Reflective Workshops

Whilst it is important for organisations to have the capacity and technical skills to manage day-to-day operational challenges, they also need space and time out to reflect on larger issues of vision, strategy and team development. We offer three different tools to support senior leaders and their teams:

Building effective teams using Belbin

What’s the difference between a “team” and a “group” of people? We often use those words interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different. For example, we would never refer to a “football group” or “team therapy.” A group is a number of individuals sharing something in common, while a team is a group of people who come together for a common goal that needs completion. For a team to function effectively and complete its mission, it’s vital that the goal is clear and that each person on the team knows their role.

Building an effective team requires more than just recruiting people with the right experience and job titles. The Belbin model helps organisations to build teams who complement each other effectively. Dr. Meredith Belbin’s research identified nine functions that all high performing teams possess (e.g. resource investigator, monitor evaluator, completer finisher). By analysing the make-up of their team and mapping it across these functions, organisations are better able to communicate roles and responsibilities clearly, maximise each person’s strengths, identify gaps, manage conflict and work more effectively.

The workshop includes an introduction to the nine roles, an opportunity for team members to share elements of their individual report with their team, and team exercises to explore and improve the team’s functioning as a whole.

We offer this course to grantee organisations to attend as a team.

A quick note to say a HUGE thank you for such a brilliant Belbin day. When the history of our organisation is written, it will be remembered as a moment of great significance: it validated and crystallised the Board’s analysis of a key stress-point (but also opportunity) for the organisation; it gave us a framework and a language to think about how to grow and adapt, both individually and collectively; and it provided us with a judgement-free route into conversations about the need for certain roles to be named, allocated and supported.

Managing unsolvable problems using Polarity Management

Which is more important: strategy or delivery? Should organisations focus on delivering locally or nationally? Should they be beneficiary-led or management-led? Obviously, the answer to all of these questions is: “Both”. Each of these dilemmas contains a “polarity to manage” as opposed to a “problem to solve.” Often when an organisation is facing chronic ongoing tensions, it’s because there is an underlying polarity at work which needs to be recognised and managed better. Traditional problem solving techniques will not work if there is a polarity at play.

Polarity Management is a tool that helps senior managers to map, analyse and understand these ongoing chronic tensions and learn how to work with them and use them to their advantage.

The workshop includes an introduction to Polarities, learning how to “map” them and sharing case studies that apply polarity thinking to participants’ own organisational challenges.

We offer this session as an ‘open access’ full-day introductory course for pairs of colleagues, or it can be run as a bespoke course for individual grantee organisations.

The training was really well-delivered, interesting, and enjoyable! It was great to go somewhere different and hear an outside perspective on our organisation. I also liked the opportunity to learn a new framework, and it was useful to work through an example relating to our organisation.

Building stronger teams using MBTI

Why do some people leave everything until the last minute whilst others complete them days before the deadline? Why do some people prefer diagrams and others words? How do you manage or report to a colleague whose style is completely different to your own?

Each of us brings our different personalities to the workplace and these influence the way teams communicate and work together, sometimes leading to personality conflicts and misunderstandings. We have found that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can be a helpful tool for understanding these differences and making the most of the strengths that different personality types bring to an organisation.

Based on the theory of psychologist Carl Jung, the MBTI assessment helps individuals self-determine their preferred ways of perceiving and processing information. Developing an understanding of these preferences and learning to communicate them can help team members manage their time more effectively, deal with stress, resolve problems and make better collective team decisions.

In addition to providing individuals with feedback about their own MBTI type, the training focuses on how that knowledge can assist in facilitating communication between team members, motivating different team members and creating an organisational culture where all types can thrive.

Pears Foundation offers this session as an annual ‘open access’ introductory course, or it can be run as a bespoke course for individual grantee organisations. We also offer ‘applied MBTI’ sessions on topics such as ‘dealing with stress in the workplace’ for grantees who have already completed one of our workshops or are familiar with the concept and know their MBTI type.

I have come away from today with an infinitely better understanding of what the different preferences actually are, but also a real appreciation for the way you used the types to allow us to explore and reflect on how they might relate and apply to us, and what the practical implications are for how we work with those who are similar or different to ourselves.