Now this might be heretical, but I've never been a fan of 'teambuilding'. Here's the thing: I have yet to see a team's performance enhanced by a day spent building bridges out of barrels or a night at the bowling alley. In fact most people I have spoken to cringe at the thought: not everyone is outdoorsy. Not everyone is hands-on practical. Not everyone works best in a group. Not everyone enjoys games. Not everyone thrives in social situations.
None of which, of course, makes them any less valuable as a member of the team.
And, for the most part, the structure of these experiences fails to match the structure of the situations, challenges and opportunities faced in day-to-day professional life. They are, in fact, largely irrelevant and unlikely to create any meaningful learning, let alone personal transformation (except, perhaps, to alienate the more sensitive, creative and thoughtful. Joking? No. I've seen it happen.).
True team development happens when a whole team is supported over time in their real-life working context, in a way that honours the personal attributes of each individual, so that each individual understands how they can make their best personal contribution, understands how to work with each colleague to elicit the most effective working dynamic in any given situation, and feels genuinely motivated to do both.
To that end, having a skilled, trusted and experienced coach work with an entire team, from the manager downwards, allows situations to be unpacked and addressed in real time and in real life while maintaining confidentiality and organisational imperatives, yet respectfully honouring the personal attributes of the individual.
"JIm is a superb coach and trainer. His experience and his engaging style matches his proven ability to train others at the highest level."
A useful thing to add in to help a team work better together is to combine individual coaching across the team with bringing the team together as a group to explore and develop skills that are highly relevant to their everyday working life, especially where those skills are career-critical as well as challenging and where mastery demands an increasingly deep understanding and appreciation of the behavioural preferences of their peers and those around them.
To that end, as well as one-to-one coaching, I offer workshops on seven topics that address situations that people in business commonly find challenging, even stressful. Yet these are areas where one's degree of comfort and proficiency are likely to affect not only current performance but one's career trajectory.
Warning! These are not your average trainings. They are designed to deliver learning that transforms a person's relationship with themselves and the skills. They have been described as unorthodox, challenging, positive and confidence-building. Even inspirational!