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Pureteam: working together with authenticity

There are quite a few reasons why working together fails. We remain either empty handed or stuck with mediocre results. Or we get results, along with negative energy and a blow to our motivation. Sometimes, there is a lack of clear, attractive and mutual goals, a difference in values, or disagreement with respect to the assignment of tasks. Or perhaps there is a clash between people on a personal level, which manifests in poor communication, abuse of power and mutual distrust. Consequently, we try to convince each other that we are right, or we unconsciously project on one another. This complicates teamwork.   

Teamwork can also produce the most amazing things. Teams in flow can achieve stellar performances. In addition to collective focus there is likewise room for individual colour and growth. Of course, this requires courage to really work together. To be willing to suspend your personal interpretation of reality. That is where teamwork starts.

It is enlightening to look at teams within the framework of group development phases. Each phase can be identified by a specific set of characteristics, and each assigns a different role to leader and members alike. Awareness of the phase in which a team is in ensures that the appropriate interventions can be carried out. Tuckman distinguishes between five phases: forming, storming, norming, performing and mourning/close out. The storming phase is the most challenging and arguably important. Many teams end up hitting the proverbial wall during the storming phase. During this phase, teams must have the courage to look below the surface. Bringing the real issues out into the open in a respectful manner allows groups of individuals to grow into creative and productive teams.

Offer. I supervise teams in the role of team coach and facilitator. The “Leadership at Work” programme is geared toward learning how to differentiate between the different team phases and the accompanying leader’s role.

Change starts with your willingsness to be disturbed.
(Margaret Wheatley)