Coaching and resilience for high performing teams Coaching and resilience for high performing teams

Coaching and resilience for high performing teams
03 Dec 2017

In the third instalment of her series on high performance teams (HPTs), Jeanette talks about how you can keep the team performing. Usually the way this is achieved is to ensure you have at least one team coach.

Coaches are an essential part of the success of HPTs and should work with the team sponsor to develop a team charter.

Coaches teach the team members the essential elements of HPTs. A good method of delivering this is to list each element with an explanation and talk everyone through each one, remembering to allow input and discussion to ensure each member fully understands what sets a HPT apart from normal teams. If possible these should be displayed on the walls, at least in the early stages of the team - as a reminder when the team is working towards their objectives. Ensure the text is visible and try to use visuals if possible to attract people to the posters.

The elements should be taught after the team has reviewed the charter and agenda.

There are three stages of learning: hearing, understanding and learning. The coach should expect to go over the elements at least three times during the initial weeks of establishing the teams and maybe even periodically after this time.

The essential elements (covered in last month’s article) are all needed to encourage team building and teamwork, however the coach should always remember that these will not be effective without an underlying environment of trust.

Trust building exercises

It is part of the role of the coach to help the team build trust in each other and just as importantly in themselves. Team building exercises can be highly effective in building trust and there are many free exercises available, you don’t need to resort to expensive away days’ completed army courses!

Highperformanceteams.org lists some free exercises to get you started in building trust. These are relevant in the early stages and as part of team meetings which can be held on a period basis to reinforce the success of team work. It is also important to celebrate successes that have been achieved by working together.

The HPT website lists a number of resources available in order to help those responsible for creating or sponsoring a HPT and these are certainly worth a look.

Resilience training

You can utilise many other models along with your HPT programme to ensure your team stays motivated and engaged. As well as building trust you should be looking at resilience training and encouraging positive attitudes in the workplace.

Resilience training is defined as: “The capacity to tolerate excessive demands and stresses without experiencing any stress related problems or threats to performance” on the Organisation Health website.

It is also about the ability to bounce back from a set back and having a determination to continue to a satisfactory conclusion, without suffering the severe stresses sometimes associated with challenges and mistakes. I have experienced teams who hit a rough patch and the effects of this were extremely detrimental. The feelings of inadequacy experienced (and sometimes the blame culture and criticism experienced) led to a deeper period of a more severe performance dip. Resilience training can prevent this further dip and help the team through difficult times. Resilience is needed to manage risk and this can be especially relevant in payroll. If a team’s reputation is damaged due to a temporary dip it can take a long time to regain the trust of your organisation and customers.

However as well as this it can be used to help during change, which can be a traumatic experience for individuals and teams, especially if there is a concern that the changes will directly affect the team members or as a whole. Typical events that might occur could be system changes, structural changes in the business or even a change in personal circumstances which may lead to a dip in performance.

Individuals, teams and business can build their resilience in two ways:

• Getting through a difficult time or challenge can naturally build resilience, as long as this is acknowledged and celebrated, so that teams realise what they have achieved.
• Build resilience through ongoing risk assessments/programmes and resilience building activities.

A good idea is to carry out an assessment of your current resilience levels. There are online questionnaires that can be completed, or you can analyse your HPIs if you already measure them (and if you are developing a HPT you should have this available).

Historically I have used KPIs to measure dips in performance which clearly demonstrated the further dip discussed earlier and allowed me to see a clear pattern in terms of workload/pressures/ events that all increased the risk factures during a particular time of year, which had a repeated pattern of unsatisfactory service provision. The processes concerned could then be reviewed to remove as many of the challenges as possible and eliminate some of those risks.

As with HPTs, team building is a big part of resilience training and successful teams will trust each other and work towards a successful conclusion together. According to orghealth.co.uk there are seven steps to a resilience framework:

Vision

A clear idea of what the team is trying to achieve, written down somewhere (remember the team charter and the elements of HPTs?). The vision should be reviewed sometimes, particularly when events seek to divert effort away from the vision. Determination

People with high levels of determination have the capacity to achieve. Determination is mostly self-driven:, however it can be triggered by a reaction to an event, and requires considerable focus on a goal, task or vision, whatever is happening. People with high levels of determ
ination also tend to have high self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Interaction

How we behave towards others. We cannot control what others do, only how we react to it. However, sometimes we need to control the reactions of others to our behaviours so that they help us. This is reciprocity. To interact effectively with others we need to understand everything that is going on in an interaction, almost reading the other person’s mind so that we can adjust our behaviour to respond to how we think the other person is responding to us.

