HOW AWARENESS OF TEAM OPERATING MODES DROVE GROWTH

Client Case by Patty Brandmaier

Client:  The Town Manager and Human Resource Director for a small and community-minded town, located in the suburbs of a medium-sized city

Team/Group Leader: The Town Manager, who provides the leadership and administration of the town’s day-to-day operations (overseeing 150+ employees; budget over $30 million). The town management team comprises the Town Manager, eight department heads and the town clerk.

~ Client Case ~ 

The Town Manager and the Town’s Director, Human Resources were looking to develop the “team for the future” with the Town’s management team responsible for delivery of professional services for the town’s residents.  The Management Team had recently and successfully worked through a difficult time and were looking to solidify and leverage their improved performance, to both establish a strong foundation of enterprise thinking and team dynamics and to elevate the team's performance.

Through our team coaching, and within the context of the team’s discussion on its preferred operating mode, the team recognized its current operating mode as a working group did not always serve the team.  

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In this regard, the team identified the leader-member operating mode as optimum, reflecting the team's growth and enhanced capacity through its new-found alignment. Within the leader-member framework, the Team recognized its need for common purpose and collaboration norms to work more effectively together, especially as they had started to identify the management issues that involved all of the team’s participation.  They also wanted to ensure the team did not fall back into past patterns of unproductive behavior and to increase the team's capacity and capability through unity to serve their town.

The discussion of leader-member team dynamics prompted the team manager, in his one-on-one coaching -- a Corentus best practice in team coaching engagements -- to examine how he served the team and how to develop his leadership skills to better support the members of his team -- individually and collectively -- as a leader-member. We team-coached the entire team during their meetings guiding and coaching them toward their desired outcomes. We also provided a few short training sessions in some of our team tools such as Purpose & Goals, Meeting Mastery and Decision Making. 

After only several in-person sessions they achieved the following:

Heart & Results:

  • The shift toward a leader-member team opened the door for the town manager to realize he can be vulnerable and more real with the other team members, which served to decrease his stress, prompt productive conversations with team members, and build trust with fellow team members.
     
  • The team created a norm of "compassionate honesty" so the potential problems could be shared and solutions engaged before issues escalated.
     
  • The team came together to create a common purpose, cross-cutting team priorities and goals, and a meeting plan to continue to build their team work.  
     
  • The team dedicated one of their team meetings to more strategic issues, which also served to increase team confidence in their roles and as a team.

When we met up with the team leader a few weeks later, he was thrilled with the progress they had made -- as individuals and as a highly effective team.

It was an honor to be a part of a Corentus team development engagement and to assist the Town Manager and his team.  Using the team development model for the first time, it was wonderful to see the impact of using the right method at the right time for Town Manager and his team—alternating as needed between leadership coach, team coach, trainer, consultant or facilitator in service to the team’s development. The agility built into the model allowed me to meet the team where it was and choose the best method to help them to grow to where they wanted to be.  

Most importantly, the coaching engagement appeared to create the safe space for the team members to be open and honest with each other, especially about how they wanted to work together, was the catalyst that drove their growth.  This enabled the Town Manager and his team to engage with one another on the human aspect, beyond their work, of being part of a team, which was necessary for real results to occur.

 

Patty Brandmaier

Team Coach, Consultant & Strategist 

Certificate in Corentus Team Coaching in 2017