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Team Work Services

Our work with teams can take several forms:

  • We facilitate meetings to help teams make progress on an issue.  See the description of our facilitation services for our approach to this work.
  • We conduct custom workshops that enable teams build their capability to work effectively with key constituents and with each other.
  • We help new teams get off to a good start and work with on-going teams to improve their level of performance. This page focuses on this team development work.

Calling a group a “team” does not make it work like one.  Teams must master a set of challenges if they are to be successful

  • Take advantage of diverse perspectives and talents
  • Think rigorously about complex issues
  • Manage conflict and disagreement
  • Handle emotions intelligently
  • Commit to a course of action and follow through
  • Learn from experience

Many factors contribute to team effectiveness.  We focus especially on the quality of team interaction:  the relationships among members and how they talk together as they tackle tough problems.  These determine the team’s ability to address constructively both the tasks it must accomplish and other factors that affect its success.

Each team situation is unique, with its own mix of individuals, task requirements, and habits of behavior.  We talk with the leader to understand his/her view of the situation and what s/he wants to accomplish.  If we think we can help, we propose an initial phase of work that typically includes individual conversations with team members, consultation with the leader, and a meeting at which the team talks about themes from the individual conversations.  This phase leads to identifying options for helping the team move forward.

Among the options for moving forward, some will be things that the team can do on its own.  There are also ways that we might help, depending on the situation.  They include:

  • Facilitating meetings at which the team establishes a shared direction and articulates values and norms to guide behavior;
  • Conducting custom workshops to help team members improve their ability to talk productively about difficult issues;
  • Coaching during meetings as the team works on real issues so that new ways of thinking and acting can take hold;
  • Coaching outside of team meetings to improve the quality of key relationships among members (see our Relationship Coaching section).