Relationships

To survive and prosper we need to build relationships. Resilient people have relationships that reinforce and support when required. Resilient people don’t judge anyone, they give to and reap the rewards of a two-way beneficial relationship.

“To interact effectively with others we need to understand everything that is going on in an interaction, almost reading the other person’s mind so that we can adjust our behaviour to respond to how we think the other person is responding to us.”

Problem solving

Resilient people like to solve problems and rise to challenges, so long as they are achievable. Problem solvers are more likely to embrace challenges. They also like to delve into the causes of a problem as a means to seeking a solution. This is an essential skill when completing root cause analysis for risk assessments.

Organisation

People who are organised can cope with the chaos of life. Organisation enables individuals to stay focused when their day is disrupted. Organised people plan their week and their day and often reward completion of unwanted tasks by next completing enjoyable ones. Having a roadmap for your team can help them to stay focused on the tasks at hand whilst keeping in mind future events. It is also beneficial to encourage teams to keep to-do lists so they can see what they have achieved during the day/week/ month, which can be easy to lose sight of during busy periods.

Self-confidence

Self-confidence is apparent in resilient people. They need to ensure this doesn’t turn to arrogance though as this can damage relationships. Self-confidence, demonstrated in the right way, is very attractive and builds trust, others are drawn to self-confident people, which contributes significantly to resilience.

Another model to explore would be the catch the fish philosophy. This can be useful in lifting the spirits of a team quickly and can be a fun way of getting a team to feel more positive.

HPTs and resilience go very well together and utilising both should arm you against almost anything. It should make being part of a team more successful and enjoyable, whether you are the manager or a team member.

“Organised people plan their week and their day and often reward completion of unwanted tasks by next completing enjoyable ones”

 

By Jeanette Hibbert

In the third instalment of her series on high performance teams (HPTs), Jeanette talks about how you can keep the team performing. Usually the way this is achieved is to ensure you have at least one team coach.

Coaches are an essential part of the success of HPTs and should work with the team sponsor to develop a team charter.

Coaches teach the team members the essential elements of HPTs. A good method of delivering this is to list each element with an explanation and talk everyone through each one, remembering to allow input and discussion to ensure each member fully understands what sets a HPT apart from normal teams. If possible these should be displayed on the walls, at least in the early stages of the team - as a reminder when the team is working towards their objectives. Ensure the text is visible and try to use visuals if possible to attract people to the posters.

The elements should be taught after the team has reviewed the charter and agenda.

There are three stages of learning: hearing, understanding and learning. The coach should expect to go over the elements at least three times during the initial weeks of establishing the teams and maybe even periodically after this time.

The essential elements (covered in last month’s article) are all needed to encourage team building and teamwork, however the coach should always remember that these will not be effective without an underlying environment of trust.

Trust building exercises

It is part of the role of the coach to help the team build trust in each other and just as importantly in themselves. Team building exercises can be highly effective in building trust and there are many free exercises available, you don’t need to resort to expensive away days’ completed army courses!

Highperformanceteams.org lists some free exercises to get you started in building trust. These are relevant in the early stages and as part of team meetings which can be held on a period basis to reinforce the success of team work. It is also important to celebrate successes that have been achieved by working together.

The HPT website lists a number of resources available in order to help those responsible for creating or sponsoring a HPT and these are certainly worth a look.

Resilience training

You can utilise many other models along with your HPT programme to ensure your team stays motivated and engaged. As well as building trust you should be looking at resilience training and encouraging positive attitudes in the workplace.

Resilience training is defined as: “The capacity to tolerate excessive demands and stresses without experiencing any stress related problems or threats to performance” on the Organisation Health website.

