It was brilliant to put Patrick Lencioni’s practical methodology into practice and witness the team coming together before our eyes. Receiving feedback in the thank you card including phrases such as:
Inspirational, enlightening, extremely constructive, practical tools to use, a lot of fun, I now feel part of the team, was reassuring that we are on the right track.
Then the absolute best feedback we heard was from an extremely experienced and published researcher who said that ‘this was by far the most relevant’ workshop to his role that he had ever attended in his 40+years of working. Which just demonstrates this methodology can be used for every type of team.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all perfect, we should have explained more clearly how the methodology would be then applied on the second day to the challenge the leader had identified as the ‘Rally Cry’. That said to see the ‘Aha’ moments when we arrived at the areas of much required debate, the team realised why day one was so critical. This was demonstrated by the usually quiet team members bravely raising the elephants in the room (yes we did take toy elephants in with us!) Furthermore, the leader did an amazing job of demonstrating vulnerability and that she didn’t have all the answers. Driving absolute clarity around decisions that the team could then commit to.
What was also very clear, to the point of my last blog, was that we were easily able to identify who would benefit from individual coaching to further support the team’s development.
So why did we need more elephants? It was as we were leaving and the disappointment from one of the team members that we were not giving out elephants to everybody. I wondered why it was the elephant they had asked for and not the giraffe (another prop used to demonstrate when someone had ‘stuck’ their neck out). Today I have come to the realisation that the elephant is about the business problem/challenge, it is not personal (the giraffe was about the individual, being brave and sticking their neck out) and so taking an elephant into a meeting to remind us of the rules of engagement when we engage in positive conflict will help the team to continue in this practice.
Trust me, we are ordering 15 elephants so everyone on the team has one!