Taking Your Senior Team From Striving To Thriving

Issue 100

There's no getting away from it, teams are under tremendous pressure in organisations, especially senior leadership teams.

So many factors are coming together to add increased challenge:

There is a need to do more, of a higher quality, with less resource, at pace.

Many are running the business whilst transforming the business.

They are managing conflicting priorities within teams and from stakeholders.

People are members of multiple teams, requiring different ways of working in each.

Teams may be virtual, hybrid, or have diversity and multi cultural challenges, with little time to build relationships and influence effectively.

Add to this the need to grow the business in challenging environments, be adaptive and agile in the changing landscape of digital transformation, all whilst keeping workforces engaged and aligned when there is potentially changes within the team too!

How then do you make sure teams, and especially your senior teams are thriving in this environment?

Stepping back, taking time out as a team to reflect on how you are set up, how you function and how you deliver can be a crucial step to create momentum. This enables you to review the five core areas of team focus which we address in Team Coaching.

1. Are you a team?

This may seem obvious, but are you working as a team or a group of individuals? Determine whether the team operates as an interdependent team where you are reliant on each playing their part, an extra dependent team where you are delivering similar roles in different territories, or a project team with a clear start and finish. Doing this will enable you to address step 2.

2. Team Functioning

How is your team operating both together and apart?

Are you all clear and in agreement on your team vision and purpose? Does this fit with the mandate you have been given by your stakeholders?

Have you clarity on your strategy, synergies and overlaps, and your key priorities as a team?

Have you agreed how you function? i.e. when you meet, about what, for how long. How you commit to decisions, what accountability means, how you manage conflict, and how you hold each other to account and give feedback to each other.

3. Team Relationships

Team dynamics – how well your team is getting along, and trusting each other is at the heart of every team. We think we spend plenty of time together because we’re always in meetings, but are we having the right conversations? Do we know our team members personally and really feel safe admitting our concerns to them?

Has the team agreed expectations of each other, how it will work together, collaborate, give feedback and meet to ensure relationships are effective. What is your leadership stance and team values, your team behaviours and how you will role model these to others?

4. Stakeholder Expectations and Relationships

No team operates independently, it is part of an ecosystem, and it needs regular feedback from all parts of that ecosystem to ensure it is operating in the best way for the system to thrive.

When was the last time your team sought feedback from it’s stakeholders? What feedback would they be giving you if they were asked? How well does the team influence those stakeholder relationships? Are there clear lines of ownership for all stakeholders, with a communication plan?

5. Learning as a Team

Finally are you learning as a team? Are you taking time to reflect, recognise your triumphs, admit your mistakes and adjust your stance regularly, as only in stepping back do teams really move forward.

I’ve worked with over 40 teams in 10 years, and these aspects are all areas which I address at some point in team coaching sessions, which are co created by and with the team.

By doing this, teams build better relationships with each other, face into the challenging conversations they have been avoiding, gain more traction with their goals, create a clarity and energy which often wasn’t there before, and ultimately deliver more effectively for those they serve.

If you’d value a thinking space for you or your team, contact Annabel via LinkedIn,, or visit

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