Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Can The Tuckman Model Help Us Understand What is Happening?

Tuckman: there's something so perfectly simple about this model that means it's sometimes overlooked in favour of more complex stuff.....


....and I think that's a mistake!

First introduced in the mid 1960's, the Tuckman Model has been around a while and there's a good reason for that: it works! Developed to help us understand Team Development and Dynamics, this model and conversations it primes has been my "Go to" place in conversations with Teams, their Leaders and Managers in a number of contexts. Why? Well, it helps us to talk about what might be going on and to anticipate what might be on its way: there are 4 stages that help us form up and discuss our ideas, they are:
  • Forming
  • Norming
  • Storming 
  • Performing
More recently a 5th Stage "Adjourning" has been added-for the purposes of this piece I'm staying with the original 4.

One of the challenges presented by using a model is that we need to remind ourselves that our sometimes complex and rapidly shifting work patterns don't often if ever, follow neat diagrams. So I won't include one-you can find plenty of them on Google Images (other sites are available!)
Some years ago I came across a piece of work that had shown how the model can be applied to individual and team behaviour across a range of team processes and activities. I've adapted it and made 13 YouTube Videos that discuss how each of process can be seen within the context of the Tuckman Model and what this might mean for developing a better understanding of our behaviour(s) and expectations.

The table sets out "What's going on" in the right column, the links in the left column will take you to a commentary/overview of the context. They're brief no longer than 10 minutes and most are well below.

 

 

Context

Narrative

  “Focus”

What do people focus on as change takes place?

How do we behave when we focus on what needs to be done? Whether thinking about the "big stuff" or agreeing on roles and operational area, our behaviours might define our contribution to the process. These are likely to be influenced by our individual and collective journeys within the Tuckman model. Here's an overview of what might be going on.

“Trust”

What is the “state of trust” at each stage?


We're going nowhere without it but how often do we consider how trust is affected by where we are at any particular point in our team journey? This clip gives some insights into how the concept of trust is subject to our relationship with change and our own securities/insecurities

“Team Relationships”

How might we expect relationships to change/grow/develop?


Divided, embittered and quarrelsome teams do not perform well. Ones with a sense of unity and purpose do. This clip builds on previous ideas of how we need to allow space to allow people to grow and develop through the relevant stages, establishing our values, ethics and behaviours as we so do. It's about trust & clarity, two essential "we're going nowhere fast without them," components of great teams.

“Criticism”

What takes place and where, overt, covert or productive?


An ever present in our lives, Criticism has the power to be both destructive and creative. It can drive people apart or become part of the social adhesion that binds group members together. This clip talks about how Criticism might present within the four stages and its potential to contribute to positive group and individual journeys

“Decision Making”

How do we go about taking and making decisions?


We all know what this means, that doesn’t however mean that the process is easy to describe. What is our role in setting and maintaining the ethical climate in which decisions are made? Where does confidentiality rest and is it okay to “backtrack” when we need to?


 

“Sharing of Knowledge”

Who benefits? How and when is knowledge shared and why? 

Not hearsay or gossip but knowledge. What are the disadvantages to holding on to information that under any reasonable examination would be seen as critical to enabling progress? How does our behaviour here reflect organisational culture and can we articulate the benefits of “synergous sharing”?

“Performance”

What efforts and collaborations are involved in “Performance”?

There are important conversations to be had here and they’re not about “target setting.” They are concerned with how we describe our role purpose and outputs in the context of achieving flow and excellence.

“Predictability”

How can we benefit from and go beyond predictability?

Arguably, we like a balance where life (work), is predictable enough. Too predictable and boredom takes over, ever changing relentless shifts in predictability? Expect burnout. Reaching a place where we anticipate and adjust quite naturally is a challenge for leaders and their teams.

“Understanding”

How well do we understand purpose and direction?

The greater clarity we can achieve here, the more likely it is that we will achieve some great outcomes! Ambiguity is welcome, it helps us decide the degrees of certainty under which we operate and that enables us to be more confident in developing and projecting a confident, flexible approach to how our role is both developed by ourselves and perceived by others.

“Products”

When we consider our outputs, what is going on at each stage?


