“Team is a Mess”

The Senior Leadership Team was fractured and frustrated. Frustrated with each other. Frustrated with the CEO. There was gossip and “pot stirring” among the staff. The CEO’s communication style was not helping the Senior Leadership Team or the organization function smoothly. Key staff were thinking about quitting.

Private meetings revealed the source of the fracture: unmet expectations, perceived lack of personal accountability, unclear decision-making processes, feelings of too much oversight in some areas and too little oversight in others, and avoidance of honest conversations. All of which, of course, cascaded down the organization. here were rumblings of a morale problem.

“The Senior Leadership Team was fractured and frustrated … Key staff were thinking about quitting.”

What to do? Start at the top. Coaching for the CEO on communication and conflict resolution. The CEO and I worked on ways to be more effective while staying true to personal and organizational core values. Was that all? Nope. No leader is alone. Work is done through others. Organizations don’t function well if the Senior Leaders aren’t cohesive.

So the Senior Leadership Team went to work. They established more cohesive and productive working relationships by working on defining their expectations of each other, discussing operating principles, and articulating shared values and the behaviors that support those values. Was that it? Nope. We had to work on re-establishing trust.

The Results: things got better. The Senior Leadership Team became more cohesive. They began expressing their concerns more openly and working through them. They defined how they wanted to work together. What they expected from each other.

The Senior Leadership Team didn’t keep their work a secret. They shared out to their direct reports and then to the organization as a whole. People started talking about important stuff like respect, conflict resolution, teamwork, and recognition. Pot-stirring decreased. Accountability increased.

Was it all sunshine, puppies, and singing Kumbaya? Nope. It was work driving toward more honest conversations, establishing new (better) habits of interacting, and addressing the backslides.

“Carol helped us to identify where we needed to focus our energies to improve organization, communication, and leadership. By helping us clearly define roles within the organization and expectations of one another, we are now able to work through conflicts and issues and build working practices through organized, understood, and agreed-upon methods. I learned even more than I had anticipated we would, with many “aha” or “I hadn’t looked at it in that way” moments.”