each, and should begin as soon as
possible following an introductory email or letter from the team lead explaining the team building
activities being planned. RI will provide drafts of such email for consideration.
Based on the confidential personal interviews an anonymous Internet accessed survey is developed
which gives the team an opportunity to diagnosis itself. The results are
not what management says is needed, nor what the consultants say is needed
but what the team members themselves say is needed. The training, support
and team building is then designed to address the issues identified in the
survey. Two different sample surveys can be viewed online, one on
Internet team functioning, and another on the team's attitudes about stress and change.
To review, Phase One involves:
1) Individual confidential interviews with each team member.
2) A anonymous survey completed by each team member.
3) Consultation and customization with the team leader.
4) A report, based on the survey, can be made available as appropriate.
For any team building to be effective, participants must be able to address
real issues within the team. This is usually risky. It is risky because
most people don't know how to deal with disagreements very well.
Unfortunately, hardly anyone grew up in a family where, when there was a
conflict, they ended up closer. Most people honestly are not very good at
dealing effectively with disagreements whether at home or at work.
PHASE THREE: TEAMBUILDING RETREAT
Fortunately there are a set of models RI has developed that provide a team
with the necessary skill and knowledge to create an environment in which it
is safe to disagree. This is the essence of a highly functioning team.
It is therefore very smart to begin any new project by laying a foundation
of commonly understood tools and techniques for reducing misunderstandings,
resolving conflicts, solving problems and making decisions - together.
Phase Two: Training Series is designed to provide these commonly understood tools
and techniques through a series of short 3-4 hour training experiences. The third phase, Team Building, is where these tools and techniques are put into practice. But first they must be learned
and understood. A key to success is that team members understand that all members, including managment, will be accountable for using these tools and techniques.
Description: Phase Two involves presentation of models and processes for
Training would be provided by both live on-site sessions, by web-based
trainings as well as supported by audio tapes and CDs, laminated reminder
cards and cups.
- Differences in personal style,
- Individual and team decision making,
- Resolving misunderstandings and disagreements,
- Processes for how to communicate effectively.
- Group application of these models to challenging circumstances, and
- Individualized training, role-playing and coaching to validate the
integration of concepts.
Sample web based trainings can be accessed at both
An introduction to "Successfully Managing the Stress
of Change" and, An Overview of RI's Communication Models.
Phase Three involves applying the models learned in Phase Two to make
decisions concerning the work of the team. This will include various decision
making methods, e.g., by consensus or authority, problem solving models,
models for evaluating performance, and how to successfully address issues related
to team functioning. RI's team building programs are based on the
team doing "the work of the team" but with guidance and facilitation.
Rarely are simulations used, unless specifically indicated. RI prefers to
assist the team in implementing and using the models and tools presented in
Phase Two to do the actual work of the team.
PHASE FOUR: COACHING TEAM LEADERSHIP
Too often participants attend theoretical team building courses, and then
leave the theory aside when they refocus on the tasks before them. Making the 'back home'
application practical and realistic is specifically what will be addressed in this phase -
how to balance maintenance of tasks with team relationships as an ongoing aspect of the work.
Specific activities of the teambuilding retreat within Phase Three evolve out of the needs of the team at the time of the program. Whatever topics are being addressed at
work, the team building sessions provide a structured facilitated approach to applying
the tools and techniques learned in Phase Two. Typically time is spent on
reviewing the strengths of each individual member, what they bring to the
team and how their strength is being utilized. Should differences or
disagreements exist, the team building experience provides a potentially
safer environment in which to practice addressing these disagreements with
Often the Team Lead, as the team's authority, is positioned to
serve as a model of the use of the Phase Two tools and techniques, with RI
consultants assistance where needed. The end result is not only a potential
healing of whatever tensions have previously arisen, but the building of
greater trust and respect among the team in being able to handle
disagreements, especially with authority. Action plans and steps for
improved team functioning result.
This last phase, with alterations and customization developed from previous phases,
will focus primarily on consulting and coaching with team leads as they continue to apply
the materials learned from this program. Attention will be given to addressing team functioning
including how to be more effective with challenging employee interactions, creating more successful
meetings and continuing the improvement of the interpersonal skills of each team member.
Emphasis will be given to enhancing team functioning and improved leadership as well as developing more
trust and cooperation.
RI consultants will adjust program design to meet the specific needs of participants. Information
from pre-session interviews, from questionnaires, and information generated throughout the program
itself assists RI consultants in developing the most appropriate design for this phase.
Using the techniques and models presented during Phase Two, RI consultants will work with the Team Lead
and individual team members to target and resolve organizational functioning issues. Individuals and
topics will be identified in cooperation with the team lead.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Two to six months
- The course time and content is customized to fit the client's needs.
Houston, TX. 77098,