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Cohesive and purposeful teams

It can be challenging to achieve team cohesion in the context of an evolving workplace. Teams may form for a specific purpose and then disband, they may be distributed over a number of countries, or they may meet only infrequently. This can lead to confusion regarding the team’s core purpose, sometimes resulting in the emergence of individual or even competing definitions.

We listen to all levels of communication in teams, disentangling intentions and outcomes. We also attend to the relationships between team members, and to the roles individuals play within the team. Problems in teams are often interpersonal, and interventions frequently focus on increasing self- and mutual understanding.

Team building is always constructive and purposeful. We ‘take the pulse’ regularly to check where the team has reached on the developmental path which was agreed at the outset. This ensures that every level of change, however small, is registered, building the team’s confidence as it progresses through the process.

As the work continues, the focus may move outside the team and look at how it is perceived by other groups and the organisation as a whole. At this point, strategies may be devised to facilitate links with other teams. The group may also work on strengthening its identity by enriching communications to other parts of the organisation.

Team-building work concludes when the agreed goals have been met, and team members are able to take forward their responsibilities with increased confidence.