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Team Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Daily Reflections on the Team Process

Darren Mumford

on 22 July 2014

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Transcript of Team Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Evaluation and Creative Design Project
Darren Mumford
Professor Daryl Page
LDRS 502 Team Leadership And Conflict Resolution
Aug 2, 2013

Day 1 - Forming
"The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group,
the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group,
and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals." --Rensis Likert
Day 2 - Debriefing, Social Styles and Building Co-operation
Day 3 - Working Together
A valuable moment for me occurred at the very start of the day. We have previously discussed the importance of framing for the group and this was modeled incredibly well in the class preparation for the challenge course. Open ended questions engaged our group as learners, instructions were presented clearly and purpose was understood through shared interaction and examples of daily application.

Today was also a great promotion for the benefits of experiential learning for me personally. I was excited to go test myself, take on the course and going back to that self-reliance issue, I wasn't inspired by the idea of heading up with a partner. Ironically I found myself heading up first with someone who admitted to panic attacks and seemed terrified just looking at the task.

Witnessing someone extend themselves far beyond their own and others expectations up close and personal and having the opportunity to be part of their success was a highlight of the day and possibly the program. I was reminded in a very real way about the value of putting my own interests aside and how much more rewarding it can be to be part of the growth in others.
Katzenback, J., Smith, D. (2003). The wisdom of teams: Creating the high-performance organization. New York, NY: HarperCollins

LaFasto, F., Larson, C. (2001). When teams work best. 6000 team members and leaders tell what it takes to succeed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Page, D. (2009). Servant empowered leaders: A hands-on guide to transforming you and your organization. Langley, BC: Power to Change Ministries Inc.

Page, D. (2013). Crucial conversations. Trinity Western University Power Point

Schettler, J. (2002). Learning by doing. Training. 38, (4). Retrieved from https://ezproxy.student.twu.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=6565422&site=ehost-live

TRACOM. (2007). Social styles: Improving personal effectiveness with verstility. Highlands Ranch, CO: TRACOM Corp.

Ury, W. (1993). Getting past no. Negotiating your way from confrontation to cooperation. New York, NY: Bantam Books
Ecclesiastes 4 vs 9, 10, 12(The Message)
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

A key learning I will take from the first day is my strong bent towards the visionary directing style of leading and an active experimentation style of learning. Being so far to one side reminds me how critical it is to be very intentional about appreciating and learning from different styles. I was also reminded that team work is about co-operation not competition and simply because a group work or play in the same space does not necessarily make them a team. Too often we forget to ask the simple question, "what do you want?".

A personal reminder I took from the readings to apply as a TSL was the idea that I can serve the group by creating a safe space for people to take risks and learn from mistakes in an encouraging rather than ridiculing environment (Page, 2009). I have personally experienced a work team that was incredibly effective in financial and participation numbers and we held each other accountable with sarcasm. The result was that new members became intimidated, afraid to try and therefore did not develop and ultimately our own growth was stilted. I feel cliques are one of the greatest threats to a team.
Personal Applications from Today's Learning

- Seek to develop my awareness of the different learning and leading styles of others I work with and communicate in a way they can understand.
- Remember that I can't control the response of others but I can control my response with family, friends and colleagues. I need to develop ways to give myself time-outs during meetings to collect my thoughts and emotions.
- I need to remember there is value in getting the details right and slow down in my interactions as I find this challenging.
- It is important I put away preconceived ideas when entering a team environment and come with an open heart and mind.
- I will create opportunities for others in my work team to take different leadership roles in meetings etc.
- It is important I develop other methods for providing feedback and allow multiple people to provide ongoing input.
One of the key learning's I will take from our discussion today came from I topic I felt I had some subject expertise; the discussion of debriefs and more specifically the key questions to take a discussion to deeper levels in strategic stages. Until now I had engaged in and frequently lead debriefs in youth programs to generate reflection and strengthen learning but the funnel concept with the three key questions was enlightening. I now realize we were having some valuable shared discussions at stage one regarding what we did and occasionally getting to asking what that might mean but missing the key discussions at stage three about what we're going to do with this information.

