Creating mutual trust — Mélanie and her team learned to be more aligned and efficient together.

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“Steffan helped us to get out of certain non productive patterns and behaviours within our team of performance-oriented people.”

Industry: IT / Digital Media
Job title: Vice President, Human Capital and Customer Service

Here is what Mélanie had to share after her team’s experience attending the Surdek workshop The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

How we interacted as a team before

Although our team generally worked well together, we did have difficulties and barriers in our communication. There was no animosity in our exchanges, but we could feel we weren’t always comfortable expressing diverging opinions. I would say some of our main challenges surrounded our ability to have difficult conversations. As a result, group discussions were not always a safe space for speaking up.

Also, when we made decisions as a group, what would sometimes happen is that different team members didn't have the same version of the decisions that were made. That made it hard to work together as a team on a common objective. These misunderstandings were compounded by the fact that people were holding back on sharing their thoughts for fear of disturbing the harmony within the team. So there was a lot of unspoken disappointment towards expectations that weren't being met.

Why we decided to take this workshop

We'd worked with Steffan a few years back on leadership development initiatives. The training sessions we received at the time had made a lasting impact. We were still referring to things he had shared with us during the training! He helped us make great progress as a team.

That’s why we chose the Surdek Solutions team. We trusted them to take us to another level by giving us new tools and forcing us to get out of our patterns and our comfort zones.

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How we learned together as a team

We evolved our way of communicating and working together to better function as a team. We learned to notice inefficient behaviours in our meetings and we are more able to name them in the moment.

The homework between sessions also allowed us to practice things together. We now place much more emphasis on the clarity of the decisions we make together, to ensure everybody has heard and understood the same thing.

As we progressed through the workshops, we became more and more comfortable talking to each other. We are now better equipped to share our thoughts and opinions with openness and respect.

Our discussions are more effective because we talk about the real issues. We no longer see divergent perspectives as threats, but as opportunities to make more thoughtful and creative decisions.

What made the greatest impact on us

There was one particular session of the workshop that really unlocked things for us. We were having a discussion about mutual trust, what it meant for us and how we were going to apply it on a daily basis.

It was challenging in the moment, because this forced us to express feelings or opinions that had been left unsaid for a while. Our team handled the discomfort and we worked our way through it. We were glad we did, because that session set the tone for the rest of the workshops. We were able to also recognize our strengths and our points to watch out for.

“Steffan and Genevieve acted as true facilitators, both on the frontlines and behind the scenes to make sure everyone in the group was moving at the same pace, while taking time to assimilate changing group dynamics.”