Our outputs aren't limited to "work done", there are outputs related to our behaviours, our connectivity and commitment. Here, we open some discussion with the watch-phrase "keep your eyes on the outputs!"

 

“Interventions” (Overview)

When do interventions occur and how are they delivered? 

Interventions: Hands on/Hands off-they’re by no means mutually exclusive and there are times in the development cycle when we shift from one to the other. When we think about our actions in the context of the Tuckman Model, things may become clearer.

“Interventions” (Support)

As confidence and competence grows, support changes

A linear process? Not really and we might need to consider the information as part of our responses to change and a blend of leadership skills and approaches.

“Interventions” (Leader Focus”

At what point and for what purpose should leaders intervene?


At what point and for what purpose should leaders intervene? Here we take a look at the importance of the leader maintaining focus and awareness of the dynamics that might be at work within teams. We refer again to the importance of clarity and conversations that create clarity.

 

I'm happy to have a conversation with you about the model and how it might be used in your place of work. It's my belief that it has strong messages outside of the workplace too.
You can reach me on 07984409937 or mail me:


I'm sometimes asked why I use the Butterfly image-the link takes you to a brief explanation!


John.

John Dooner. DY 3Solutions.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Six Leadership Styles, Emotional Intelligence and Stepping Into The Light

Background





The impacts of Covid 19 on how, where and when work is done are likely to be varied and challenging

This piece sets out to both inform, support and challenge people in Leadership, Management and Supervisory roles. Its history is  based on the findings of research and its practical applications by Daniel GoldmanCary Cherniss and Reuven Bar-On. It has informed my professional practice (and beyond!) for the best part of twenty years.
Some years ago Cary Cherniss asked employers to list their greatest concerns their organisations face. Here's what they came up with.
  1. People need to cope with massive, rapid change
  2. People need to be more creative in order to drive innovation
  3. People need to manage huge amounts of information
  4. The organisation needs to increase customer loyalty
  5. People need to be more motivated and committed
  6. People need to work together better
  7. The organisation needs to make better use for the the special talents available in a diverse workforce
  8. The organisation needs to identify potential leaders in its ranks and prepare them to move up
  9. The organisation needs to identify and recruit top talent
  10. The organisation needs to make good decisions about new markets, products and strategic alliances
  11. The organisation needs to prepare people for overseas assignments

Here are a few that occur to me as we adapt the above to meet today's challenges

  • What are our values, how do we communicate and live them?
  • How do we access, talk about and share Knowledge & Wisdom within and between organisations and partnerships?
  • Can we describe what we have learned?
  • How do we tell our stories about the "What is possible" in a manner that inspires others so that they want to be part of the narrative?
  • Let's use "We" instead of "People"
  • Let's use "Our" instead of "The" (organisation)
  • Some of the above have a much sharper focus as we come to grips with our rapidly changing, challenging and uncertain futures and leaders need to think about which ones matter most right now and then act.

We are suggesting that the Post Covid Adjustment period is an ideal time for those tasked with engaging with the organisation and delivery of very different ways of working to consider how incorporating some principles related to Emotional Intelligence may help us on our journey.



We Need to Talk About The What and How 

To incorporate a blended approach to Emotionally Intelligent Leadership into our change/development processes. 
This introductory clip sets out our initial thinking and refers to an existing body of work that might inform our practice

We Have Prepared 6 Clips

Where we guide you through the elements of Leadership Styles and drawing your attention to the implications for Emotionally Intelligent Leadership to have an impact on outcomes.

In clip 1 of 6 (5:50) we talk about Visionary Leadership and how it is used to secure a Change In Direction-something that we feel is very much a "live issue" for individuals, teams and organisations.

In clip 2 of 6 (6:48) we draw attention to Affiliative Leadership a style that is particularly effective in healing rifts in teams or to motivate them in challenging times.

In clip 3 of 6 (8:57) We set out to illustrate how a Democratic Leadership Style could provide a mechanism to achieve the very necessary "buy in" required from those involved in and affected by change. We feel that this will be of particular importance in the coming months.