The learning and social style evaluations and discussions were revealing and a key term I take from the personal descriptions as an Active Experimenter with an Expressive style, is Self-Reliance. This came across clearly as a characteristic in both my learning and social style and something I note in my personal applications. I was also very pleased we completed the Versatility evaluation as I have completed numerous personal evaluations and always ranked at the extreme end of one or two areas and feared I lacked the balance required of a successful leader. Realizing the many challenges and responsibilities I have engaged in has developed a high versatility and balance; became a very significant moment.

Additionally I enjoyed the discussion around self-perception and the example of when we are driving. What makes the person driving faster and the other driving slower, poor drivers in my eyes, particularly as I drive at different speeds all the time? As Ury (1993) points out, the first issue becomes my reaction which has potential to perpetuate a negative cycle. He provides good advice with the idea that I can prepare mentally before I begin driving but when things don't go according to my plan there is an opportunity to apply the breakthrough strategy. The first task is to change my perception of the situation and think constructively from both sides of the situation (Ury, 1993).

For many years I have been a fan of experiential learning and enjoyed the article by Schettler (2002) and the success Quantum Corp. had with the Pacific Playback theatre as it reminded me that the learning doesn't only happen through physical, outdoor activities. The important concepts of self-challenge, supporting, trusting, encouraging and reflecting can occur in many forums.
Personal Application from Today's Learning

- Spend more time in the preparation of debriefs following staff activities and in youth programs to include deeper level questions about application of learning
- A greater effort to understand and appreciate the different characteristics in learning and social styles of colleagues and family members
- Although in my head I value interdependence I need to value in my heart and make it part of my behaviour. I have a strong desire to solve things alone and need to invest more time in developing others; encouraging them to take increasing responsibility in the process.
- Recognize that although I have strong learning and social style characteristics, I have the versatility to become more balanced and better appreciate how different team members work.
- Remember I need to constantly be trying to look past my own paradigm and understand where others are coming from
- Be open to many learning interests and styles and recognize that experiential learning can occur in many formats.
I continue to be amazed at how much there is to learn in every course presented by this TSL program. Based on the title I felt I had a strong background knowledge for this course and the new learning might not be as significant. The pre-reading and introductory course information suggested otherwise and now the course is underway I have discovered new insights in every discussion, reading and activity.

The following is a presentation of my new journey into understanding team dynamics and my role in creating a more productive learning environment as a TSL within teams. It is an exploration of important learning and application, to encourage deeper insight and engagement from all team members and a desire to achieve goals through cooperation.
LaFasto and Larson (2001) discuss the idea of a) openness - a teams ability to surface and deal with issues and b) supportiveness - bringing out the best in other people as key factors in a team relationship. Their research indicates the higher the rating in these two areas, the higher the team quality and in many cases, their production. They suggest a key challenge against developing in these areas is people's unwillingness to give and receive feedback. I really like their comment that "feedback is a gift" and it takes great courage and maturity to risk tension and talk with people fact to face when challenges arise.

I was also struck by their description of how a seemingly minor issue not being addressed openly can quickly lead to a team that can no longer function because concerns were not managed well (2001). I have experienced this a number of times in my work and found their four questions for assessing how well interactions contribute to relationship very helpful. Was the conversation constructive? Was conversation productive enough to make a difference? Did we understand and appreciate each other's perspective? Did we both commit to making improvements? These are questions I have never intentionally considered but plan to apply going forward.
Practical Application from Today's Learning.

- Never underestimate what team members are capable of
- I need to be more intentional about receiving and giving quality feedback
- It is important I work with my teams to develop an environment where we are being aware of interactions that create tension and address these face to face rather than ignoring them
- I can be a more effective team member by making an effort to mentally evaluate interactions and how they contribute or detract from the relationships I have
- The most valuable team development occurring in an experiential learning opportunity occurs through well prepared pre and post group interactions.
Day 4 - Working Through Conflict
Day 5 - Rowing Attempt # 1
Day 6 - Working Through Conflict with Influence and the Everest Climb
Day 7 - Dysfunction of a Team
Day 8

Day 9 - Teams for the Right Track
What, So What, and Now What
I really appreciated some of the finer points today in regards to how we think about conflict. I support the idea that we are setting ourselves up for failure if we think a great skill set will bring full resolution to conflict when Jesus, the greatest leader to walk the planet, lived a life in conflict. I felt the discussion regarding when to approach a conflict situation was valuable as I was always encouraged to take the literal definition of "not letting the sun go down on my anger". Experience tells me this leads to extended, fruitless discussion late in the evening that is quickly resolved in the rational, rested moments of the next morning.

