A Process to Enhance Team Effectiveness

As the world enhances its productivity day by day, the complexity of the human mind also enhances. And so, the methods to deal with it also requires the latest technology. In today’s world, just striking of the idea is not all you need to run a business. You need a well-formulated team to execute it. And thus, the Team Building Process is something you need to learn if you wish to make your work a success.  

Team Building Process is an effective strategy for bringing a chaos-free workspace and accelerating speed to your work. It is a lot more than the selection of a handful of people. It is motivating your team when it is lagging. It is enhancing their skills to make them future ready. It is bringing your team out of their comfort zone.  

 And this is because Effective team functioning requires finding the time, selecting team members, empowering team members, providing training in relevant skills and knowledge, developing shared goals, and facilitating team functioning. And it takes much than we expect to build a team. Not just the strategies but also the understanding of human nature is required to build a team.  

The importance is well understood when it is, we viewed from the right angle. Here is the significance of this process:
  

  • COMMUNICATIONIt enhances the communication between the workers which in turn leads to better work quality and a peaceful environment.
     
  • DEVELOPMENT: When workers will work together on a related problem, they will develop a new skill set from their co-worker and this will lead to their development.
      
  • MOTIVATION: The confidence of the team increases when the members appreciate each other for success. Increase in interaction with subordinates will lead to enhancement of their trust and confidence. They will be able to express their grievances and thoughts on a situation conveniently. 
     
  • PROMOTION: The process focus, a lot on promoting the creativity of its team member to find a different approach to solve the problem. When the team thinks out of the box the creativity of each member enhances.
     
  • TRUST: Team building increases the trust factor with your employees. Often in corporate settings, there is a feeling of disconnection between the bosses and subordinates because of which the employees also sense a large gap between the two. Team building exercises gives leaders the opportunity to be openly reachable, which can reduce stress on employees that they would otherwise be under while being afraid to reach out.
     

Thus, we can say that Team Building Process is a collection of steps which lead to a specific change in the approach among people, to make effective teams. Overall, the team building process in the workplace enables better communication, better relationships and ultimately increases productivity. It provides various ways to overcome the complexity of the human brain and make any workplace a better and successful one. 

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The Importance of executive coaching and mentoring

It happens so often that the terms executive coaching and mentoring are used alternatively but they are rather different from one another.  

Executive coaching equips an individual to deal with confidently and completely with critical near-term issues, aid you to perfect leadership and management skills and is also said to focus on the needs that were recognized in the 360-degree review that was conducted by the coach, the company or an external agent. The focus of an executive coach is on the short-term outcomes. It is designed to achieve the optimum results in a minimum amount of time. Executive coaches are also said to motivate, inspire and encourage while insisting the clients are in lieu with their priorities and objectives.  

Executive mentoring deals with a broader aspect in comparison to executive coaching. Unlike executive coaching, mentors help their clients with the immediate as will as long-term goals that stretch well into the future. Executive mentoring focuses on teaching an individual to how to execute or impart wisdom in using their skills. Mentors provide their assistance in a range of activities that range from personal to professional to ensure their client’s growth and development.  

Efficient functioning of executive coaching and mentoring ensures that employees are provided a platform to learn, connect and grow within the company and to get a boost for their career paths. 

The significance of executive coaching and mentoring is as states below: 

Retention  

Executive coaching and mentoring promote loyalty. This sense of loyalty towards the company or organization develops as commitment and connection felt by the mentees when the mentors help them provide opportunities and mould their careers. Positive work experience is encountered when the employee feels comfortable with the management encourages open communication and this is carried out by executive coaching. The money spent on continual recruitment and training of replacement employees is eliminated.  

Personal Development 

The expertise and knowledge of the experienced employees results in a better efficiency as this may aid the younger and ewer employees to learn the methods of the organization. Executive coaching and mentoring may further guide the employees in become well versed of the expectations of the organization. Coaching, and the boundaries of a trusted and confidential relationships provides a platform for the employees to resolve their issues and concerns. This acts as a benefit to the organization as it aids in the reduction of frustration on a personal level and improves the individual’s job satisfaction.  

Team Efficiency 

Apart form providing individual focus on the employee, executive coaching and mentoring improve the functions of the team, department and the entire organization. As the managers receive executive coaching and mentoring, it helps them identify the weaknesses and strengths of each of their employees. This is so that even when the employees take request vacation or take a sick day, the organization can capitalize on the resources available to ensure that the entire team works efficiently.  

Therefore, we can see that executive coaching and mentoring can provide an array of benefits for the any kind of organization. Thus, the implementation of executive coaching and mentoring in an organization can become an excellent contribution to ensure the overall development of the individual employee as well as the organization.  

