In my work, I am privileged to be with many leadership teams in action.
Recently, I worked with two business units from a large government agency. The two groups had run into difficulties. The corporate services group was driving many changes and the business unit experienced these initiatives as disjointed, overwhelming, and interrupting business-as-usual activities.
The business unit managers were increasingly pulling up the gangplank and closing off to interactions with the corporate services managers. They were all experienced managers, and within several hours we came to a shared understanding of what was happening and had agreed on a way forward.
What assisted in this speedy resolution?
There were five features of group interaction:
1. The two Deputy Chief Executives were open in identifying there was a problem and were open to having new conversations with one another.
2. Managers listened to one another – there were no interruptions.
3. Managers made helpful observations.
4. Managers spoke succinctly – there were no long speeches.
5. Managers contributed suggestions of what was currently working and what would help.
In our debrief, I asked the DCE’s what accounted for the quality of interactions?
They said the in-house leadership development where leaders are taught and are expected to use these relationship skills with one another.
I noticed the leader’s skills and goodwill towards one another greatly assisted the complex work of effective inter-group relationships.
© Diana Jones