Strong, successful departments drive growth and improve overall employee morale, and departmental teams and work teams need to form friendly and effective working relationships to achieve positive results. When bolder characters overwhelm more subtle personalities, power imbalances emerge, and productivity begins to falter. Carefully designed custom team-training programs turn the dysfunctional aspects of cross-functional teams (or executive teams) into opportunities for growth, empowering participants and instilling them with new enthusiasm.
To build up a team, you first have to discover that team’s most glaring pain points. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni outlines the following:
Each dysfunction forms a pillar supporting the team as a whole; even one weak column increases the threat of collapse. High-performing teams aren’t necessarily perfect and rarely (if ever) are all five dysfunctions permanently banished. Instead, team members are constantly asking questions, re-evaluating their individual roles and interpersonal skills, and addressing any changes that need to be made.
Our leadership team development experts turn training retreats into launching pads, igniting long-term discussions that create enduring and positive change. Patterns shift, attitudes evolve, and groups acquire a deep understanding of where they are so they can consciously influence where it is they want to go.
Recently, researchers at MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory found a reliable team-building strategy while studying group dynamics. Cohesive teams, they discovered, were bound together not only by work-related commitments, but also by strong interpersonal relationships. The best indicator of a team's success in any workplace — whether it was a bank, a hospital, a warehouse or anywhere else — was its energy and engagement outside work-related projects.
To test their findings in real time, MIT's research group suggested that the manager of a call center reshuffle his schedule so all the people on specific teams took their breaks simultaneously. Team members were suddenly able to socialize with one another in an informal setting on a regular basis, and that led to an increase in camaraderie. The manager subsequently saw his new strategy pay off when the average handling time in the call center fell by 20 percent in his lower-performing teams and 8 percent overall. According to these results, cultivating fellowship in individual teams can lead to remarkable success for everyone.
On the flip side of dysfunction, you’ll find both power and purpose — two things our team training initiatives are designed to achieve. The heart of that journey is an assessment-based learning experience called
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.
This model turns the dysfunctions above on their heads, reintroducing those pain points into tools.
By learning about each team member and educating them on their own key behavioral characteristics — powered by Everything DiSC® or AllTypes (MBTI)— we begin to break down each group into its most elemental components so we can better structure a more capable and vigorous whole. You’ll discover more about yourself than you thought possible as you watch your own processes improve, but the real magic is in witnessing how each individual’s attributes gradually interlock with their teammates’.
Convivial work relationships don't just happen by accident; they're created purposefully. Successful teams sometimes occur right off the bat, but generally, team members need a little guidance to work openly with one another. Four distinct developmental stages can help you keep track of how your team-building venture is going:
1. The Assembly Phase
During the assembly phase, team members feel excited about the paths they're on and eagerly try out new exercises. They jump at the chance to think outside the box and ask questions about team goals, strategies and potential results. Team members might also feel a little anxious about their roles on the team, and they may wonder what is expected of them. Most individuals feel positive about the future of the team and expect to find success quickly. A focused training orientation meeting can help answer questions,
define goals and reassure people in advance of directed team-building exercises.
2. The Rocky Phase
As one might expect, the rocky phase is a little less harmonious than the assembly phase. Strong personalities are less polite and more confrontational, and some team members feel uncertain about the training retreat. Goals that previously seemed attainable now appear out of reach, and people begin to feel frustrated with the team's overall progress. At this point, it may be best to break more ambitious objectives down into smaller chunks. This is also a great time to focus on conflict-management skills and communication techniques.
3. The Settling-In Phase
In the settling-in phase, people begin to find their niches within the group and communicate more easily with other team members. Individuals express their needs and ideas readily; they listen and respond appropriately to the needs and ideas of others. Real collaboration begins to happen, and team members use constructive criticism to hone their ideas. People feel much more encouraged about the team-building venture at this stage, and they begin to feel enthusiastic about the team as a whole.
At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we develop custom training programs to accommodate our clients' precise needs.
Instead of cookie-cutter day-long or week-long courses, we create tailor-made programs to help your existing teams (from the C-Suite to the frontline) achieve specific goals. We work with intact teams, operational work groups and decision-making teams of any size, teaching them the skills they need to collaborate harmoniously and efficiently.
Many experts refer to team building as one of the most important investments you can make. Improving team cohesion and function means making better decisions based on aggregate input, wasting less time, and, perhaps most importantly, boosting your bottom line. Whether you’re a nonprofit or a Fortune 500 company, success can be quantified and a high-functioning team creates superior outcomes.
Speaking of quantifying results: every group that completes the Five Behaviors assessment is eligible for a Progress Report six to 12 months later. This serves to reinforce the idea that change is not a single step forward but rather a treadmill — you’re never truly “there,” but you can increase your endurance, lengthen your stride, and teach your body to work more efficiently and effectively so you’re in a position to re-imagine your goal into something even bigger and better.
Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions designs training and employee development programs for leadership teams, work teams and cross-functional teams. Our curriculum uses research backed building blocks and then is custom-built for each client’s unique needs, goals, and team makeup. We create a one-of-a-kind “adult-learning” environment and agenda that’s tailor-made and remarkably effective. Most companies come to us with between 10 and 30 employees at time, allowing for targeted training that compels progress.
We have two programs:
Single-Day Team Development Training
Provides an intense overview of what high-performing teams must learn to outperform their competitors and fulfill their goals. When your team only has a single day to give to the goal of effective teamwork, this is the program that can change the course in a snap.
Team Development for Lasting Change Program
This is not a quick "day program" or a cookie-cutter seminar that repeats word for word from city to city. Instead, we offer a laser-focused approach that uses the best practices in leadership development and work team development to help your team not only create but sustain results.
Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions has programs across the United States, centered in all major metropolitan areas. Dates and times are set according to your needs, reflecting our adherence to client-centric systems. You’re not sending your leaders to participate in a managerial meet-and-greet or to learn skills that only hold unilateral benefits. This is coordinated learning founded on well-respected principles molded to fit your team’s makeup, and it truly works.
A team-building and team-development program is an effective way to build cohesion among your team. But it isn't a one-shot deal. The bonds forged through team-building activities can erode over time without proactive steps to keep them strong. That's why team development, as with culture development, should be an ongoing part of your business's strategy. True, you might not have the time or the funds for weekly team retreats, but you can incorporate productive and fun team-training exercises into your daily routine. This commitment, over time, will not only transform your team’s effectiveness but also have a positive impact on your company’s culture.
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