Category: teams

3D Juggling 699: Masks

Alan writes: “Since 2013, Steve Wintercroft2015-10-05 17.02.24  and his wife have been designing polygonal DIY mask kits for home assembly. Human faces. Animals. Weird and wonderful creatures. All are available. The trick is simply this: you go online and order the mask you want; you pay online (£4.50 each) and download the template; then you find some scrap cardboard, some tape and glue and a ruler and craft knife – and the world of dressing-up is, as they say, your oyster!

Next week I am working again with a leadership team. We’ve come a long way in the past year in terms of thinking about strategy, behaviours, individual styles and team alignment. It hasn’t always been easy, but in truth, comparing where they were to where they are is like comparing night and day. One thing remains. Mask-removal.

We all wear masks. Not of the cardboard variety. I mean, we all go through life in our families, in our communities, our churches and in our workplaces either hiding behind a front we put on – or, just as frequently, putting on a front (or a mask) as a piece of combative strategy. We are seldom, truly, ourselves.

My team has moved a long way. The next step is the really big one. Can they now, having worked out what they’re meant to be doing, and having established a good deal of trust, risk removing their ‘masks’ and being themselves. For some this will mean being bolder; for others, it will mean risking being vulnerable. For all of them, it is – I suspect – the step that will move them from being ‘effective’ to being ‘transformative’ and ‘high-performing’. We are only truly transformative when we are ourselves, masks off.

What mask do you wear? What, I wonder, would it take for you to remove it?”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 641: Divergent

Claire writes: “One of my committments for 2014 has been to dip out of work early to watch a Friday Matinee with my daughter.

Friday’s film choice was Noah or Divergent.  Having no desire to see Noah, we went into Divergent with absolutely no idea what it was about.  It’s a great film – and the first in a trilogy.  It has much to teach us about the world of diagnostics and labels.  In this world, people live in factions which can easily align with many communications-style profiles.  Amity are kind and peaceful.  Abnegation are selfless servers, Candor value honesty, Dauntless are the protectors and Erudite are smart and logical. There is no room in this world for people who are more than monochrome in the way they engage, and people live in Factions.  They choose at 16 in a ceremony resembling Harry Potter’s Sorting Hats, and there is no capacity to change or develop. Those who don’t fit – or fit in more than one faction are called Divergents.

In that dead time before the film started, I was mulling over a comment someone had just made on a residential: “Is it OK to be an introvert?”. Organisations and society need people who can change and develop and work with others who are different from them, and we need to ensure that our working practices support that.  Yes, of course it is OK to be an introvert.  And residential programmes  need to have space for introverts to flourish, contribute and recover.  Healthy organisations need divergent people not factions.”

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 640: Unexploded Bombs

Claire writes: “The more we listen in organisations, the more we hear how much people are passing responsibility to others, taking too much of it for themselves or refusing to pick it up.  It’s as though organisations and businesses are full of bouncing balls.  When people catch them, they pass them on really fast to someone else.  And then the music stops, the ball turns into a bomb and explodes, and everyone else steps back while the one left holding it carries the can.  One organisation we work in describes it as throwing cats over walls.

And yet, if we work in a team, it’s not about MY responsibility or YOURS anyway, it is about OURS.  Consistently changing the language of conversations can really help to begin to change a culture.

That means a shift to we language from

  • What do you want me to do? -> It would help me if we could think…
  • I want you to -> What do we need to do here so that you feel ready/able to do that?
  • You have to… -> What needs to happen so that you feel equipped enough to?
  • This is what’s happened -> How can we manage this in the best way possible?

Shifting from I/You to we can stop there being quite so many unexploded bombs. It’s part of the coaching toolkit”

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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3D Juggling 610: Siloes

Claire writes: “I’m not sure where the term silo working comes from, but we hear it all the time – in all kinds of places.  You hear it in the NHS, in business, in the church and in almost any place where you have people responsible for parts.

I heard a great idea this week, attributed to Michael Langrish: You’re not wholly responsible for a part. You’re partly responsible for the whole.

What might that look like?”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 489: Jam

Claire writes: “I was having Greek Salad for lunch during one of our courses when a delegate asked me: So is your work thick jam or thin jam?

We began to talk and it helped me to really understand that our purpose is to meet people for a short period of time and then for them to begin to engage differently with their work or career.  Thin jam.

I’m not keen on reusing questions but it has proved to be useful in many different contexts.  I recently asked a Board of Trustees the jam question about their operational work.  It’s a great career change question when people are considering whether they wish to have a deep impact with a small group of people or a wider impact with a larger group.  And if your organisation is restructuring it’s a great question to reclarify your purpose within the organisation.

So what’s your purpose: Thick jam or thin jam?”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 460: Personality clash?

Jane writes: “Have you ever heard someone say when describing a problem between two people, ‘It’s a personality clash’? And have you noticed how this is left hanging in the air as if to say ‘That’s it, I’ve tried everything and there’s nothing that can be done to help’? Except of course that managers and organisations do try to ‘help’ – often when faced with claims of bullying or harassment or long term stress related absence. And that help often leads to more stress for the individuals concerned and their colleagues, and sometimes to formal grievances, disciplinary cases, and maybe people being moved or even leaving an organisation (along with all their knowledge and skills). And all of this takes up a lot of time, and time costs money.

So how can we help safely and sooner to minimise the impact of ‘personality clashes’ on individuals and teams?

