10.08.2016 16:05 Age: 2 yrs
Category: Gute Nachrichten

Before it is too late

A team leader asked me a while ago if he could “force” his team members to attend a team development event.

 I do not see “force” as the right word here, but I do think that he can expect them to attend. In his team there were some people who were not completely happy with the way things were, others who thought everything was fine, and quite a few people who were very dissatisfied.

 The team leader invited his team to a one-day workshop and made it clear that he expected everyone to attend. This is a situation I have often encountered in my work as coach – it is rare for all team members to want to address matters equally and in the same way. There are often the following reservations:

-          There is no hope for change with these people
-          We have already tried everything
-          I have lost all interest anyway
-          Someone always breaks out in tears

 So we began the workshop. As was to be expected, the first to speak were those who believed that things could be improved. And as often is the case in these processes, there was a clear wish – which is shared by people everywhere – to work together in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere. And over the course of the day more and more people got actively involved.

 The day produced no concrete agreements, which was what the team leader had hoped for. But all of the team members said that they felt that they should have had a team day like this much earlier.

 This is an important insight. Often mediators and coaches are only appointed when people are already very stuck in their positions and their negative images of each other are firmly anchored.

 My work would be much simpler and there would be far fewer losses to conflict if processes of communication were to begin much earlier. Talking about how we want to work together, asking what can stay as it is, and what has to be changed, or whether the roles and tasks in a team are well distributed – all of this can contribute to a good working atmosphere and to good results.

 This should all be an ongoing process, taking place at regular intervals and not only when dissatisfaction looms large. The result is then often that people note what is working well. I have never found that there was no answer to the question as to what can stay as it is.