Globalization and technological progress have fundamentally changed the way we work together. The fact that this trend has been accelerated by the pandemic is something I probably only need to mention here for the sake of form.
Change is constant and agility is the flexibility we need to live. It is the “new normal” for teams to work together on a temporary basis, usually remotely or hybrid. Team members choose their work locations and working hours flexibly. Direct contact with each other is decreasing, and people often only know their colleagues via email. So what can be done to ensure good cooperation?
Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, in short VUCA. Operating as a high-performing team in such an environment – even if only for a short time – requires trust. This is especially true for agile teams, which themselves have to adapt and react quickly to the changes in their environment all the time.
Trust does not come easily, nor does it come quickly. Research shows that it requires direct contact, even eye contact. Only when we experience a person as having integrity over a longer period of time do we give them our trust.
Teams today don’t have much time. That is why trust in the new world of work needs an immediate foundation. The formula of team research here is called: “identification-based trust”. Experience says that people trust each other more quickly when they know that the others want the same thing as they do. If someone is supposed to act against their convictions, they are not motivated. If the individual interests in a team do not count enough, the “oppressed” say goodbye or they quit internally. This endangers not only team success but also team cohesion. Only those who identify with their group and its goals are prepared to give their all.
No matter whether the team is to work together for years or months: Cooperation succeeds through an identification-based trust. Team coaching can create this basis and decisively strengthen the team’s self-organisation power. Team-specific methods and models help to set processes in motion and enable teams to develop themselves.
It is important that team members communicate and have clarity on different levels. This includes agreements among themselves, so-called “we” principles for successful real and virtual cooperation. It is about the different abilities of the team members and a corresponding distribution of tasks and roles. It is about the different values of the individuals and a common compass of values. It is about what the team stands for, about a vision, a meaningful mission or a motto-goal. And it is about the question of what tools the team members need from their environment.
Strength-oriented team coaching uses methods and tools that promote clarity and understanding at the individual levels. This does not require days of workshops or trips to a climbing garden. Rather, it is about accompanying the team with targeted units in everyday life and providing the actors with methods for daily practice – online, live and hybrid. Just as the new working world dictates.
We see a lot of success in practice with teams that get support on their way. They benefit impressively from coaches who can accompany them with effective methods and know-how transfer; who manage to open up spaces for teams to reflect, to focus on strengths-based work and creative approaches. Managers report back to us that the investment in their team pays off many times over. Especially in contrast to project teams without accompanying support, supported teams consistently show a high level of satisfaction when it comes to working on the project and in relation to the team spirit. And in terms of reaching their target they usually outperform.
You can find out more about “team coaching” in the book “Frag dich in Führung – Der Guide für eine transformative Führungskultur” (VAHLEN).
You want to know more about our team coaching approach? Contact us at email@example.com
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