In clip 4 of 6 (6:08) We draw attention to the potential that resides in a Coaching Leadership Style  one that seeks to develop strengths and improve performance

The above four styles are positive and nurturing, seeking to develop and encourage others. However, we have to recognise that there are occasions where we are seeking rapid movement from place A to place B. This might mean that we are required to address resistance

In clip 5 of 6 (8:28) We consider the elements of a Coercive Leadership Style within which we require high levels of prompt compliance-this is "turn around leadership" or where there may be a history of poor performance

In clip 6 of 6 (8:46) We draw your attention to Pace Setting Leadership Here the assumption is that we have a highly skilled and motivated team in place, one that is required to bring about rapid high performance and reliability change 

On The Journey




It is suggested that successful leadership will integrate four or more of the above.

We want to open up conversations that look at how we set out on our journey with a level of awareness of how an integrated approach to Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management and Supervision may contribute to the well being and success of organisations, partnerships and the individuals who work within them.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Is There A Space for Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Today?

Emotional Intelligence: 

here's my understanding of what it is:


"Understanding one's own feelings and those of others and how these are expressed as behaviours"


Introduction

This piece sets out to both inform, support and challenge people in Leadership, Management and Supervisory roles. Its history is  based on the findings of research and its practical applications by Daniel Goldman, Cary Cherniss and Reuven Bar-On. It has informed my professional practice (and beyond!) for the best part of twenty years.
Some years ago Cary Cherniss asked employers to list their greatest concerns their organisations face. Here's what they came up with.
  1. People need to cope with massive, rapid change
  2. People need to be more creative in order to drive innovation
  3. People need to manage huge amounts of information
  4. The organisation needs to increase customer loyalty
  5. People need to be more motivated and committed
  6. People need to work together better
  7. The organisation needs to make better use for the the special talents available in a diverse workforce
  8. The organisation needs to identify potential leaders in its ranks and prepare them to move up
  9. The organisation needs to identify and recruit top talent
  10. The organisation needs to make good decisions about new markets, products and strategic alliances
  11. The organisation needs to prepare people for overseas assignments
A couple of things occurred as I mentally adapted the above to today's challenges
  1. Let's use "We" instead of "People"
  2. Let's use "Our" instead of "The" (organisation)
  3. Some of the above have a much sharper focus as we come to grips with our rapidly changing, challenging and uncertain futures and leaders need to think about which ones matter most right now and then act.

For A While It Felt Like This




We hit the buffers and some fast footwork was required just to keep things going and it feels that we have, since late March been growing our coping mechanisms whilst trying to best guess our way into an uncertain future and very different work patterns.

I've Heard About and Discussed




How some fantastic people have reached out to their teams and offered the above and more, providing continuity, purpose and care in so doing. As we move forward our organisations be they:

  • Large corporates
  • SMEs
  • Education providers
  • Community & Charitable
Will need to visit items 1-12 above and decide for themselves

  • What to prioritise
  • How to communicate their priorities
  • How to use existing knowledge and wisdom
  • How to capture and communicate new knowledge and learning
  • How to support, motivate and up-skill people

It is my belief that we are better able to equip ourselves for this journey if those in leadership roles are aware of the styles of leadership that will take us towards an increased sense of the possible together with how they might be blended as contexts changes.

Here's an introduction to our thinking:


https://www.youtube.com/watch

Our next post will look at Six Leadership Styles and the context in which they might be applied.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

ZoomTeamSkypeMeetWhatsAppO'Phobia?

They Seem Here To Stay But Where & How Should We Deploy Them?


My meetings on line follow a pretty standard pattern: there are the always welcome, personal ones. I then have professional ones where I'm talking with clients and others about either current issues or how things are looking going forward: these are the subject of today's blog

I also do some on-line learning support-about 4 hours worth a week and I'm able to access some fantastic personal/professional development.

I have other professional connectivity too, where ideas are exchanged, challenged and developed and it's in this environment where, by and large I feel that I'm pretty much in control of things or perhaps more accurately, I don't need control because there's a feeling of mutual acceptance of role and relationship(s).



That's not the case everywhere and I'm increasingly having conversations with colleagues who are "Zoomed Out" (Other platforms are available!). So, this piece isn't one that's aiming its criticism of the meeting platform itself. Rather it's a warning regarding the intensity and frequency of usage.

Recognise This?




