Posted by: gotrain | November 17, 2008

New team training workshop

It’s always exciting to start training a new group of people on teamwork and last week was the first of 4 half-day sessions on team development with the program MY Team and I. This training program incorporates the threebrainsynergy approach to knowing oneself and others. The knowledge of self and each other is a core element of this program for a good reason that I will describe later in this post.

The group is made up of new employees of a small company that provides computer detailed drawings of steel structures for builders and steel fabricators. The company is very young and the owner/entrepreneur has grown the business quickly and already has diversified to include a small shop that cuts steel for fabricators. He is also working on a project to bring a huge innovation to the marketplace by introducing robotics into the fabrication process. This sharp businessman realizes the importance of training and development and of teamwork and thus wants his new hires to go through the same program he and the other staff has.

One aspect of the first session was focused on having each person explore the difference between a group and a team of people working together. What do you think is the difference?

Essentially there is one huge but not obvious difference that makes a team’s performance far superior to a groups’. A team of people know each other more profoundly and have greater affinity. They also want to help and support each other, not only because they want to succeed, but because they really care about each other. So how do you achieve this?

The answer is to have the team members learn, discover who they are and grow together. This way they get to understand why each person is different and how to best work and support that person. They get to understand the needs and the style of their teammates and can then use specific teamwork and communication techniques appropriately. They also learn the importance of making sure that every member of the team feels heard and important. Groups of people working together to not go to these extents to learn about and support each other.

In the MY Team and I program, the learning about oneself and others is done in an interactive exercise that introduces people to their type based on the threebrainsynergy approach. So it is not a test with reports but an engaging shared experiential activity. This is also explained in the book CrazyZoo, Know-Thyself Made Easy by Fritz Glaus who also created the training program.

In the last session I also covered the 4 stages of team development, which goes from dependency on the supervisor, which is not really teamwork at all, to interdependence. But in order to get to that stage the team members need to learn specific skills. Each team member needs to commit to practicing and applying these skills or the organization will never reach the highest stage where synergistic performance happens.

In order for the team members to properly apply the new skills of teamwork, which I will elaborate on in future posts and articles, they must become more balanced in the use of their three brains or intelligences. To do this they learn about their types and choose a tendency they want to work on that will unblock what may be holding them back to fully use their qualities and be more balanced.

In the last workshop each person chose their type and identified a tendency to work on. This was shared openly and they were assigned the task of observing themselves from the perspective of this new knowledge of their type.

Imagine now if everyone in an organization learned this approach and began working on becoming more balanced. Combine that with another goal to develop a crucial teamwork skill and you will have an organization that is primed for high performance.

In the next workshop, I will take them through the process of setting a goal to develop a new behavior that is contrary to the tendency they want to overcome. Each person will have an opportunity to share what they have observed about themselves and others from this new perspective.

This new team training went very well because each person came with an open mind and ready to learn. This tells me the company has done a good job in hiring the right people to fit the job and company culture. Stay tuned for more on this team training.

Stephen Goldberg

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