To prepare a team coaching I had taken the time to talk with all the participants. These moments are valuable as they allow the team members to get a first idea of who their coach will be. It then also allows all of them to describe their impression of how the team is set up, what they need to become a high-performing team, and to describe what they would be looking for in our team coaching.
The team, a leadership team of a startup, was unanimous in stating that they joined the team because of the others. They like one another and want to use this opportunity to work with people they like. Their association is that it is easier to have fun with people they like.
Their idea is sound as people who like one another will also find it easier to trust the others.
The drawback they might experience is a lack of friction inviting them to discuss the more difficult subjects.
One of the most difficult subjects for teams is the alignment of values. They are deeply personal, often not investigated thoroughly enough, and subject of misunderstanding.
Values are so personal to people, that they easily will perceive them as universal truths. They are so used to these values that they never doubt them. Two reasons for them to leave them out when they describe their expectations or how to work together with the other team members.
When the misunderstanding appears, they are perceived as errors or inadequate behavior. And as values generally impact the strategic aspects of the work more than its operational aspect, the misunderstanding might have become a conflict until it is uncovered.
Stepping into a team out of the desire to have healthy and kind relationships can help a team go far. But it can hide the frictions that are necessary to also remain focused on the objective.
The ability to bring fun into the relationship does not guarantee the sense of satisfaction achieving one’s goals will bring.
The art of having fun is to combine both.