There are important messages for companies to produce some interim guidance so that workers are not asked to move from one on-line-meeting to another without some "downtime". This process can create its own stresses discussed in this excellent overview


For self employed/home workers, I'm going to advise you to think about how you are scheduling your days and in doing so, try to build in some time that takes you away from the screen. This is something you are going to have to take on for yourself: if you do, I think I can promise you that you will feel the benefit. It's something I've failed to do on a couple of occasions when I've had a series of "back to back" on line meetings and please believe me, I can tell the difference!

Something a little more concerning: I've had some conversations about how badly some people appear to engage in or react to on-line platforms. I've also spoken to a couple of people who find this medium very uncomfortable. 


Was a necessary response to a terrifyingly new situation and it has affected every aspect of our lives. The on-line meeting platform is a constant reminder that things may never return to their collective, predictable past and that changes to our work patterns serve as an ongoing and significant reinforcer of trauma we are living through. So, be easy on yourself and if you manage, supervise or are responsible for the workplace well-being of others, please give some thought to what it is we are not only asking people to do but also who and what we are asking them to be: it can be very new and very frightening-we discuss it here in a 59 second clip






Your comments and observations are welcome and we are here to listen and help!




Sunday, 17 May 2020

Uncertainty & Limiting Beliefs

A Recipe for "Freezing in The Spotlights?"



I hear then term "Uncertain (ty) used more often than ever before, it's barely surprising as we look forward to an insecure future: here are a few synonyms of "uncertainty"

...unpredictability,precariousnessstate of suspense, unreliability, inconclusivenesschanciness, changeableness

And when we put them together we can form the sentence from the depths of the well of doubt as we look forward to:

A precarious, unpredictable future that will have us all in an ongoing state of suspense wherein information is unreliable, inconclusive and changeable!

Cheers you up doesn't it?


So, limiting beliefs: 

I see them as deeply held an hard-to-let go of beliefs about ourselves that confine and restrict us. They can get in the way of saying "Yes" to opportunity and encourage us to do and say things that draw attention away from what it is we really, really believe about ourselves

Now, we're at a time of substantial change and uncertainty in lots of significant areas of our lives and these are by themselves, enough to impact on our confidence. Add a few Limiting Beliefs to the equation and we can find ourselves on a downward spiral of self-doubt or over-corrective behaviours



In this clip, we give an example of where a self doubt might have found its way into our belief system and a structured approach that shows how we might begin to counter its impacts

https://youtu.be/BC_KdTbs4K4

The process is can be a challenging one and we're here to help you on your journey. You can contact us by replying to this article or by emailing/phoning or texting me on the number shown below.


John Dooner



Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Health & Well Being Benefits of Working From Home



As Part of Our Approach to Lock Down & Working From Home.....


We've been reaching out and contacting our previous clients and having a conversation wherever possible

...and a conversation held today has spoken to the enormous benefits to one person.
  • Sleep
  • Digestion
  • Exercise
  • Reduction/disappearance of other possible physical manifestation of stress-related conditions/behaviours
  • Contributing to the well being of family members
  • Three hours commuting no-longer takes place
  • Maintaining connectivity with work colleagues
  • Productive and meeting all work-place targets and schedules
I wonder how many other would agree with and add to the above?






Tuesday, 12 May 2020

A Coaching Story

Q:What have broken trust, listening, a car-park and a horizon got in common?

A:They all featured in a piece of coaching delivered to a client and all played their part in enabling the person to move forward.



My client had been let down by people he had trusted. Their "friendship" was in fact the systematic exploitation of a vulnerable person. Their behaviour had destroyed his trust in others and his confidence in himself. He had to all intents and purposes, evolved into a barely employable recluse

It was important to design with him an approach that stood a chance of working for him

We agreed on this
"Words have meaning and power beyond the obvious and we need to develop good communication."


We also agreed

"The actions that had led up to the situation were talked out and that going over them time after time was not going to help-we needed to describe a positive and achievable future"


So, our sessions focused on the achievable and how we might reach inwards to discover the strengths that would make the journey possible.

The following link takes you to a brief clip where I describe how we approached the challenge. It's a great example of what we do here and how prepared we are to reach out to establish some common ground within which we can nurture the beginnings of progress.