Dew Point Consulting

What is the most successful and most enjoyable team you have ever been on? What were the characteristics of that team that made you so successful? Whether it’ s high school soccer or executive management, my guess is that for most of you, the answer includes many or all of the following characteristics: trust and respect for one another, full participation, common and agreed upon goals, “ permission” to disagree, commitment to the team over and above individual interests, and excellent leadership. And let’ s not forget a dose of optimism and some good old fun.

If you have been fortunate enough to be a member of a high functioning and vital team, you know that the power of the whole can be electrifying; with the generation of ideas, capabilities, and performance that exceeds even the brightest individual in the group. For most of you, however, team life in the workplace has been riddled with dysfunction and underperformance. Why? Because the key ingredients I described above are so often missing. Teams fail because of disharmony and the inability to cooperate.

Rather than provide off-the-shelf team building services, I first assess a team’ s current level of functioning to best understand what key ingredients are present and which ones are lacking. I do this through individual interviews, team observation, and the use of individual work style and team dynamics assessments. Any good doctor would not prescribe medicine until they diagnose the problem. The same principle applies here. Once the reality of the situation is grasped, a team can begin a productive re-examination of their shared habits that impede maximum performance.

Intervention flows directly out of the assessment process and varies from team to team. Interventions include, but are not limited to:

  • Making explicit underlying rules and group norms that are hampering team performance
  • Developing a team charter and establishing workable and explicit team norms
  • Addressing difficult issues like trust, conflict, and accountability in an atmosphere of safety and mutual respect for differences
  • Engaging in work style difference trainings to counteract inaccurate perceptions and attributions regarding other team members
  • Working one-on-one with the team leader and other members to process team dynamics and make individual and group behavioral changes accordingly

What others are saying...

I’ve crossed paths with many facilitators in my career, only two have made an impression on me, Rita making the biggest. Rita has this innate ability to separate the truth from the façade, which is an essential gift for a great facilitator. Couple this quality with her courage, compassion, and conviction and you have a person able to guide a diverse group of individuals into forming a cohesive team. She accomplishes this difficult task by planting the seed of trust, allowing it to grow through communication, and harvesting the fruit of understanding. It has been a pleasure to have her accompany our organization on the path to excellence.

Kerry Yoshitomi,
Deputy General Manager
Delta Diablo Sanitation District

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