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Five-Step Developmental Process of Team Building

Team can be understood as a group of people, which constitutes two or more people working towards a common goal interdependent. The team’s collective effort and a term known as synergy accounts for the development of a product as the result. Synergy is a characteristic that is best described as when the whole holds more important than the sum of its parts.  

Team building is further described as process of assembling the appropriate individuals and ensuring they work together for the benefit of the organization. Team building is a process which includes training sessions with activities, presentations, performances for a group of people to cultivate bonding among the members.  

The members of the team are taught to respect one another in terms of opinions and suggestions which produces a product that acts as a result of the efforts of the team members. The team building process constitutes a number of steps which proceed to certain changes in the approach among people, to form effect teams.  

The term team is often described as a dynamic entity. It said to progress from the early to the mature phase independent of the team and the task it is to perform.  

There are five stages of the team building process which involves: 

  1. Forming: this is described as the initial orientation period where the team members are not comfortable with each other and not completely aware of the functioning of each team member. In this phase, they identify themselves as a part of a group.  
  2. Storming: Here they begin to find a place in the team during the sorting out period. They are now comfortable to put forth their opinion and the authority and recommendations of the team leader is challenged. The start of intra group conflicts is seen when some of the dissatisfied members may challenge the role and style of leadership.  
  3. Norming: the team members function cohesively and further rely on their past experiences to solve problems. This should guide the team in establishing strategy for managing conflicts, decisions and methods to accomplish the team projects.  
  4. Performing: the desired results are produced in this phase by achieving harmony, defining its task and managing the relationships. The person best suited to execute the task is selected for the role of leadership. In this phase, the team members work collectively, eliminate conflicts by proper management and contribute their resources appropriately to benefit the team.  
  5. Dissolving or reorienting: upon the completion of the project, the team is dissolved and in some cases if there is progression to the next phase, the team might be reoriented.  

To commence the team building process, there are three main components:  

  • Aim: through the interaction amongst the team, the tasks are result oriented and looks at the content aspect The examples of such are team goals and objectives.  
  • Methodology: this inspects the process aspect which includes the interaction of the team and the functioning of the team together. For example, leadership and team roles come under this. The struggle is usually with process issues than task issues and this is particularly observed in technical teams.  
  • Resources: this includes time, budget, computer facility educational tools and administrative support.  
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Six Reasons to Utilize Executive Coaching Solutions

Executive coaching solutions can be described as the solutions proposed and prepared by coaches to tackle the problems in certain areas and to improve the quality of the coache (executive leaders). Executive coaches provide solutions that would act as catalyst to challenge and support the coache (executive leaders) in identifying their leadership skills and acknowledge the change that is required. These changes are ensured to be impactful and to be sustainable for a long period of a time.

Some of the methods followed by executive coaching solutions are given below:

Self-directed learning

Executive coaching solutions place emphasis on ensuring that the coaches help coachee (executive leader) identify their area of problems or impasse through a structured questioning approach rather than the traditional method of directing or advising. Being self-directed is the most efficient way to learn, think, invent, solve problems, visualize, rethink and re-engineer. This is directed to help the coachee to form definitive ideas, regulate relationships between concepts and optimizing their thoughts.

Solution-focused effort

Executive coaching services do not focus on just searching for the cause of the problem but is also about finding the best suited solution. It is about creating a vision towards an end goal and working towards that goal while simultaneously being focused on the solution. The focus is on positive change as opposed to deficit focused change. The first step is recognized as identifying the reason for coaching – as an amazing opportunity for growth, development, self-insight and career progression.

Positive feedback

Executive coaching solutions focus on an approach that is directed towards positive reinforcement where the frequency of a desired behaviour is increased by increasing the favourable stimulus. That is, the solution is more focused to identify the verbal appreciation or such reinforcements that is found to be favourable to the coachee in order to increase the desired behaviour of the coachee. Positive feedback is found to act as a signal to the brain to perform more of something. The executive coaching solutions try to avoid pointing out what the coachees do wrong. Encouragement and support are seen to increase the coachees confidence and performance.

The stretch

Executive coaching solutions believe that people work better when challenged and stretched. The term stretched is used to describe the ability to push people to their limits and help them exercise their potential to their fullest. These challenges and the stretch should be designed to be appropriate for each individual. When the coachees are stretched appropriately to think differently and perform actions that are different in nature help the coachees feel invigorated. This gives the coachees a chance to showcase their knowledge in different ways in order to develop their thinking along new lines.

