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team building intervention retreat by

Wolf J. Rinke, PhD, CSP


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Team Building: Transforming a Dysfunctional Group Into a Cohesive High-Performance Team

This unique customized team building intervention is designed to get an ineffective team experiencing distrust, poor interpersonal skills, personality conflicts, pride, politics, or lack of accountability to openly address dysfunctional behaviors and achieve consensus commitments that serve as the foundation for building a cohesive high-performance team.

This intervention is facilitated by Dr. Wolf J. Rinke who has more than 30 years of hands-on management and leadership experience and has conducted numerous interventions like this with a wide variety of companies from established Fortune 500 to start-up entrepreneurial companies. It is typically limited to small teams of 5-21 executives, managers or other critical team members; is conducted in a retreat type setting and takes one to 11/2 days. It consists of unique team building exercises and experiential learning activities that are tailored to the specific needs of the team. These needs are identified using a variety of individual pre-assessments and team assessments including a unique system that protects team members anonymity so that they can identify the real issues that interfere with team performance.

The outcome of the intervention is a series of specific commitments that will govern future team behaviors. All team members prior to the conclusion of the intervention sign these commitments. This "contract" is used by team members to hold each other accountable. As a result participants buy into a new reality, which enables them to take team performance to the next level.

More specifically as a result of participating in this team building intervention participants will be able to:

  • Communicate more effectively
  • Enhance trust
  • Reduce conflicts
  • Improve morale
  • Take ownership and assume responsibility
  • Recognize and build on each others strengths
  • Build a positive team culture
  • Destroy "we-they" perceptions
  • Decrease politics, egos and other dysfunctional behaviors
  • Build rapport
  • Increase satisfaction
  • Celebrate accomplishments
  • Achieve laser like focus
  • Be more receptive to change
  • Improve leadership skills
  • Enhance interpersonal skills
  • Focus on results
  • Eliminate self-destructive negative behaviors
  • Sustain high levels of energy and motivation
  • Hold each other accountable
  • Achieve dramatic improvements in performance and productivity
  • Function as a cohesive high-performance team

SAMPLE Intervention PROCESS:

Note: intervention is customized to the specific needs of the team.

Phase 1 Diagnosis
What: Conduct interviews with key decision makers and each member of the team (approx. 12 individuals)
How: Face-to-face in-depth interviews to identify strengths, weaknesses and learning opportunities (1½ hours per interview).
Why: Identify the "real" needs and challenges of the team
Structure a customized retreat that produces lasting results, is memorable and fun.

Phase 2 Intervention
What: Deliver a customized transformation intervention (1 day)
How: Interactive learning session in a retreat setting (details attached)
Why: Build the foundation for team effectiveness

Phase 3 Follow-up
What: Follow-up and reinforcement
How: Conduct at least one follow-up session 3-6 months after the retreat (½ day)
(Optional-depending on team progress, additional follow-up session may be required.)
Dr. Rinke will be available via phone or e-mail to all team members for 12 months after the completion of the initial retreat.
Team members will receive a free monthly eNewsletter
Why: To assess compliance with commitments and reinforce newly learned behaviors
To achieve lasting behavior change and dramatic improvements in team performance.

Executive coaching (optional)
What: Coaching sessions on as needed basis for individuals who decrease team effectiveness
How: Conduct one-on-one coaching sessions (more details)
Why: To help individuals build powerful new habit patterns that support and sustain team effectiveness.

SAMPLE Team-Building Intervention OUTLINE
Note: Every intervention is customized to the specific needs of the team. This outline describes an intervention of a management team that was hampered by a lack of trust.

  • Introduction
  • Mental warm-up exercise
  • Overview
  • How to get the most (least) out of this TB exercise
  • How to achieve team consensus-the Ground Rules
  • "The Story"-are teams more effective than individuals? (Unique experiential learning activity.)
  • Review stages of team development
  • Characteristics of high-performance teams
  • Assessment of the management's current level of team "maturity"
  • What stands in your way of performing as a high performance team? (Unique anonymous assessment process that makes dysfunctional challenges public so that they can be addressed.)
  • Trust vs. mistrust - what's in it for you?
  • Trust traps-what we do to "trap" our team members
  • The eight "Cardinal Principles of Trust"
  • How to build a solid foundation for trust
  • What we need to do to get to the next level of team performance
  • Commitments to get us to the next level
  • How to hold each other accountable
  • Other issues that stand in our way
  • Conclusion, questions and answers, summary