The B2B team at a leading bank have been tasked with the urgent delivery of a cash-based transfer solution for a client in Ghana.
The team consists of 8 SME’s (subject matter experts), one of whom is the team lead – Lebogang. The team has delivered digital payment solutions to various local and international clients in the two years that they have worked together, however, deadlines and targets are becoming tighter, and they have all been working long hours to keep their heads above water.
The HR Business Partner for the team approached Teamery with a request to coach the team through the new payment solution requirement. He shared that there have been complaints raised by business at the lack of timeous responses to requests, and at the same time, there is evidence of a lack of trust within the team as well as high levels of interpersonal conflict.
The team has worked together virtually since the onset of the pandemic, and the team lead has shared her frustration with the HRBP at what she perceives as the lack of support for her and her predominantly female team from her senior executive. She has noted that her male colleagues ``get away with everything”. Where once the team felt “on top of their game”, they are now despondent and demotivated.
Teamery met with the team to get their view of the situation and to ask them what they thought would be helpful to them. An assessment was completed to determine whether the team was ready for a team coaching intervention. We also held meetings with the team’s stakeholders, the leadership of the division and anyone else who might be able to give useful insight into the team and their context.
Once we felt that we had enough contextual knowledge, we began the Discovery process. In this instance, we made use of the Prophet tool as it gave us insight into the individuals of the team as well as to the team’s functioning and dynamics. Reviewing all the information gathered helped us design the intervention which would best help the team.
A date for the launch was set. For this team, we believed it was important for everyone to be together for the launch so a venue was found which would allow for a peaceful and private working session. During the launch day we led the teams through exercises which allowed each team member to tell their own story and then spent time understanding the team’s story. Once that connection was built, our focus moved easily to what is working in the team, what has worked in the past, and what is not working so well now. Clear goals for the coaching were collaboratively designed, together with the measures which will be used to gauge success. We contracted with the team about how we would work together and built the team charter (which was then sent to a graphic designer to create beautiful team charter cards which were shared with the team).
Launch day was celebrated with a team dinner and the team reflected that it was clear to see a feeling of hope and anticipation was building.
Thereafter, monthly team coaching sessions were held with the team over the next 12 months, delivered by two of the Teamery coaches. Each 3-hour session focused on the team coaching goals and explored the team’s current and desired levels of functioning and alignment, experimenting with new possible ways of communicating and interacting within the team and with key stakeholders in the organisation.
The team’s collective purpose, style, aspiration, and team effectiveness was unlocked through reflective, provocative, and action-oriented conversations. The sessions provided a deliberate and purposeful time for the team to optimise its way of working, building its range and resourcefulness to better deliver to its collective tasks. Teamery used positive psychology, team dynamic theory, neuroscience principles, combined with narrative coaching to build the team that became ‘more than the sum of its parts’.
We partnered with the team leader – Lebogang - throughout the team coaching engagement, holding reviews and insight sharing sessions post each team interaction to reflect and plan ahead. Lebogang decided to embark on a series of 1:1 coaching with another of the Teamery coaches to optimise her leadership and to ensure that her coaching was aligned to the wider team coaching goals. She particularly wanted to focus on managing gender dynamics more effectively in historically patriarchal settings.
The two Teamery coaches partnered with the team members throughout the team coaching engagement, inviting them to masterclasses on key ideas and tools relevant to the team engagement and providing exposure to peers across industries. Although 1:1 coaching is often relevant for the team members to better equip them within the team context, this was decided against in this instance as the team coaching was showing good results and it was agreed that this would be contracted at a future date should it become necessary.
Teamery monitored the team climate and progress throughout the engagement, using bi-monthly ‘pulse checks’ (their unique set of tools and processes to measure and track a team’s progress against goals). This led to the delivery of the final impact review which rehearsed the data from the initial Discovery session and tracked the changes in the team’s effectiveness against those initially contracted for.
The final close out session with the team reflected on their increased levels of responsiveness to requests, enhanced levels of trust within the team and their healthy approach to conflict resolution. The team celebrated their renewed sense of their impact and motivation to deliver to the business.