Teamwork happens through the tasks – why Team Coaching?

Why the pro-active design of collaboration?

There is resentment in the team. Disparaging remarks between employees or about superiors are becoming more frequent. Dissatisfaction about working conditions, about “those up there” or even about “the customers” is spreading among the staff. Sick leave is on the increase. A team coach is supposed to bring everything back into balance: to strengthen the feeling of togetherness, to ensure that cooperation functions properly. But by then it’s already too late. Injuries have deepened, skepticism among colleagues has spread. Any shared responsibility is denied. The others are to blame…

Collaboration is based on two levels: the factual level and the relationship level

In work or project meetings, tasks are usually discussed and distributed, processes coordinated and sometimes structures questioned. The factual level is in the foreground. In the active shaping of cooperation in team coaching, on the other hand, it is primarily or additionally about the relationship level. Because harmony and politeness give way over time to the personal needs and interests of each individual team member – especially under pressure.

Paying attention to individual needs

We all have our preferences and “quirks.” For example, a colleague needs time to consider an issue carefully and calmly before discussing it with others and making a decision. Her colleague, on the other hand, prefers to discuss the issue directly with her and to make a decision immediately. If not addressed, such different approaches and needs can lead to discomfort among teammates. And over time, it can develop into persistent dissatisfaction, conflict, or even illness.

How to actively shape collaboration

Design a team alliance on how you want to work together as a team. In your team, answer the following questions:

  • In what atmosphere do we want to work together?
  • What does each individual team member need in order to feel comfortable at work?
  • How can different needs be taken into account?
  • What should happen when things get hectic?

Write down the most important points. Probably everyone wants to be respectful and appreciative with each other. However, many people find it difficult to formulate their own needs in order to feel comfortable at work – especially in front of their colleagues. Often no one has ever thought about this before. Talking about what should happen when things get hectic is also difficult for many. Sticking to it anyway (-: If necessary, give the team time to think about the answer until the next meeting.

Regularly reflect on the way you are working together

You have formulated and recorded agreements for your collaboration at the relationship level. The first step has been taken. Now comes the more difficult part: keeping to the agreements. That’s why it’s important to regularly reflect in your team on how you are doing with regards to the agreements. What works? What doesn’t? What should stay the same, what do you want to change? What would you like to add? Celebrate when something works well – at least verbally. And if something is not yet going so well, adjust it appreciatively. You’ll see: Over time, you will be rewarded.

Prevent discontent in the team in good time

Relationship work never ends – at least that is the credo in a private context. And cooperation among colleagues is not only defined by the work assignment. It is equally shaped by the working relationship. Thus proactively shape the collaboration in the team on the relationship level, too! This is especially important when teams are being reassembled, new tasks are to be assigned, or the team enters a hot phase. And take time to regularly reflect on the team agreements. This will allow different needs, ideas and approaches to be uncovered and discussed before dissatisfaction, resentment or even sick leave occurs.

Good luck,

Claudia Seidel

Coaching Methods

Designing the team alliance is a concept of ORSC™ (Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching).

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