A foolproof intervention to help a #team become more productive and cohesive

LarksLeadership Skills, Managerial Skills, Training0 Comments
The corporate’s favourite methodology is offsite#team building. And so, in the middle of pristine environments or city resorts employees do many #team building activities and games and have a lot of fun and learning in the process.

We at Larks have conducted many such sessions and they are great fun. However, they are also expensive and I have always wondered, “Do teams really get more productive and cohesive?” Does the learning gained there translate to the office situations?

The joke in our office is that team building events are like the getaway suggested to spouses by marital counselors. It helps them relax, have some fun and maybe reconnect to each other. But as soon as they are back…the same issues resurface. That’s because we have not done anything to handle the specific issues that were troubling.

One additional key element that we added to our team building interventions apart from games and activities has been the use of a psychometric profile: Extended DISC personal profile and Team report. This works on the three pillars of insight, reciprocal disclosure and trust. We have used the Extended DISC profile to help people understand their unique personality style and that of others in the team. During the intervention most team members find it self evident that much of the friction they are experiencing can be handled with understanding differences and appreciating strengths of others. This helps change their paradigm of interacting with each other.

Marshall Goldsmith talks about another methodology… feed forward & measurement.

He suggests to get each member of the team to take 2 identical pieces of paper and fold it over. One one piece of paper they write: Q1: On a scale of 1-10 how well are we doing towards working together as a team? And on the other piece of paper write Q2: How well do we need to be doing? They then score the 2 critical questions.

Next, have each individual write down 1-2 behaviors that if everyone in the team got better at, it would improve team work. The facilitator then puts these behaviors on the charts and gets the team to prioritize and pick one most critical behavior that will give the highest delta. For an example, lets choose including people.

He then suggests to use “Feed forward”. Ask each team member to quickly go up to each other member of the team and ask, “Apart from including people, which 1 behavior do you suggest I work one?”. Thank the person giving the suggestion and move on. At the end of this exercise, each individual chooses 1 behavior that he will work on. E.g. Listening. Next step is to quickly ask people for 1 idea each on how to be better at including people and 1 idea on how to be a better listener.

Every team member talks to every other team member every month for 3 months asking 3 questions:

  • Give me 1 idea on how to be better at including people?
  • Give me 1 idea on how to be a better listener?
  • Give me 1 idea on how to be a better team member?

Then measure the results post 3 months by asking all team members to score the 2 critical questions.

  • On a scale of 1-10 how well are we doing towards working together as a team?
  • How well do we need to be doing?

Additionally, each member gets a measurement of his improvement on the 3 questions that he is individually focusing on.

We would suggest using a mix of all 3 strategies… An offsite to create a buzz and loosen up people. Usually the daily grind has pushed people into set ways of behavior. Get people to score their teams of the 2 critical questions. Use that environment to get people to understand each other as people using Extended DISC profiling. The understanding of each others strengths, weaknesses, motivators, fears etc. is very powerful especially if we have a high trust environment. Start the concept of feed forward and measurement for a year. And then see the results.

Here is to great teams: the engines of massive growth!

To contact us for the foolproof team building intervention…call 91-9899108659 or email lovely@larkslearning.com