VOICE January 2016 - page 5

In our article,
Graham Smith and Ka-
ren Frost; spoke about how men battle to bond and
women tend to bond before they battle; and the way
they bond is through shared emotions. So setting aside
time for women to connect emotionally before they get
into a process, whether that be onto the competitive
sports field or into the Board Room, is, in our opinion,
So how do you do this? How do you enable women ei-
ther as a single gender team or as part of a mixed gender
team to make the emotional connections so they can be
at their best? You first need to acknowledge this need
for emotional connection and then, secondly, as manag-
ers and coaches, think about what else you need to add
to enable the bond-
ing to take place.
In sport it is well
recognised that it is
important to make
sure you create the
women to connect
and have time to-
gether, to get to
know each other and
to create the emo-
tional bonds that
will be the glue that
sticks them together
as a team through
the ups and downs
sport. This can be
team-building event
where the space is created so that each personality can
come to the fore and they have the opportunity to devel-
op the trust in each other. With the England
Women’s Rugby team these events are designed
and run specifically to create the bonds.
In the world of business it is less obvious
what needs to happen, because it is unusu-
al to have an all- women’s team - other
than in certain sectors such as the caring
professions. Even so, women do need to
build the trust levels in their colleagues
ahead of the ‘cut and thrust’ of the every-
day challenges of leading and managing big
business. As we have said before the first
step is to understand that building trust is a fundamental
part of enabling women to connect emotionally with an
organisation and a team. After that, it is important to set
aside the time and commitment to enable them to build
personal relationships with their colleagues. And as we
have suggested in our
Inspiring Women
article, it is
about making sure they have the support they need such
as a buddy or a mentor for a period of time. Again, in the
world of work setting aside time to do team events and
team activities can be extremely important to women, so
team time away from the day job works well.
But why do you need to do all of this and what benefits
does it offer? Every good coach and manager seeks to
create a high performing team and there are a number of
team development models available that help us to un-
derstand how teams
develop and what
creating a highly per-
forming team can
achieve. Our favour-
ite is Katzenbach and
Smith’s High Perfor-
mance Team model.
When looking at this
model, the key ques-
tion is what route do
you want to take to
being a High Per-
forming Team (HPT)
that consistently out-
teams? A ‘Working
Group’ can achieve
some ‘performance’,
for a short period of
time, but is not ef-
fective as a team and has no ability to improve perfor-
mance over time. Then if nothing is done to develop the
team through coaching and managing them, their perfor-
mance will drop because of the internal ‘politics’ that can
so often happen. So although there can be some ‘team
effectiveness’, simply because they know each other, a
‘Working Group’ is not sustainable. The route that team
development offers is the dotted line route, the route to
helping teams move towards being a ‘Potential Team’,
where some common purpose and common goals start
to evolve. We would argue that along this dotted line
there needs to be an emotional connection, especially for
women. A good, well designed team development inter-
vention, will speed up the route to ‘Potential Team’ sta-
Battling for Success
Katzenbach and Smith’s High performance
Significant performance
potential – healthy
Progress towards common goals &
similar teams
Performance Impact
Real Team
Individual focus
Point-scoring & jockeying for position
are common
Team Effectiveness
1,2,3,4 6,7,8
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