I found great value in the idea that I need to define what caused the initial wound in a conflict situation. I can think of many times I express anger with the messy bedroom at home or the incomplete paperwork at the office when deeper reflection would often reveal a deeper issue that needs dialogue. Breaking this issue down to one clear sentence made great sense as I often head off in tangents during conflict, creating new and unproductive layers to my story.

Another topic that hit home was the rashness I know I'm guilty of and the fight or flight response to a situation. Slowing down to ask questions and genuinely considering why a person is behaving a certain way will definitely lead to more productive conversation but is rarely practiced.
Practical Application from Today's Learning

- I need to make a mental or written list of discovery questions before or (when unexpected) during a conflict situation, to locate when "the knife first entered" or what is at the heart of the issue.
- Remember to step away and breathe when the environment is not appropriate for addressing conflict such as a busy office or just before bed in the late evening
- Before addressing a concern with a colleague or family member I need to be confident I know what the concern is and how I can express it in a very clear and concise manner
- Active listening is an area of weakness for me as I can easily be distracted, therefore I need to practice asking clarifying questions and recognize the other persons thoughts and feelings to ensure I'm focused on what they are sharing.
- Trying to understand the tactic the other person is using in a conflict and then reminding myself I do not need to respond immediately, will reduce the chances of accusing and reacting.
Ury's (1993) "going to the balcony concept", seems so simple yet it is so difficult to put into practice. I can think of situations where I have reacted by striking back, giving in and breaking off (1993); depending on the situation. In the heat of the moment I feel I have achieved what I need but it has been a short term solution and created longer term issues. The ability to "go to the balcony" and think constructively for both sides (1993) is something I see as a clear TSL behaviour as it is counter-cultural, going against natural instincts to mandate our personal position and consider the other person. Ury provides excellent advice in recognizing the tactic, then applying more effective approaches - a) pause and say nothing b) rewind the tape c) take a time-out d) don't make important decisions on the spot. I cannot control the other person but I can control myself.

Actively listening to what the other person is saying, acknowledging their point and feelings and looking for opportunities to agree when they make a valid point (1993); is another valuable and seemingly simple concept. A great point is made that listening is probably the cheapest and most effective application in a conflict situation. Remembering the other person wishes to be understood as much as I do is crucial. When this is respected I will make the effort to ask for clarification, acknowledge how they feel or apologize when there is misunderstanding.
During yesterday's presentation we discussed when to apply various responses to a conflict based on the level of concern we have for the issue and our level of concern for the other person. I found this chart very beneficial for demonstrating there are different responses that are appropriate in a conflict situation and different people will respond to the same situation in a different manner.

Ironically we were given a practical example today when the rowing club mixed up our booking. Personally I was looking forward to rowing but some extra time with family and assignment work was equally valued once we confirmed the experience would still occur on another day. For Daryl, who coordinates the course and had made a significant effort to ensure everything was in place, the personal concern for our group was much higher. Having little in the way of connection with the new club administrator and knowing we were paying for the service also made the concern for the club administrator more challenging.

This became a good reminder of the level of responsibility required when committing to a TSL model as conflict is messy, multiple groups are often involved and the response to a challenge can vary greatly among the team.
(Page, 2013)
No Row
In today's reading Katzenbach and Smith (2003) describe a deep commitment to each other as a defining characteristic for a high performance team and I was surprised at how rarely they were on or witnessed this type of team. They talk about shared leadership, dedication to the development of each other for interchangeable skills and have more fun than other teams. Understandably, this is very difficult to sustain in our rapidly changing world. Significant events taking place in their examples are - a) the moment everyone admits they have a collective problem and stop pointing fingers b) finding a focus on where they were going and committing to helping others clearly see the direction c) setting goals that required everyone in the team to help assess. In one example the team shared their strongest staff with other divisions, demonstrating a very strong TSL model.

