Are you planning a leadership team offsite/retreat to do team development, to improve the communication and productivity of your team or your board? Would you like to maximize your investment to make the money go farther?
Sounds like you’d benefit from hiring a team coach, someone who will sit with the team while you are working on a current business issue, trying to solve a problem or to make a decision. The coach will observe the team in action; s/he can reflect back to the team what she’s observing, how the interactions and processes are supporting or impeding the team’s progress. She will ask questions to raise the team’s awareness of their interactions so that they can work more effectively together. A team coach builds the capacity of the team to address their own functioning, so that they’re not dependent on him/her.
Here’s an example: I was working with a leadership team, where they were trying to figure out, “How can we improve our business development? How will we know what client work to take on that’s aligned with our mission?” They started discussing this, and after 10 minutes I stopped them to ask how they thought it was going. “We’re getting off target,” they said. “We tend to get into intellectual conversations”. I asked if anyone had thought of the need to generate criteria to help focus the discussion. One person said yes, so I asked, “What got in the way of your saying that?” She shrugged; “I feel like I’m the person who’s always trying to focus us on achieving our desired outcomes, but people want to have these conversations.
Wow – She’s a keeper! Someone who is attuned to the process and able to keep her eyes on the goal – generating criteria to help move them towards a decision. That’s the kind of focus that you want on a team. She also needs support – if team members tend to dismiss her concerns, it helps to have a coach who can validate what she’s trying to do, and help the team understand why that’s important. Once the issue was raised, they were ready to continue the discussion and generate criteria.
I’m on a mission to help leadership teams and boards improve their work WHILE DOING their work. It saves time; rather than figuring out how to transfer a team building activity to the office, you get to work through the issues of communication, team dynamics and processes, to generate greater productivity and better results. Call me if you’d like to learn more about team coaching.