Team Facilitation Case Study

The Team: six senior academic staff who were responsible for leading the teaching and learning at a Higher Education Institution.

The Challenge:  The team had been in situ for some time but was not cohesive. The team leader felt that relationships within the team were difficult and there was a lack of cooperation.  The team was also extremely busy and under pressure to achieve stretching targets.  

A thorough diagnostic was essential in this case.  The diagnostic took the form of several discussions with the team leader and a 360 degree feedback for each team member including the leader.  I used the combined 360 results to form a picture of the health of the team, which showed that the individuals did not regard themselves as a team.

Each individual attended a 90-minute 360 degree feedback session during which we thoroughly analysed the results of their 360 degree feedback. Each individual undertook to produced a development plan to build on their strengths and work on their development needs. Each individual also attended a follow-up coaching session with me to review their 360 degree feedback development plan some weeks later.

I facilitated a team discussion based around Tuckman’s team development model, in which the team was asked to consider its own development against the model.  This helped them to think about the behaviours they displayed towards each other and their wider colleagues and stakeholders, and the impact of these behaviours on the team as a whole.

During the whole process I worked closely with the leader, having regular conversations with him and coaching him on leading his team and the challenges he was facing.

The outcome

All six individuals found their 360 very enlightening and welcomed the opportunity to focus on themselves and to develop a plan around improving their individual skills and behaviours.  During the facilitated discussion, the team realised it was at the ‘storming’ stage of development, and that it was not performing effectively as it had previously considered itself to be.  This realisation engaged the whole team and they committed to producing and taking forward a team development plan.  They also identified and agreed to adhere to a set of team behaviours.