Working as a Team

Team building is what Quest specialises in, however it’s not often that a client calls and actually asks us to deliver a session for which they actually want to have Working as a Team as its title and very simple core objective . This was one of those occasions and as you’ll see below it was a most interesting session.

New Manager, New Team:

Quest regularly gets asked to work with new teams, or with an established team that has a new boss. It’s not so usual to be asked to be asked to work with a new boss and a team that is so new that the team members have not met face to face before! Just the sort of challenge that Quest enjoys, and to make the challenge even greater, the time allocated for Quest to work some of its magic was limited to just the first morning of a three day meeting!

Pleased to Meet You:

The team members needed to make a positive start in getting to know one another, and to do it quickly. They also needed to get some positive energy from doing that, and therefore to kick the morning off, a Personal Coat of Arms session was worked through. Using flip chart paper and marker pens, (and with the caveat that team members should only disclose information about themselves about which they felt comfortable) the team drew a large shield divided into a number of sections, and into those they noted information about their family background; how friends and colleagues would describe them; hobbies and interests; something about their behaviour they might change and something they would consign to “Room 101.” 

Once all the shields were completed, each of the 15 team members presented their shields to the rest of the team. As expected there were revelations, there was sadness, there was much that was thought- provoking, there was celebration and there was humour too. Most insightful 

Behaviours and Norms:

Following Personal Coat of Arms, Quest facilitated a session promoting and encouraging the delegates to discuss behaviour; how they would like to see the team grow and develop; how they could work at promoting positive change in the teams they all managed, and how they needed to be ambassadors for change. They also discussed acceptable norms for the rest of their three day meeting, and as importantly, how they would develop and promote those norms back in the workplace with their own teams.

Experiential Learning:

A great deal had been disclosed, discussed and agreed, and so to complete the session it was time to get the team working together on a practical exercise. Three Cubes ~ Building a Pyramid of Success is ideal for this type of session. The fifteen delegates were divided into three sub-teams, and moved to three separate areas of the plenary room where they were given a pile of varying sized cubes all of which had parts of whole images on each face. They were told to solve the cube puzzle and build a pyramid. Intentionally there was a process of discovery from starting to understand possible solutions; to completely understanding that competing against the other sub teams was not going to work; to agreeing that collaboration was required; to starting to talk to the other teams, and then to share resources and knowledge and understanding. A highly illuminating exercise and one that created a great deal of useful reflection and discussion.

What a morning! Four hours earlier they hardly knew one another and had never met. Four hours later they had started to reveal information about themselves, (crucial for building the trust needed as a foundation stone for all high performing teams); agreed behavioural norms and then put it all into practice in a safe and neutral environment. Quest in action again!

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