Team Facilitation: A constructive and positive approach to dealing with challenging leaders

February 26th, 2011 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

A temporary organisational restructure had left members of an experienced and previously high-functioning management team in a difficult situation- their new manager’s management style was very different to theirs. On many occasions, this person’s direct, forthright and often confrontational approach caused unease and stress within the team. Team members felt that the manager’s approach was not conducive to facilitating effective negotiations and decision-making and this had a clear impact on the team’s normally high performance.

A more effective and constructive way of working with their superior had to be identified and team members had clear objectives about this. They believed it was important to recover their traditional way of working as a team which involved supporting each other and re-affirming and strengthening their core commitments to their team.

A Zircon consultant spoke with each team member in order to identify their individual challenges. We also took the time to review the team values and explored how they were being lived by team members. This helped us to uncover the underlying, common challenges and ensured that we designed a development day addressing exactly those challenges.

To enact and learn from real life scenarios, we commissioned a role-play specialist actor who performed a series of scenarios where team members got a chance to explore and rehearse different conversations with their manager. Our consultant carefully facilitated this process and all were actively involved throughout by observing and commenting on the role plays. These role play exercises enabled the team to identify new and more constructive behaviours to dealing with their manager.

We measured the success of the development day against previously agreed outcomes with the client. The outcome was very positive showing that team members reported a higher level of skills on all agreed measures. We received the following testimonial from one of the team members:

“Zircon put together an extremely valuable team development day for us….. The style and content of the session itself were tailored extremely well to suit our business needs and methods of working…. Zircon were able to help us build on existing skills while also providing new insights.”

Written by: Sarah Lewis, Associate Consultant

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