It is also about the ability to bounce back from a set back and having a determination to continue to a satisfactory conclusion, without suffering the severe stresses sometimes associated with challenges and mistakes. I have experienced teams who hit a rough patch and the effects of this were extremely detrimental. The feelings of inadequacy experienced (and sometimes the blame culture and criticism experienced) led to a deeper period of a more severe performance dip. Resilience training can prevent this further dip and help the team through difficult times. Resilience is needed to manage risk and this can be especially relevant in payroll. If a team’s reputation is damaged due to a temporary dip it can take a long time to regain the trust of your organisation and customers.

However as well as this it can be used to help during change, which can be a traumatic experience for individuals and teams, especially if there is a concern that the changes will directly affect the team members or as a whole. Typical events that might occur could be system changes, structural changes in the business or even a change in personal circumstances which may lead to a dip in performance.

Individuals, teams and business can build their resilience in two ways:

• Getting through a difficult time or challenge can naturally build resilience, as long as this is acknowledged and celebrated, so that teams realise what they have achieved.
• Build resilience through ongoing risk assessments/programmes and resilience building activities.

A good idea is to carry out an assessment of your current resilience levels. There are online questionnaires that can be completed, or you can analyse your HPIs if you already measure them (and if you are developing a HPT you should have this available).

Historically I have used KPIs to measure dips in performance which clearly demonstrated the further dip discussed earlier and allowed me to see a clear pattern in terms of workload/pressures/ events that all increased the risk factures during a particular time of year, which had a repeated pattern of unsatisfactory service provision. The processes concerned could then be reviewed to remove as many of the challenges as possible and eliminate some of those risks.

As with HPTs, team building is a big part of resilience training and successful teams will trust each other and work towards a successful conclusion together. According to orghealth.co.uk there are seven steps to a resilience framework:

Vision

A clear idea of what the team is trying to achieve, written down somewhere (remember the team charter and the elements of HPTs?). The vision should be reviewed sometimes, particularly when events seek to divert effort away from the vision. Determination

People with high levels of determination have the capacity to achieve. Determination is mostly self-driven:, however it can be triggered by a reaction to an event, and requires considerable focus on a goal, task or vision, whatever is happening. People with high levels of determ
ination also tend to have high self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Interaction

How we behave towards others. We cannot control what others do, only how we react to it. However, sometimes we need to control the reactions of others to our behaviours so that they help us. This is reciprocity. To interact effectively with others we need to understand everything that is going on in an interaction, almost reading the other person’s mind so that we can adjust our behaviour to respond to how we think the other person is responding to us.

Relationships

To survive and prosper we need to build relationships. Resilient people have relationships that reinforce and support when required. Resilient people don’t judge anyone, they give to and reap the rewards of a two-way beneficial relationship.

“To interact effectively with others we need to understand everything that is going on in an interaction, almost reading the other person’s mind so that we can adjust our behaviour to respond to how we think the other person is responding to us.”

Problem solving

Resilient people like to solve problems and rise to challenges, so long as they are achievable. Problem solvers are more likely to embrace challenges. They also like to delve into the causes of a problem as a means to seeking a solution. This is an essential skill when completing root cause analysis for risk assessments.

Organisation

People who are organised can cope with the chaos of life. Organisation enables individuals to stay focused when their day is disrupted. Organised people plan their week and their day and often reward completion of unwanted tasks by next completing enjoyable ones. Having a roadmap for your team can help them to stay focused on the tasks at hand whilst keeping in mind future events. It is also beneficial to encourage teams to keep to-do lists so they can see what they have achieved during the day/week/ month, which can be easy to lose sight of during busy periods.

Self-confidence

Self-confidence is apparent in resilient people. They need to ensure this doesn’t turn to arrogance though as this can damage relationships. Self-confidence, demonstrated in the right way, is very attractive and builds trust, others are drawn to self-confident people, which contributes significantly to resilience.

Another model to explore would be the catch the fish philosophy. This can be useful in lifting the spirits of a team quickly and can be a fun way of getting a team to feel more positive.

HPTs and resilience go very well together and utilising both should arm you against almost anything. It should make being part of a team more successful and enjoyable, whether you are the manager or a team member.

“Organised people plan their week and their day and often reward completion of unwanted tasks by next completing enjoyable ones”

 

By Jeanette Hibbert