Coaching Teams

Team audits

Do you have issues creating friction within your team?

Are there issues between some team members and management?

Is this friction having a negative impact on individuals within the team and on overall team cohesion and performance?

As a strategy for moving on from the current challenges, get some independent assistance to identify the issues and concerns across the team, and to work with the team to try and address these issues.

Redefine has a reputation for successfully working with hostile and disillusioned groups when completing team audits. Each team audit has three stages:

Stage 1: Identification of Issues

Each of the nominated team members, and team leaders, and other relevant people are interviewed to gain an understanding of each individual’s view on the issues and challenges which are impacting on the team environment and on the overall effectiveness of the team. The nominated team members should be those involved or who have knowledge of the current situation.

A report is produced which generically identifies the issues, e.g. a lack of clarification of roles and responsibilities. This generic representation of issues gives a sense of security to the team members that their individual contributions remain confidential. The generic results are then presented to the team.

Stage 2: Suggested Strategies to Resolve the Issues

A proposal is presented to the Team Manager outlining a variety of strategies which could be used to resolve the issues. The proposal will outline a timeline and resources needed to implement the strategies. Implementation will involve one-on-one coaching with the Team Manager to assist them to implement the strategies.

Stage 3: Evaluation

Two months after the implementation of strategies, the team is confidentially and individually asked for feedback (face to face, telephone or email) to determine whether the issues have been resolved, and a report provided to the Team Manager.

Team Management Profile sessions

Providing regular time and space for a team to stop and reflect on how it operates, to understand what it does really well, and to identify what could be improved, is vitally important to building high-performing teams. In contrast, teams that do not take time out to develop get stuck in doing what they have always done.

To get a team working really well their interpersonal dynamics need to be understood. Each member should understand their own work style and that of their colleagues. This understanding brings enhanced team communication and task completion processes.

The Team Management Profile is a diagnostic tool which measures a person’s work preferences. It is amazingly accurate, and people really enjoy the process of finding out more about themselves and their colleagues.

A Team Management Profile workshop suits:

  • new and forming teams
  • teams not working so well, who need to improve communication
  • teams working well but wanting to understand themselves better.
  • The Team Management Profile provides constructive, work-based information outlining an individual’s work preferences and the strengths that individual brings to the team.

This team development day is based around a 4,000-word individual profile (plus a workbook) which identifies participants’ preferred team behaviour style.

Work preferences are explored in terms of how an individual:

  • prefers to relate to others
  • gathers and uses information
  • makes decisions
  • organises themselves and others.

The Team Management Profile highlights an individual’s major and related areas of work preferences, including information focused on:

  • individual and leadership strengths
  • decision-making
  • interpersonal skills
  • team building

This is essential information for developing individuals and teams.

During the session, the profiling concept will be introduced to the group and each of the four areas within the profile explained. Participants will then be asked to assess themselves and each other in relation to each of the four areas. This will require everyone to think about the way each team member operates.

Each participant will then be given their own 4,000-word profile for review. The actual results from all team members’ profiles will be given to the group to compare with their earlier assessments. Any team strengths or weaknesses in relation to behavioural styles will be identified, e.g. an overabundance of ‘ideas people’ compared to ‘analytical people’.

Effective strategies to use when dealing with individuals with different behavioural styles will be outlined. Team members will assess their own preferences and behaviour and also assess the best way to approach internal and external customers. It will have a direct impact on team development.

One week prior to the session, each of the selected team members will need to spend 15–20 minutes completing an online questionnaire.

Optional follow-on sessions which develop effective team skills, in particular around meetings and project work, are available – see Utilising what you’ve got and developing what you haven’t.

Utilising what you’ve got and developing what you haven’t

NOTE: This is a follow-on session from the Team Management Profile session.

Understanding the issues is one thing, but taking action to make things happen requires discipline and dedication over a period of time. How many times have you had a team day during which everyone is wildly enthusiastic, promises are made, a free lunch is provided – and then nothing happens?

Using this process helps your team members become accountable for their actions (or lack of) in the way ahead for the team. This process will help develop your team by moving them from being a group of individuals operating independently to an efficient and coordinated group.

Tasks in any work situation can be described in terms of eight key factors:

  1. Advising
  2. Innovating
  3. Promoting
  4. Developing
  5. Organising
  6. Producing
  7. Inspecting
  8. Maintaining

All eight tasks need to be done for any process to be successful.

For example, if your team is made up of individuals who are wildly creative and enthusiastic, and come up with multiple new ideas, you need to consider who in the team is making sure that:

  • there is an agreed project plan
  • the project scope has been agreed to
  • deadlines are being met
  • paperwork is being completed
  • budgets are being adhered to.
  • If you do have such a person, what happens when that person leaves?

Or is your team is made up of individuals who are highly skilled at checking and monitoring the day-to-day detail but not the big picture. Who asks ‘Is there a better way?’ Without looking at new ideas or ways of doing things, stagnation can occur.

During this session you can almost see the light bulbs go on as team members take a step back and look at the jigsaw of individuals who make up their team.

We will work with you as your team establishes action plans for each of the eight major types of work functions while they move towards developing their skills in this area.

Problem solving for teams and individuals

Is your team stuck in a rut in relation to behaviour or because of a particular issue?

This decision-making session will be helpful if:

your team spends a lot of time and energy going around in circles and never seems to move on
there are one or two dominant individuals blocking the team from moving forward
a lot of your time is wasted trying to sort out the team issues when you have other things to do
you are stuck and can think of nothing else to do and no way out
you have to make a difficult or demanding decision and need a fresh perspective
you need to look at change from different a perspective.
Become more creative in your thinking when developing:

  • personal plans
  • transition plans
  • business plans.

During this session you will redefine the problem. You will be asked questions you may not have been asked before (and may not see as relevant). However, they will expose the way you have defined the problem in the first place, and this definition may have excluded other ways of thinking about the problem. When you do think of it differently you find answers you would not otherwise have considered.

In order to move forward the team needs to agree that the way things have always been done is not necessarily the best way in the future. To progress they need to understand that if what was done in the past was working well now, there would be no problem to address.

When working with problems, issues and even people, individuals often fail to find a workable solution because:

they have not understood the issue
they have been one-eyed and can only see it from their point of view.
Being asked new questions may redefine how the issue was originally thought of and give a much broader understanding of it. Re-framing the issue may provide a new way of looking at it and, from there, lead to new solutions.

This session is for individuals or teams who want to move forward but are uncertain of how to move forward.

The process involves working through four categories:

  • Challenges – identifying common challenges to moving on
  • Probabilities – asking questions that prompt consideration of the probable solution
  • Possibilities – asking questions that prompt innovative thinking about possible solutions
  • Plans – encouraging the generation of action plans based on innovative solutions.
  • Using an external facilitator gives everyone within the team the opportunity to be fully involved in discussing the issue without being worried about ‘trust in the process’ or ‘trying to second guess the facilitator’s motivation’.

If you would like further information about these sessions, please contact me.