We use DiSC profiling as a tool to help people better understand their communication preferences, the impact these can have, related benefits and challenges, and how they can adapt when working with others to minimise conflict and maximise their effectiveness. DiSC provides simple, safe language that can be used to talk about difference and help people to state their needs with respect for those of others. We have found that this really helps people who couldn’t talk to each other to have productive conversations, which in turn lead to productive working relationships. How much could this save your organisation? Who do you know who might benefit from using DiSC?

Want to know more? Talk to us

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who has a personality clash in their team.

Discuss this week’s juggling at http://www.3dcoaching.blogspot.com/

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 456: Fairy tales?

Jane writes: “Once upon a time there was a tyrannical boss who made all they came into contact with shiver and shake with fear and frustration. They ruled their empire harshly, banishing anyone who challenged their authority….

Once upon a time there was a confused team. Generally it was happy and effective, but every now and then things went wrong. This tended to happen whenever the team agreed to do something new. An experienced member of the team, who was very knowledgeable and did many things well, would complain about it and undermine the good intentions of her colleagues. The other team members didn’t know how to stop her and were waiting for a knight in shining armour to come along and put things right for them….

A recent article in People Management magazine discussed the benefits of using fairy story metaphors to describe unacceptable behaviour – powerful but maybe not comfortable for everyone.

We find that the DiSC profiling tool offers safe language that can be used to discuss difficult people issues, and to develop helpful responses. DiSC provides 15 classic profile patterns, one of which will fit an individual better than others, while recognising that they are unique. Learning how my profile is different, or similar, to yours can help me to understand why we impact on each other in the way we do – and how we could choose to adapt our behaviour when this would help to make our interactions more successful. Successful could mean less stressful, quieter, that long standing issues are addressed, or just that we enjoy them more.

Do you have a fairy tale that needs happy ending? Ask us how DiSC could help you to write it.

(See p.42 of People Management, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 19 November 2009)

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 453: Team not talking to you?

Jane writes: ‘When running a series of Communication workshops Lynn and I came across a manager who was frustrated by the fact that, however hard she tried, she could not get her team members to speak up at team meetings. She was convinced that they had useful things to say – things they were saying at other times to other people – things that could help the team to develop and become more effective. What was the problem?

By exploring with this manager how she preferred to communicate (and be communicated with) she was able to acknowledge that her approach at team meetings was linked to her preferences – direct, in the moment and expectant of an immediate response. She also recognised that the preferences of some of her ‘reluctant’ team members were different – they needed time to think about and prepare a response, to be sure of facts before speaking, and acknowledgement of the impact that any changes would have on how people worked together.

With this in mind the manager adapted her approach to her team meetings by sharing an agenda before each meeting so that team members could prepare their thoughts. When she needed to reduce break times and ensure that mobile phones were not used in the workplace she acknowledged that her team members would have concerns about keeping in contact with family and friends, and about their rights. This enabled her to communicate with them in way that enabled the changes to work with agreement. The longer term result – many more contributions, great ideas and a more effective team!

We used DiSC profiling to help explore communication preferences with this manager. Contact us to find out more about DiSC and how it can support team building, conflict resolution, recruitment, and appraisals. DiSC was also featured in the Health Service Journal 26 October 2009.’

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone whose team is not talking to them

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 451: Sore feet

Claire writes: ‘I walked my 20 miles with Tim last Monday as part of his 180 mile trek to raise money for The Severn Hospice. Do sponsor him  I thought I was quite fit. After all, I go to the gym several times a week and my last fitness MOT said I was as fit as a 19 year old!

There were three pieces of learning.

  1. The pain barrier can last hours (or days)
  2. Training for an hour does not necessarily prepare you for a full day
  3. Take care how you bring in a new team member

We had walked 8 miles at a steady pace before stopping at a pub to wait for Tim’s son. Unfortunately the pub was hard to find and we were stopped for too long. We never fully recovered from that stop. Charlie brought enthusiasm and a faster pace which meant that we took a little while to find a pace to suit us all. The wait and the change of pace meant that we oldies found the last 3-4 miles very very hard.

Waiting too long for a new team member to come along can cripple organisations. If you’re in that position at work, what can you do to keep moving forward – enough – as you wait for them to arrive so that their integration isn’t painful for you, for them and for the organisation? And how do we harness the enthusisasm of a new team member whilst ensuring that the organisation is also able to fulfil it’s objectives – with the whole team?

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is waiting for a new team member.

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

 

3D Juggling 450: My new man

Welcome to Su Blanch, our newest team member. Su is a facilitator and trainer and has a background in HR with extensive experience in Pharma. Lynn now has new man in her life. Her elder son Loren has hit 18 and if it has brought new challenges to the household.

Lynn writes “When Loren quite rightly demands to be treated as an adult, at times he is a little boy learning. We recently had a visit to the doctor’s followed by organisation of an x ray and in the same day an appointment at the bank.Loren asked me to come with him on all three visits and I expected the usual routine of going in with him and leading the talking. He had other ideas. At the doctors he asked me to wait in the waiting room. The telephone call organising the x-ray had me in the room. Finally at the bank I was invited into the room and included.

Afterwards he thought I was cross with him. In fact I was confused about my role. It is right and proper that he takes control of his life but why was I at the doctors and in the room for the phone call? And having done those what was different at the bank?

Once we talked it became clear that he is in transition and that he needs to build his confidence. Thus Mum close by means he can take risks with backup, ask if he needs to, but have a go first.

How often with staff do we take their asking as a need for solution? I wonder how often people I managed would have been able to “have a go” if I had simply been close by?

Lauren taught me a valuable lesson about supporting and not solving as Jacob Bronowski, Mathematician and Biologist said: “We are all afraid for our confidence, for the future, for the world. That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization, has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do.”

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who needs simply to be close by.

© 2009 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com