I discovered an Ah-ha moment when reading how working groups differ from teams as their focus is on individual performance even though they come together on occasion to share information and make decisions (2003). In the past I believed I was part of a team but now realize I have more often been part of a working group and to move up the team performance curve I need to invest time into more opportunities to work collectively. I can also see there is a time and place for working groups and agree heir needs to be a willingness to take risks involving conflict, trust, interdependence and hard work on each persons behalf, if a real team is going to be established (2003).
Practical Application from Today's Learning

- Stepping out as a TSL will require a constant awareness of how I'm responding in each situation as potential conflict situations are an ever present reality
- I need to think carefully when a working group or a real team approach is most appropriate for the work we are trying to accomplish
- I need to think carefully how I use the word "team" and ask whether all participants are willing to commit to the constructive conflict, trust and group support required to be successful
- I can never be complacent as any team can quickly become unraveled; evidenced by the example of Enron's high performing team in today's reading
I'm really enjoying the discussion around some commonly held beliefs and why they can sometimes be less than helpful, like the good-bad-good sandwich. It makes much more sense to recognize people's good work if it's good and not try to create constructive criticism just because. If "hard to hear" feedback is warranted it should come at an appropriate time and warning provided rather than a sudden surprise, where it is likely to cause a less favourable reaction and words going unheard. As a TSL I'm called to do the opposite of what culture expects and stay calm in conflict situations and this is one of my greatest challenges. As a highly expressive person I tend to exhibit strong emotion and this is where I need to work on my versatility.

I strongly agree with the idea of reciprocity and if I can look for opportunities to make a connection with those I am in conflict, I will increase my chances of developing a more favourable response. This is the counter-cultural response of a TSL as it is far easier to find fault and differences when we disagree. The discussion on influence and in particular, the impact of how we dress caused me to think more deeply about my casual appearance and how that might impact my effectiveness.

The Everest activity was very interesting in many regards as it highlighted a number of things about group dynamics. Our team was a very agreeable group and in avoiding conflict we did not approach the crucial oxygen tank decision with vigilance and therefore were not as successful. We also interpreted the success of our group work very differently and it seemed as though teams that went a little too quick with the process, or took too long and over thought the process; were not as successful as those who dedicated carefully planned and considered time to the task.
Practical Application from Today's Learning

- Remember the idea of the magic number where we are more effective when we make positive statements at least four times as often as negative statements,
- Make a greater effort to do the unexpected, stay calm, breathe and consider how the other person might be feeling
- Be the person to lead the idea of reciprocity by offering something that is helpful to those I have a conflict
- Consider carefully how crucial an issue is and how much time is warranted in attempting to find solutions to the conflict and accept that conflict is an important part of the process
- Work to avoid pushing my opinions as I tend to do and rather, work from where the other person is at and use good questions to help guide them to an alternate way of considering the issue
- Making ultimatums will not be helpful for developing long-term relationships; allowing others to make their choices will ensure a stronger connection.
Practical Application from Today's Learning

- Understand that all teams need to go through stages of development and conflict has value as long as it is well-managed.
- It is essential I help my teams develop and continually refer to the goals and purpose of our work
- As a role model, I need to give more consideration to establishing a safe environment where each member is comfortable being held accountable and holding others accountable for their role
- It is important that I re-evaluate the systems we currently have in place for doing our work and how this is impacting crucial tasks such as team communication
- I recognize a need to improve my ability to identify and clearly communicate the main priorities that lead to our goals and not be side-tracked by external influences
An important learning for me today was the idea that even the best teams need to go through the stages of team development to move towards a high functioning team. For a long time I believed a strong team could skip the storming stage as there was a higher level of collaboration in a strong team. I now realize it is very important to recognize this is an essential part of the process and even those who have previously established strong relationships will need to go through each stage in some manner when a new team forms. This helps me to understand that teams don't just happen by magic; there is effort and commitment invested by the various players at each stage and we need to consider carefully how we are contributing.

Teams also require careful consideration into group size, the personalities within the group and roles people play will also impact their engagement. Our activity today was a good example of how people will "check out" if they do not feel instructions are clear or they can contribute in a meaningful way. It was also interesting to consider how we tend to think it is always people causing the dysfunction in a team but it can be a result of the system and most importantly, how this can negatively impact communication. It made me realize I need to give more consideration towards the systems I'm supporting and developing.

