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Professional and Personal Development

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Case Study

Client: Environment Agency 2


We have a dysfunctional team where the line manager no longer has the trust of his staff.


Team building, mediation, and facilitation at the Environment Agency have played a large part in our work. For example, we helped to rebuild the performance and confidence of a team rocked by a number of internal difficulties. In this intervention, we were able to take a fresh look at character differences. We asked participants to separate out their judgemental ‘background thinking’ from the behaviours they found difficult, and to explore the needs or values in which those behaviours are based. Staff found that behaviours they were labelling as ‘neglect’ or ‘lack of support’, had in fact been triggered by a management style which was intended to promote trust through encouraging autonomy and self-reliance. Management found that team-members they had deemed ‘needy’ or ‘incompetent’ were highly motivated by core values of collaboration and communication. Greater trust and respect emerged through this process, and new strategies were explored which could incorporate the needs and values of both sides. This helped to avoid the previous polarisation into blame or self-righteous criticism, and new approaches aimed to embody the different values present, creative balancing the different needs and values present, without pre-judging them. This allowed the team and it’s leader to work together to find a new action plan in which all the different emphases could be taken into account.


Elizabeth English


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