Posted by: gotrain | December 12, 2008

Team Training Session 4

Last week I concluded the last session of team training for a new group of employees working for a customer who has had all their employees go through this training.

In this last session I focused first on the responsibilities of team members and how it coincided with the stages of team development. At each stage there are new responsibilities that each team member needs to commit to putting into practice in order for the team to function at that stage and to progressively move towards the highest and most productive stage. This requires new skills to be learned and practiced.

In most organizations when we speak about the responsibilities of employees we usually refer to tasks that each person needs to do to in their positions. But task completion according to set standards of quality and quantity is actually the requirement of just the first stage of team development and does not really signify that teamwork is taking place.

To move into the next stages of team development requires basic skills in communication, conflict resolution, mutual coaching, providing feedback, problems solving and presentation skills.

Although these are quite basic most employees in most organizations have not learned these skills to the level where they are practicing them daily. This is a big problem and a big impediment to productivity and a direct cause of lost opportunities for increased organizational performance.

I then introduced the principles of mutual coaching based on the Three Brain Synergy approach. The main difference with this approach versus teaching standard coaching skills is that it involves recalling the type to which the person you are coaching belongs. This gives the coach and person coached, a platform to establish mutual understanding and trust and to engage in a productive coaching conversation.

When the person who needs coaching shares their situation or problem with a team member it creates an opportunity for that team member to take on the role of coach and to help the person find a solution for their problem and commit to an action. The coach can then suggest a follow-up step to discuss the outcome and make sure the person is making progress.

When everyone learns the simple coaching steps and they start developing greater team spirit, an extremely positive and productive climate of mutual help and support is created. This will greatly contribute to sustained motivation and retention of good team members. Who would want to leave such a working environment save those who are resisting personal growth and want to hold onto old negative attitudes? Who needs these negative people in their organizations anyway?

I then went on to cover team problem solving techniques that included brain storming, nominal group technique and force field analysis. I had them apply these techniques to come up with solutions a to what new behaviors top management needed to adapt to improve team spirit in the organization.

I made sure each person had a chance to practice being the facilitator of one of the problem solving steps. After going through the techniques. I helped them develop practical recommendations to present to the president who was scheduled to join the session for the last hour.

When the president arrived each person took turns presenting their type, the tendency they were working on to improve and the goal they had set to achieve the improvement.

One person had volunteered to present the recommendations from the problem solving exercise and this went very well. The recommendation was for the presdient and his management team to increase positive feedback and to involve employees in decision making that directly affected their work tasks.

The president received the recommendations very well but did not make any commitments other than to thank them for their work and that he was happy with the outcome of the exercise and how they each presented their individual goals with such clarity.

I closed the session with a review of the learning objectives and the handing out of their certificates of attestation. They were quite happy to pose for the traditional group photo.

Team training graduates

Team training graduates

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