Working with strengths to build team trust

Storengy UK, a subsidiary of ENGIE, operate the largest natural gas storage site in the UK. They instinctively knew they could do more, be better. Results were good, everything was working well. Yet the management team knew they weren’t capitalizing on their strengths and performing cohesively as a team to drive forward the desired business change and enable their strategic goals.

 

Working collaboratively

Working closely with the MD to understand the business requirement, organizational culture, individual dynamics, and recent organizational changes, I built a strengths-based programme for the team focused on:

  • understanding individual and team strengths,
  • understanding how best to employ those strengths to enable strategic objectives,
  • building team trust, rapport and understanding,
  • developing collaborative ways of working,
  • developing a team who felt trusted, empowered and confident to enable the desired business change.

 

With the use of a psychometric tool called Strengthscope (www.strengthscope.com), the programme outline was as follows:

Programme timeline

 

 

Delivered in a way that would create psychological safety

Creating a confidential, non-judgmental environment in which to work was imperative for the team. To create a space where it was okay to be honest about how things really were and how they wanted things to be. This started with meeting the team on a one-to-one basis to review their individual strengths profiles, allowing a deeper understanding of their own strengths and how to maximise their individual effectiveness. What followed was an honest conversation about how they could add value to the wider team as a result, working more collaboratively to achieve the strategic objectives of the business.

 

The team came together in a workshop setting delivered both online and face to face, and with the use of a strengths team profile, collaborative open dialogue and some creative exercises, the team willingly shared how they wanted to contribute to the overall team goal and realized how, together, their strengths enabled so many more opportunities than working in silos. This resulted in a prioritized action plan with clear accountabilities, a team charter (ways of being and doing) and a commitment to deliver the change required, by using their individual and team strengths wisely and drawing on each other for support when needed.

 

And this is what the team had to say about it

 “It was great to have Sarah lead our management team through the Strengthscope profiles and work with us to identify how we can operate together more cohesively. The team rapidly opened up and we were able to have some really great interactions that we wouldn’t have had normally. Better trust and rapport between team members has been the greatest result” 

Michael Gibson, Managing Director

 

 “I really enjoyed your sessions, for me the biggest takeaway was that we truly do need to know one another much better in order to accelerate our performance. I liked the fact that people seemed to be more open. You somehow made that possible, I think it is an amazing skill to have. I really enjoyed the interaction, thank you for all your clarity & I truly take what you gave us as a gift / insight we would not get otherwise.”

 

“The biggest takeaway for me is that strengths can add or decrease teamwork effectiveness, depending on how we use them. I liked that we put our specific work-related topics aside and spent a good quality of time together, getting to know each other. I suppose the interesting thing to see from this point on is how we use our levels of self-awareness … and awareness of others’ strengths.  I also like the session when we described our view on effective team profiles, drawing upon our own experiences. Turns out, everyone’s ideal team has a lot in common!”

 

 “My biggest takeaway was that I realized we really need to support each other, we need to take time to talk to our colleagues and learn more about our teams. ENGIE is changing rapidly and we need to adapt. I also liked that everyone participated giving a wider range of views!”

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