Recently, RightPath spent the day working on Emotional Intelligence with an executive team of a mid-sized company in the Atlanta area. When we first started working with them a year ago, their team was marked by infighting, resentment, political positioning and departmental squabbles.
During our first Team Building session, we noticed that interactions were tense and guarded. It was clear the team spent more time and energy on interpersonal disagreements than on leading their teams, setting the vision for the company or solving problems that threatened their future viability.
After working with them several times over the past year, we noticed astounding improvement in interpersonal interaction. They now communicate freely, disagree respectfully, push each other toward excellence and hold one another accountable for performance. They have learned to enjoy working on projects together, seeing new and better ideas emerge as they collaborate.
Team Building completely transformed this team.
For many people in the corporate world, Team Building evokes groans of cynicism and visions of trust falls accompanied by “touchy-feely” discussions. Too often these, “feel good” Team Building sessions are nothing more than a wasted day of meetings with little or no impact on real world business performance.
But this was not the case with this team. How did they use Team Building to transform both interaction and performance?
- They used objective feedback to understand differences. By using a validated, behavioral assessment, they were not only able to understand their personal strengths and struggles, but they were able to view the strengths and struggles of their teammates from a more objective viewpoint.
- They applied their knowledge to the work environment. Rather than viewing their differences as sources of tension, they understood that diversity on their team is a resource. Other members of the team had skills and perspectives that each person needed and they began to apply this diversity to their work.
- They took a “me first” approach to improving the team. Each person resolved to become a better teammate before expecting others to change.
These three approaches to Team Building create lasting, significant change. To improve interaction and productivity on your team, try emphasizing the three values that this team used: Objective Feedback, Apply to the Work Environment and Start with Yourself.
To learn more about how RightPath can help your team harness the power of Team Building, contact us.