When it's us against them

One of my favorite team interventions was working with a Support team who's job was to play bad cop/good cop. Often, their efforts to ensure everyone played by the book was met with much heartache.

An all-girls team, they were taking things personally and we were called in to help them get more assertive and confident.

The session we delivered took them by surprise: They were expecting 'top tips on how to be assertive' but found themselves delving deep into the recesses of their mind. They had been operating from a place of hurt due to several showdowns with a large number of colleagues. They also felt that the fear that came with these memories affected the way they communicated their point of view.

Feedback from the group:

"Being in a support function it is sometimes hard to stay motivated since your work is rarely appreciated. Your tips on how to motivate yourself and see things form different perspectives and the related  exercise we did really helped. I learnt how to move stress away from me and not to let it affect me directly.

 I hope we can have more sessions with you on a frequent basis."

"It was a really appropriate time for us to have under-gone that training session with you given that we were heading into a new financial year with a new team to manage and mentor. Having shared our previous experience with you and having learnt how better to handle them, what went wrong etc. helped in ensuring that we avoided getting into those same situations again and also had sufficient awareness to navigate better than we did earlier.

Your tips on how we should project the stakeholders and the issues to gain perspective and thereafter deal with them accordingly was very useful and was definitely food for thought."