Leadership acceleration

Executive coaching solutions circle on the idea that increased responsibility is accompanied by heightened expectations. This entails preparing leaders for the next role in the stepping ladder of leadership while exploring their competencies and discover potentials shifts in their leadership styles. Executive coaching solutions aim to gear the leaders for their next roles while producing stand out results.

360-degree feedback and development planning

While practicing positive feedback is a method of executive coaching solutions, 360-degree feedback and the development planning managers and peers provide insightful feedback that enhances self-awareness of a leader, identify strengths and targets required development plans. This maybe facilitated by developing a customised 360-feedback process or by optimizing the organization’s existing feedback process.

Enhancing high potential performance

The current business environment demands rapid and accelerating change which compels leader to deliver results in the highest possible level. Executive coaching solutions also help the leaders excel and progress in their current roles. The substantial difference in the leadership is brought about through introspection, stakeholder feedback, development planning, ongoing coaching support and progress measurement.

Executive Coaching can be a great solution for HR-based practices and for developing the senior leaders.

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Indoor and Outdoor Ice-breaker Activities

All of us realize the importance and impact of ice-breaker activities. It sets the context, makes the participants comfortable with each other and with the facilitator and creates a sense of fun, engagement and commitment in the learning process.

It is, however, equally challenging and time consuming to decide on which Ice-breaker to be used. Most trainers and facilitators prefer to use ice-breaker activities that is related to the topic and is not just for fun. Such specificity makes the task of selecting an ice-breaker even more difficult.

Just to make the selection a bit easier for you, we have collated some ice-breakers below which can also be used for some specific topic.

Know About Your Neighbor Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Communication skills/Active Listening

No. Of Participants: 10-20

Duration: 15 minutes

Location: Indoors

Checklist of Items Required: Paper and Pen

Procedure

  • Instruct all participants that they have to find out specific things about other participants seated close to them and write it down on paper. Explain that this can be a mix of professional and personal information such as the place where someone studied, or the area, in which they live, or the most exotic vacation they have taken or the most unusual food they ever tasted and so on.
  • Explain that the aim is to find out something unique about their co-participants.
  • Have each person share the information they collected with the group.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this activity as an icebreaker with groups where people do not know each other well.
  • Include an additional step of having the person being described comment on the accuracy of the points presented.
  • Use any discrepancy to explain how the act of listening is an important part of communication.

I See You Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Non-verbal communication skills/Body Language

No. Of Participants: 10-20

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor/Outdoor

Checklist of Items Required: A large floor/space where people can move unhindered

Procedure

  • Have all participants form a standing circle and bow their heads to keep their gaze on the floor.
  • Instruct that no one is to speak during the game and should only follow your instructions.
  • Ask everyone to look at others in the circle; when two people make eye contact, those two should trade places but without giving up the eye contact until the change is made. Point out that others too will be doing the same thing, so everyone should move slowly.
  • Once the change of place is achieved, the process starts all over again, making eye contact with a new person and swapping places with him or her.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this game as a light-hearted icebreaker.
  • You may also use it to drive home the message of how eye contact is important in communication.
  • Have the group evaluate how they decided the person with whom to make eye contact and whether they consciously avoided it with others.
  • Ask them about how comfortable they felt maintaining eye contact and if it triggered feelings of anxiety that they tried to overcome by smiling or laughing.

Paper Airplane Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker

No. Of Participants: 9 -30

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor/Outdoor

Checklist of Items Required: Pen/ Pencil and Paper

Procedure:

  • Ask all the participants to make a paper plane and write their names, likes and dislikes or any other relevant information about themselves that they believe is interesting. To make it more specific to any topic you may ask to include information relevant to that topic in the paper plane.
  • On cue, have everyone throw their paper planes around and when someone finds one, they should again throw it around.
  • After one to two minutes, ask every person to hold on to the paper plane they have with them.
  • Instruct everyone to identify who is the person whose name is written on the airplane they have and introduce them to the group.

Debriefing Notes:

  • Use this to help people get familiar with other participants attending the training program especially if the group consists of members meeting for the first time.
  • This can also be a fun way of introducing individuals to the group.

Drawing Game:

 Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Teamwork/Creativity/ Communication skills

No. Of Participants: Multiples of 3 (6,9,12…) – Team Game

Duration: 15 minutes

Location: Indoors

Checklist of Items Required: Paper and Pen

Procedure

  • Divide people into teams with three members each. Give every team a number. Explain that no discussion is permitted during the game and no agreement can be made as to what the team will draw.
  • Give each team a paper and pen and have one person in each team start the game by drawing an outline or a shape.
  • Shout out “Change” after 15 seconds, and have this person pass the drawing to the other team member who has to add on to the drawing within 15 seconds. After another 15 seconds, have this person pass the paper to the last person in the group.
  • Instruct each team to decide on a description of the drawing unanimously within 15 seconds, mention their team number and hand it over to you.
  • Fold this part with the written description so as to be invisible and pass the drawing to another group to guess and write the description of the drawing, along with the team number. Exchange drawings between all the groups and collect back the papers.
  • Give each team two points for descriptions that match the one given by the team that originally drew the picture; one point for a partially correct answer.

