The team members were well qualified and did important but relatively routine work. There was no experience of team building or other developmental activities. The team had a history of uncomfortable personal relationships. They did not deal with these problems directly. People would grumble to others instead. Workloads were increasing too.
I interviewed the team members and the manager individually to establish my credentials, to find out what the issues were and to encourage them to tackle them. These interviews produced a wealth of data and some positive attitude change. I also asked people to say how they felt about working in the team. Most felt very frustrated.
I then designed and ran a workshop to work on their priorities.The team chose to work on their internal communications.
I asked each person to say to everyone in the group what they wanted from that person. This proved to be a positive and helpful experience to all. The group also worked, in sub groups, on practical issues such as the allocation of work and priority setting.
The participants are now feeling far more positive, enthusiastic and committed. They have learned the value of listening and talking to each other directly. There is less grumbling too.
Their weekly meeting is now much more democratic and less a top down briefing meeting. They improved their relationships with other groups by using the new skills they had learned.