On the rope's course today my partner and I implemented the learning about preparation and made numerous "practice" jumps on the ground, which resulted in a smooth, successful result on the trapeze. The real learning however was the value of an intense experience to naturally generate valuable interactions, as hours afterward we were naturally gathering to share the "What, What does this Mean and Now What", from our session in the trees.
Ury (1993) presents a very practical and genuine idea with the concept of building a "golden bridge" as a different way to encourage someone's support of an idea they are currently opposed to. Rather than pushing them to accept my thinking, it suggests I meet them where they're at and encourage them to work together with me to see where we need to be. Allowing them be a part of the negotiation, consciously seeking their opinion and constructive criticism and providing choices, makes it an easier journey towards seeing a different opionion than when it is thrust forward (1993). Ury wisely recommends patience with a slow and carefully considered process particularly if it is a very contencious issue as this provides time to build some comfort with new ideas.

Additionally, I like the idea of problem-solving questions that encourage those we are in conflict with to see natural consequences of ignoring our proposals and then comparing with the solutions our team is proposing. Some people threaten when at this stage rather than provide outcome warnings which are less likely to cause people to be defensive (1993), Involving supporters makes a great deal of sense. It is also important to think long-term relationships and allow the other person to make final decisions without pressure as they come around to a new way of thinking (1993).
Katzenbach and Smith (2003) provide some similar insights to LaFasto and Larson (2001) when they discuss the role of the team leader. Both recognise that a leader in a high performing team puts their own and other individual desires aside and the team goal becomes priority. They are also able to find a balance between providing guidance and giving up control and have the ability to discern when to step in and when to back off. Both sets of authors list the ability to define and maintain clear goals and the purpose of the work as the first task.

The first threat to a functioning team is when the goal is not understood or agreed upon by the members. Secondly, a team leader helps to establish a collaborative environment where team members feel confindent in discussing issues in a respectful manner and mutual accountability is established. Both sets of authors also discuss the importance of having team members with the diverse skill set to achieve the goals and provide assignments that challenge members. It is also important to be able to set priorities, knowing these may change at times, but not being able to prioritize can lead to ineffective work.

Team leaders also help guide the team through innevitable obstacles that can undo a group. I liked the analogy of the boat in trouble after a storm and the crew begins to fear and fall apart. One pair see there is something they can fix and find success, inspiring others to get involved and small wins, help them to move forward again (Katzenback and Smith, 2003). Constant feedback and willingness to confront issues seem to be key for growth.
Reflecting upon today's session where we attempted to master the basics of rowing, my natural instinct was a desire to return again and master my own technique, perhaps in a single skull. It occurs to me that this is the big challenge with team development, "What can I do to improve my success?" rather than asking "What can we do to improve our success?" It is also interesting to note that each time we take on a very new task, the stages of team development occur, with the team forming, then storming as we felt the frustration of how hard the balance truly was and unfortunately we ran out of time to see if we could progress beyond this.

It was also very interesting to consider the many different goals among the teams and how this might effect long term development. Some had a goal of simply avoiding capsizing while others were hoping to develop to the point where a smooth, relaxed rhythm was established. Perhaps the most interesting learning for me, was how the slightest change by one person impacted everyone else and over time we would need to invest considerable time in understanding each others strengths and weaknesses and how to accomodate. This was also an excellent example of where the leader can establish a rhythm for the team but everyone needs to be working together, communicating clearly in order to be successful.
Practical Application from Today's Learning

When I think about my work environment and the things we are trying to accomplish I definitely see a benefit to becoming a real team, something I previously thought we were but now realize there is a much greater commitment required.
- Asking the question "Is this for me or is this for we?" must become a natural practice
- We need to ensure we are on the samepage with a common goal that is relevant to the various programs we oversee and regularly check back in to see if we're on track
- We need to establish a trust where we can come alongside a fellow team member and provide necessary support so we can be moving together
- I have an opportunity and responsibility to work towards a more balanced performance ethic which means staff from frontline to leadership feel fully supported, engaged and appreciated
- I need to work harder to ensure I'm not venting about an issue but rather problem-solving as there is a strong leaning towards venting in our organization at present
Today's reading encouraged me to reflect on the importance of a performance ethic and this takes us back to work culture. In Katzenbach and Smith's example it is easy to see how an organization that made excuses when they fell short on goals, had a very difficult time trying to develop teams that performed (2003). When I reflect on my organization I can see times where the performance ethic hasn't been as high as it could, or there is not a balance of performance in all areas. We have high performance standards with customers through initiatives such as the seven Serving All Members (SAM) standards that are frequently measured, discussed and addressed. However, our recent staff survey would suggest there isn't the equivalent, consitent standard with staff.