Debriefing Notes:

  • Use this game to drive home the point that a team that is on the same wavelength and communicates well does a better job in lesser time.
  • Explain the importance of either sharing the same viewpoint as another person’s or being willing to adapt quickly to do this to ensure the team succeeds.
  • You may use this game as an icebreaker activity too.

Story-telling:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/creative thinking/insight and awareness

No. of Participants: 10 – 20

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor

Checklist of Items Required: None

Procedure

  • Get the participants to sit around in a circle.
  • Introduce the start of the story with a simple phrase such as “Once upon a time….” If there is a specific theme you wish to cover later on during the presentation, introduce that here. For example, if you are dealing with teambuilding, start with “Once upon a time, in an office with 10 people…”
  • Ask one person in the circle to complete this sentence and have each member add a sentence or two to take the story ahead.
  • Make it clear that the last person in the circle has to end the story.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this game to help participants use their imagination.
  • Alternatively, you may also use it to try to gain insight on the dynamics of the group and the issues they face when working together.

Strengthscape® designs and deliver customized training games and activities across India and other SAARC countries. Our activities are highly innovative, full of fun, safe and provide a great way to break ice and build a high-performance team. We provide services in all major Indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and many more.

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Trivandrum OBT

Team Building locations around Trivandrum

Outbound training programs have energy of their own – they let people discover things about themselves and their team members – things they may have missed so far or those never really on display in the sterile environs of the office.You can choose from several teambuilding locations around Trivandrum in Kerala that provide the right ambiance for perfect teambuilding programs.

1.About Trivandrum

Trivandrum or Thiruvananathapuram as it is officially known is the capital city of “God’s Own Country” – Kerala. There are several places of tourist interest in Trivandrum right from the lakes and lagoons to the mountains, waterfalls and beaches. Museums, art galleries, palaces, temples and wildlife sanctuaries – this city has them all.

2.  Team building locations around Trivandrum

Some of the locations around Trivandrum also provide the perfect setting for teambuilding sessions. While there are a number of resorts that provide the facilities and infrastructure for indoor sessions on teambuilding and leadership training, the real secret of memorable teambuilding programs is in using the locales in an around Trivandrum to drive home crucial concepts.

3.  Agastyarkoodam

This is a mountain peak of the western Ghatmountains which at 1868 m, is Kerala’s second highest mountain peak. Covered with dense forests, Agastyarkoodam peak is the ideal place to take your team trekking and set them learning about resource management, communication, empathy and working in unity. The state forest department has to be notified in advance and will issue forest passes to allow you entry into this area.

4.  Vaiyanthol/Aruvi Waterfalls

Located in the Peppara forest range, the Vaiyanthol peak is home to the Aruvi Waterfalls. Entry into this area also requires permission from the forest department and after leaving the area called Bonecaud, there is no road. All your team has to do is take a few risks, learn and unlearn, and be prepared to trust and depend on each other for support, besides listening to and obeying the instructions of the guides from the Kaani tribe who guide trekkers to the peak – quite a lot of learning in one session, you’ll agree.

5.  Shangumugham Beach

Less crowded than the more popular Kovalam beach, the Shangumugham Beach can be the perfect spot for some uninhibited fun in the water and on the sands. Besides providing some much-needed stress relief, the beach also turns into the ideal spot for teambuilding exercises when you get your team to begin building sand castles. The castle turns into a metaphor for the organization, and team members begin to introspect, identify and examine their abilities to set goals, use creativity to solve problems and develop of sense of doing their part with responsibility.

6.  Aaranmula Village

To really see the concept of teamwork in action and its ability to fetch results for the team, take your trainees to the little village of Aaranmula during August-September when it is time for Kerala’s oldest river boat festival. Get them to watch as massive teams (100 rowers, four helmsmen and 25 “motivational” singers on each boat work in perfect rehearsed union to win the race. If you manage to arrange a chat with these boating teams – great; even if you cannot, just watching them in action will open your trainees’ eyes to the magic of teamwork.

Taking your team to teambuilding locations around Trivandrum can thus help set the base for team members to develop the willingness to coordinate and communicate. The sharing of experiences that pit the team as a united force against the elements or require them to overcome the obstacles of conventional thinking paves the way for mutual respect, unity of effort and smooth functioning of the team.

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