How to rebuild a cohesive team

All human groups struggle. If this struggle has been extended and intense, we need to focus even more on the four C’s: Clarity, Communication, Connection, and Calm. This is especially so in times of crisis, conflict, change and any kind of challenge.

What is needed is

• Clarity: in relation to roles, expectations, how individuals like to work and what’s working and not working.

• Communication: improving ways of communicating with each other, speaking up, and creating a more equal environment where each person contributes.

• Connection: spending time building trust, enjoying each other’s company, participating in collaborative activities and working together to come up with new ways of approaching team dynamics.

• Calm: building self-awareness and recognising any warning signs that indicate that a person might be reacting rather than responding, being guided by kindness and care, practising self-regulation techniques to manage challenging emotions and taking time out when there’s tension and before speaking.

Underlying these 4 C’s is a real need for a 5th C, which is courage to take ongoing action and make changes.

At the end of last week, I worked with a dedicated and very hard working team who needed some support. I was touched by how willing the team and their leader were to engage in the process of making things better and how vulnerably each of them shared even though at times it was scary and hard.

I loved how they adopted the four C’s and even named them C1, C2, C3 and C4 and came up with code words to help them in times of tensions. ‘Brave’ was one and WWTS (What Would Tulsi Say :)) was another.

When you’re trying to achieve change it takes awareness, an intention to make the change, and action. This team brought all of this to the two days.

It’s very clear that when there is team challenge, and it is not improving, at some point you do need an independent person to support the team to create a safe environment in which conversations can be had and change can occur. I saw shift happening before my eyes. They each made one pledge to each other as a team and wrote these up on a flip chart and signed it. The team expressed optimism and appreciation for the time spent together and commitment to continuing the work.

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