Two key decisions that emerged from the workshop had the potential to address multiple challenges. First, participants agreed that the regional leaders would each make plans to spend several days in Moscow shadowing organizational leaders and participating in customer and staff meetings. They also agreed that, moving forward, the agenda for staff meetings would include a space for each leader to share a top-of-mind subject or concern and ask for support and advice.
At the end of the workshop, I asked all participants to complete a formal survey regarding the experience. They revealed that they had increased their understanding of their peers and their leader and they all said they felt more confident about tackling the business challenges at hand. They reported that they were leaving with an increased level of trust in their collective capabilities. In doing so, they took meaningful steps on their journey to becoming a high-performing team.
Trust is multilayered, and its cultivation requires relentless focus. After the workshop, the team members continued to build on the foundation they had laid. In the five months since the workshop, they have increased their commitment to sharing top-of-mind concerns and expectations on a regular basis, representing a huge shift from how they’d communicated previously.
The leaders are taking their newfound sense of collaboration and team spirit into their own teams, creating a ripple effect that’s changing the organization for the better. They have even created an anonymous mailbox employees can use to voice questions to the leadership teams. The mailbox has evolved into an important tool for collecting feedback and staff suggestions, and the process of managing it and responding to questions and concerns taps into every team member’s wisdom and experience.
As humans, we fear what we do not understand. However, we can overcome this instinctive perceived threat when provided the opportunity to do so in a safe environment. As Marie Curie said so eloquently, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
This article was originally published in Coaching World.
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