Have the cracks begun to show in your team over the past 6 months? As a nation, the pervasive cracks in our system have become more apparent under the stress of the pandemic. Either they have been exacerbated under the strain or we can’t overlook them anymore. This may be the same for your team. Have the elephants in the room gotten larger? Are there things that you used to be able to ignore but have now become even more frustrating? Have the silos gotten even bigger? Or are the same old problems still pervasive AND being masked even more in a virtual world?
At The Bailey Group we believe that effective teams are good at both the “hard side” and “soft side” of team function. The hard side includes things like setting team norms and processes, ensuring the right people are in the right roles, and having solid strategies and team goals with solid measurement. The soft side is about holding each other accountable, having shared commitment, dealing effectively with conflict, and ensuring psychological safety. The soft side is where the most painful cracks can occur when a team is under stress.
We have been getting more requests recently from clients to help their teams address these soft side stressors. We have always helped teams with the hard side issues, and recently, teams have needed to reset strategy, rethink purpose and commitment, and work through conflict. The stress of the pandemic and our national struggles have also brought forward a heightened level of psychological threat. This flows over into the psychological safety in teams and relationships. How this shows up is miscommunication, misalignment, skepticism, and unaddressed conflict. Using an independent facilitator to help address these issues allows the leader to be a participant and observer of team dynamics. A skilled facilitator is also able to ask difficult questions in a safe way, ensure all voices are heard, follow the energy of the conversation, and listen for both content and team dynamic issues.
To do this effectively, we follow three basic principles: have unconditional positive regard for participants, provide a space where people can be open and genuine, and listen with empathy. Because of our understanding of human dynamics, we see the micro-behaviors and nuances that shut down dialogue, and we then address them.
We are constantly seeking ways to help our clients address the challenges they face, and this is one way we have been doing that successfully. We realized that we are doing this work for our clients both in person and virtually, but have not been letting others know that we can help. If you want to improve your team dynamics, give me a call or send me an email, I am happy to help.