A European Human Resource Director of a US firm was the manager of the implementation of the European part of a multimillion-pound Information Technology project. He had less than a day to bring together key people in the implementation team, from the US and Europe, and create a cooperative, honest and purposeful climate so the project could succeed. There had been delays, frustration, conflict and bad feeling and the project was in difficulties.
He explored this with me openly, expressed his frustration and anxiety and realised that this was probably widespread in the team. We talked about how he could help the team express their feelings openly. He decided to ask them to say a few words only about how they felt about the project at the team meeting. Initially, there was a silence but then people started to express their frustrations and to listen to each other.
This led to more open and direct communication among all the parties, to changes in the structure and time scale of the project and to it being well on the way to success now. The people were now working together instead of against each other.