LaFasto and Larson provided a good reminder of how diverse teams are, with different people responding in many different ways throughout the team process. I found their suggestions for distinguishing good problem-solving teams quite helpful. Clear focus seems obvious but is not revisited consistently throughout the task. Setting a climate where members feel valued and accepted is incredibly important and much more difficult than it seems. I thought it interesting when they talked about communication and that many confuse venting as problem solving; it is clear many do not make this connection (2001). I feel the implementation of "reminders" who have responsibility for ensuring the team is vigilant about problem-solving; is a good idea and I liked the idea of their "Single Question Format" (2001). Again, it is another great tool for developing accountability amongst the group.
A significant learning from this course is the awareness that growth does not only occur through gathering of new information but also the challenging of previously held assumptions. I find I sometimes take a "one-size-fits-all" approach to leadership concepts and need to remember there are different requirements for different situations. At the beginning of this course I felt team leadership was the only way to go if great results are to be achieved. I now realize there is not only a time and a place for teams but there is also different variations of teams that provide value for different situations.

Considering the different teams presented - Individual, Group, Partitioned and Team Tasks; I realized the leadership team I support, fits very well with the Team Task and I have a playing coaches role. Looking at the team from this perspective is beginning to help clarify my thoughts on potential future direction, particularly as I now realize we are not currently a fully committed team.

A discussion topic that continues to be presented in the past few days is that of a clearly understood end goal that everyone on the team fully supports and is working towards. It occurs to me that the goal for the team I work with, is fuzzy at best and this is a starting point for us. I can also see how our team sometimes supports each other incredibly well but at others we leave each other alone in the open and I can see how a clearer understanding of the team goal, might provide better direction.
Practical Application from Today's Learning

- I need to be discerning about the work that would benefit from a team approach and when an individual focus is more efficient
- The work I currently lead lends itself very well to a team task but we still need to implement key concepts of a real team
- Before deciding whether we can commit to becoming a real team, we need to ensure we have a clear goal that engages and inspires all members
- As leadership members we need to discuss the commitment required to be a team and develop a team charter
- As we have specific roles that help support the team in different ways, we need to develop clear guidelines of how we support each other
- Our team needs to develop specific performance indicators as a means of assessing our team work capabilities
- We need to work intentionally to creat an atmosphere where every member of the group feels comfortable challenging ideas
One of the most interesting examples of a high performing team was illustrated by the dialogue Katzenbach and Smith relate when they sat in on the team they refer to as the Lake Geneva Executives. It definitely seems like a rare example of senior leadership who work extremely hard at their task, hold each other accountable to the agreed-upon decision making process and goals and the leader does not dominate but simply plays the role most valuable for the team at the the time (2003). The humility and trust required for the level of honesty they were showing, provided an example of what is possible with dedication and commitment to a clear goal. The fact that they grew the task of setting salary levels to such a high level is evidence of their team skills.

It was also helpful to read the suggestion that top management assist team leaders by helping them build the different attitudes and skills required to lead a team. Good managers seem more directive, making decisions and delegating whereas good team leaders need to develop a collaborative approach to decision making and accountability (2003). I would like to see this type of leadership support implemented in our organization.

It was interesting to read the six characteristics of a high performing organization as I feel our organization exhibits balanced performance results, challenging aspirations and committed leadership. I see room for growth in a dedication to learning and development of core skills and competencies that depend on movement and I believe we are developing more open communication and knowledge management. When I reflected on our oganzation performance I realized there are examples of real teams that have recently formed and are performing very well such as our new recruitment team with a very competent and committed leader who exhibits many of the characteristics of a TSL.
This course has challenged many of my assumptions about teams and I realize I have often used the term in place of what is really a working group. The key characteristics I see in a real team are mutual commitment to a goal and each other and a high level of trust that demands open, honest conversations that are neither easy nor comfortable. A commitment to developing as a group over and above individual development seems to be a natural occurance for high performing teams and as a result each person seems to grow beyond what they might have on their own.

I have also begun to understand that many of the behaviours of a high performance team are counter cultural and fit with the TSL model, such as putting the greater good before our own, holdng ourselves to the highest levels of accountability for performance and being willing to say the tough things to others and openly receive the tough things we need to hear.
"We need to strive to be soft hearted and tough minded" Daryl Page
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