By RiverRhee Consulting, 2nd February 2015
We’ve had a busy start to the year delivering in-house training on management skills and performance reviews, and Janet Burton and Elisabeth Goodman are looking forward to delivering our popular “Introduction to Management” open access course in Melbourn (UK) in March. Details of this and other upcoming courses can be found at the end of this newsletter, or on the RiverRhee Consulting website.
We also like to add new skills to our portfolio each year, and thanks to Elisabeth’s recent accreditation, can now add the Belbin Team Roles alongside MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming). These tools can be very powerful not only to help us understand our individual strengths and make better use of them, but also to foster stronger relationships and communication both within and outside the team.
Whilst white water rafting may be one approach to building your team, it’s not the one that everyone would choose. We thought we’d devote this newsletter to exploring how you could use personality tools and other approaches to engage your team members in building your team in 2015.
Using personality tools to develop the team
There is a whole host of tools available to help us better understand our own and other’s strengths, and so plan how we can make better use of these strengths to build stronger relationships and improved communication within a team.
Some people are concerned about the risk of being ‘put in boxes’, but it is the individual’s choice to share their profile or not. At any rate, we can all choose to and do behave differently from our profiles, and we can and do learn skills in areas that are not our natural strengths.
As accredited practitioners, RiverRhee Associates can help your team explore the ethical and constructive use of such tools as Belbin Team Roles, MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) for developing your team.
Defining a common team purpose and goals
Strong teams don’t just rely on good working relationships. They are also aligned around a clear team purpose and goals: the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of their day-to-day existence. Having common values will also enable team members to work together more effectively and so become a high performance team.
As Elisabeth describes in Chapter 3 of her recently published “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”, “a team’s vision sets out what it aspires to do. It is a futuristic statement .. [that] is meant to inspire the team and attract its stakeholders to do business with it.” So a team might have a vision something like this: “we are recognised as a centre of excellence in what we do. Our peers consult us as a role model for how they too can excel in their work.”
As for goals, the ideal is to have a cascade from the organisation’s objectives, through to those of each department and team and hence to the individual: a joined up approach that not all organisations that we work with find easy to achieve.
Finally, as also described in the book, “values represent how we go about our work: how we see ourselves, what we would like others to hear about us, what we feel is important.” These values might include expertise in the team’s area of work, being attentive and responsive to customers, or always behaving with integrity. Team building events are a good opportunity for people to share what values they care about, and which ones they could align themselves around as a team.
Identifying and agreeing opportunities to enhance working practices
Team building events are also a golden opportunity to review working practices, and to engage everyone in how these could be improved. As external facilitators, we help people to articulate what could be improved, and how, if needs be anonymously. We collate all of the suggestions for improvement, as well as confirmation of what is working well, and so facilitate constructive discussions during the team building event.
Areas covered in past events have included internal communication, clarity of roles, managing workloads, meeting management and more. Again, a full list of potential working practices to explore, along with suggestions for the pre-workshop diagnostic, can be found in “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”.
Upcoming courses and events
We are delighted that John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman’s application to present a masterclass on “How to add value to your organisation as a ‘knowledge facilitator’” at CILIP’s 2015 conference has just been accepted. This interactive session will give us an opportunity to share and explore insights from our book: “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Gower, 2014 and more!
Details of all our upcoming courses and events are kept up-to-date on the RiverRhee Consulting website. Here is what is coming up in the next few months:
- Managing Change (with One Nucleus and Cogent) – 23rd February, Melbourn (UK)
- Elisabeth Goodman will be co-presenting at the APM Midlands branch event – How to keep programmes on track and teams inspired during periods of change, 24th February, Nottingham
- Introduction to Management (with One Nucleus and Cogent ) – 17th-19th March, Melbourn (UK)
- Effective Project Planning and Management(with TFPL) – 23rd April, London
- Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma (with One Nucleus and Cogent), 27th April, Melbourn (UK)
If you would like to find out more
Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015. See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.