Team Growth Factors:
Building Resilient Teams
By Anat Treister-Goren, Ph.D.,
and Dori Ben-Chanoch
Positive and productive relationships are the engines that drive successful organizations. Teamwork produces results that individuals simply can't achieve if they act alone. A team is not simply a machine with replaceable parts; it is a living system with heart, desire and boundless potential. A team thrives on excellence. In the next 20 years, the most successful organizations will be those that have learned to maximize the power of teams—teams are where the leverage is.al
Successful teams know how to create consensus, have collaborative leadership and experience a culture of growth. It's unfortunate that companies spend fortunes on "hard" (technical) related training, when in fact more often than not, difficulties and failures occur due to relationship aspects within the team.
The two essential ingredients that all high performing teams share are
positivity. Productivity is measured with the degree of pro-activity, leadership, accountability, alignment and bottom-line results. Positivity is reflected in the quality of the relationships, the trust, optimism, inclusion of diversity, constructive communication and more. Stellar teams are those who reach consistently high levels of productivity and positivity. The good news is that both productivity and positivity levels in your team can be measured. Awareness by a team of the degree of positivity and productivity is a key first step; the next key step is what the team leaders and team choose to do with this awareness.
Stages of facilitating a team to reach its full potential generally include the following:
1) An assessment of the current state of the team. This information is
shared with the team.
2) Creating alignment and designing the relationship between team
members as to how they choose to be with each other in the work
process and how they will work with the facilitators. At this point,
the team not only designs the relationship for the work process
but also becomes skillful at using a “Designed Alliance” tool
for future use.
This stage produces clarity, engagement and commitment. Next comes visioning work and from it, an inspiring action plan or Road Map is created by the team. This is the stage in which success measures are set for the process.
In the following stages, development and enhancement of specific skills or tools are included. The final stage involves measuring progress by referring back to the success measures set up in the beginning of the process.
In summary, this Team Coaching approach is unique in that it regards the team as a “system,” a living dynamic organism that has characteristics that transcend those of any of the individual members. In this way, the team is seen as its own entity with spoken and unspoken rules, vision, ideas, blind spots, expectations and even moods. The spirit of a team infects and influences the individuals and plays a significant role in how the team works together and what the team produces. The traditional approach viewed a team as a collection of individuals. This traditional approach assesses performance of individual team members. The individual assessments are then aggregated into a team profile. The shortcoming of this approach is that the team is represented as singular data points rather than as a whole. Team members view their results in a comparative fashion, looking to see how they do vis-a-vis the performance of other team members. This personal filter separates the individual team members from the system. Thus, the unique profile of a team as an entity is lost.
The Systems Approach is validated by considerable research that identifies a positive work environment as a prerequisite for sustained productivity and employee retention (1). Coaching increases positivity through working from possibilities and practical application.
Specific outcomes of The Systems Approach may include:
Creating an effective and sustainable team alliance for smooth workflow
and constructive feedback
Identifying and leveraging team strengths while identifying
resolving team challenges
Training the team how to move from conflict to alignment and
Skills and tools for bridging cultural differences and including diversity
Reading and leveraging the interrelationships between
Identifying and eliminating toxic communication styles
Increasing team positivity and team spirit
Action plans and an accountability structures such as:
• Documentation of roles and responsibilities
• Decision-making processes protocol and skills
• Identification of agreed upon work-flows and processes
• Accountability tools (who is accountable to whom and how…)
Buckingham 2001, Goleman 2002
Anat Treister-Goren, Ph.D., is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), an Organizational Relationship System Coach Certified (ORSCC). She is an international facilitator and supervisor for The Coaches Training Institute and The Center for Right Relationships.
Dori Ben-Chanoch, is Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, CPCC, ICF accredited, Professional Certified Coach, PCC. Dori Ben-Chanoch has been in the training and development field for the last 15 years. He specializes in the area of Executive Presence, Interpersonal Communication Skills and Emotional Intelligence.
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