We have noticed something interesting happening in the last few weeks. Human beings enjoy being in each other’s company again despite the predictions of a remote workforce being the way to go during various lockdowns.
As with many of you, we have been conducting all our work online –training, facilitation, team coaching – and it’s been ok. We worked hard to make it interactive and became mistresses of break outs, Jam Boards, polls, and anything else we could come up with to not replicate face to face but to create a new learning environment. And then we had human contact again and things got interesting.
Training and facilitation online have so many advantages. It’s more accessible, people are more awake because they haven’t got up at 5 am to catch a train and somehow it works just fine. On the other hand, team coaching is different and is the biggest winner when things get personal. Teams working through what they are here for, how they want to behave together, and generally getting to know each other is so much better when everyone can see the non-verbal language and wander to the kitchen with a colleague to get a drink.
Several teams we have worked with had started online but then made huge strides when they got in a room. Some people have never met in person. The office has been a concept, not a reality and being in the same room suddenly feels more productive. We have witnessed significant breakthroughs in understanding and valuing differences and better ways of behaving to create a high-performance team culture.
How is your team at the moment? Have you maintained communication with weekly huddles, regular one to ones and the encouragement of online coffees to welcome new team members to the crew? All that has been important, but do you now yearn for a deeper bonding, a clearing of the dust and the chance to work as a team and connect outwards more into the organisation and beyond? Maybe in-person team coaching could be just what you need. Working with us, you would create a team mission, agree on what sort of behaviours empower the team and what holds it back, think about the layer below you and how to raise their game so you can raise yours and mend, create, build those critical internal and external relationships that smooth the path to success.
We have been so impressed with the substantial effort leaders and their teams have put into maintaining morale and performance levels in challenging times. Perhaps now is the time to build on that and allow your teams a chance to breathe, reflect and reconnect with authentic, warm human beings and see what breakthroughs they can make.