Everyone has their own stories of working within teams, some good, some bad. “We had a common goal.” “We spent time working out who each of us was.” “It sounds odd but it was the crisis that pulled us together.” Team members may be part of a group but their experiences of it are intensely personal. Discussing these experiences can be liberating and energising, and it’s the way people start to articulate their common purpose.
As a team coach and facilitator, I have partnered and guided clients through a maze of strategic, operational, cultural and relational issues.
If you are a team leader or member reading this and you realise that somehow, yours doesn’t look or feel like a team, you might want to ask yourself: What kind of team are we? Are we as aligned as we need to be in order to fulfil what’s required of us? How does the rest of the organisation view us? What do our customers and stakeholders expect? What are our collective tasks?
I challenge teams to think through issues such as: Why are we a team? What is our purpose? How would we rate relationships with and between our stakeholders? How are we at working together?
Here are three examples of teams I have recently worked with:
- A leadership team brought together to construct a multi-billion dollar energy storage operation, the first and largest of its kind worldwide.
- The management team of a health board in developing their strategy for the integration of service provision.
- A voluntary sector leadership team re-designing their approach to future service delivery.
“The sessions were extremely successful, both in terms of the business objectives achieved but also in terms of building the team.”
“Is this just chance? Would this be the case if we worked with any facilitator? I am convinced that it is not chance having worked with a number of other consultants where the outcome has not been so good.”
“The difference you make is not obvious – not some bespoke tool – but a lot more subtle: you don’t try and takeover – you are focussed on trying to bring out the best out of the people leading the event and helping them think through what they’re trying to achieve.”
“Your coaching starts by your support in catalysing the planning stage. This results in a blend of meticulous planning with flexibility to respond to the session’s emerging flow.”
“I have never got the impression that you are trying to get approval from anyone. Your focus is on the business objectives i.e. there is never any sense that this is some sort of ego trip.”
“Your humble and open approach sets the tone for others to be truthful and honest and helps create the safe environment where the real concerns and difficulties can be expressed.”
“Kirsty facilitated a team day for us, and we all enjoyed it hugely. She is intelligent, approachable, flexible and thoughtful, and she made this day a really successful one for us in many ways. We liked Kirsty’s adaptable and inclusive approach – she was willing to let things flow at their own pace and in a way which we all found comfortable, yet she always kept focussed to our needs and objectives. We would definitely use Kirsty’s facilitation services again!”