Let’s face it. 2020 was unprecedented in the demands, stressors, and shocks it created in our lives. What we hear from our clients is a combination of gratitude for faring through the churn mostly unscathed, exhaustion from the pressures and worry and melting of boundaries between work and home life, and hope for what is to come this year.
In my individual coaching sessions, I open up space and am there for my clients as they navigate through their challenges and the churn that the pandemic and the year’s events have caused for them, both personally and with their team. Our connecting one-on-one helps them to answer questions like: What am I learning about myself? What am I seeing in my colleagues? What do I need? What do my team members need? How has the past year changed me and changed us? By answering those questions, they can process what has occurred, take stock of what is most important to them, be more aware of and attuned to the experience of others, and focus on personal growth. Having the time and space to ask those questions and to be curious about ourselves is so important – and it may be time to also create that opportunity for your team.
After the last year, your team may be ready to press the pause button and reconnect with each other outside of the day-to-day work demands. Whether it’s a mini retreat, a series of connection conversations, or a full-day teambuilding program, scheduling time to connect and reconnect with your team gives you an opportunity to ask questions, reflect on the last year, and look forward. We have created virtual sessions that give teams the chance to engage with each other in a fun, highly interactive, and productive way using collaboration tools, breakout groups, polling, individual reflection, and group activities. Alternatively, when there is a need for a more intimate and supportive space for deeper dialogue, we create this through establishing norms and guiding principles for our clients’ and their team sessions, and providing structures and tools for safe and candid conversations.
Reconnecting with your team also means learning about each other as individuals. You can do that by having everyone share something about themselves such as something significant about their background, defining moments in their lives, their values, their outside interests, etc. You can also use a personalized assessment to help your team discover more about themselves and each other. We offer assessments that offer insight about behavioral styles, preferred team roles, strengths, and conflict approaches.
For example, DiSC® and MBTI® are wonderful tools for understanding individual styles and the collective mix of styles on a team. CliftonStrengths™ and Hogan are great instruments for looking at the team from a strengths-based perspective, and the Team Dimensions Profile identifies the roles that individuals contribute on the team such as Creator, Refiner, or Executor. When teams use assessments such as these it helps individual team members become more aware of their and their colleagues’ traits and appreciate each person’s value to the team. Looking together at the group results of the assessments, teams can see the ways in which their combination of styles, approaches and strengths work for them and against them – and brainstorm ideas for new team norms and approaches to better leverage that team mix.
The start of a new year is always a great time to reset, renew, and reconnect. What does your team need right now, and how can you create an opportunity to offer them what they need? If you are not sure what your team needs right now, how can you find out? You may be super-busy and feeling like you can’t spare the time to reconnect. That is a big warning sign that you definitely need to actually do it. Raise the idea, get folks on board, and make it happen.
How are you reconnecting with your team?
Let us know.
If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For support in designing and facilitating your team’s time to reconnect, contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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