Making teams work. Really.
Did you ever work as a team? Did you learn to work as a team at school or university? Was it a good experience for you? Every time I ask those questions 85% of the answers are: I worked as a team, I did not explicitly learn to do it, it was not one of the best experiences of my life (I always did most of the work, etc, etc.). In some cases, people tell me that they had Team Building Trainings, that those were a few beautiful days in the field, and that then everything remained almost the same back at work.
Reality seems to operate on two premises: 1) that working as a team is a natural gift that comes to us, and 2) that all the problems of working as a team are solved by making people know each other better.
I think these premises are not entirely wrong, although they are super incomplete. It is true that we have a natural potential to work with others but it is also true that it is a skill that must be learned and developed. Like playing the piano, cooking, or juggling. It is also easily verifiable that when one person knows more about another, there is a high probability that they will empathize with something. But that is only a beginning. It would be like listening to a piano, eating something tasty, or seeing Cirque du Soleil. Excite, inspire, but it is not enough. To develop the ability to work in a team, a learning process is necessary. This process does not happen in the abstract (off-site) but occurs in practice, on the real and concrete day to day. Sometimes (the least) that process happens implicitly. The rest of the time we only see unresolved conflicts and patches to make up for what doesn't work.
Team Coaching is the discipline in charge of making a Team learn to be a Team and prosper, working with daily reality as material. A Team Coach is neither a Facilitator nor a Leader. He is in charge of designing and managing the learning process for the members of a Team to successfully operate. The Team Coach is not a Personal Coach of many. He is the coach of the Team (that living being that emerges from the conjunction of all the members).
What I do
I design and implement Team Coaching processes with Team Academy methodology (Finland).
How I do it
I understand Teams as complex organisms. They are living beings that learn and develop. My job is to support their growth until they become autonomous.
1. I learn about the history, purpose, and general plans of the organization.
2. I learn about the current purpose and circumstances of the Team (including the Leader).
3. I generate a specific action plan (workshops, sessions, tasks) for that specific Team.
4. I operate as Team Coach during the scheduled time.
5. I facilitate the closure and evaluation of the process.
I can be of help if you are in any (or several) of these situations
I believe there is a Team seed in each group of people.
You just have to know how to find and nurture it to flourish.