Ordinary or Extraordinary? Why Some Teams Suck and Some Don't


Ever notice how certain team experiences feel exhausting while others enlighten you and help produce the best work of your career? If two-thirds of employees are disengaged (Gallup study), then even the most reliable team might appear moderately uneven and not very memorable. Yet, other team experiences can serve as career high points helping us to remember the reasons why we love where we work, lessons we’ve learned containing positive impacts, and teams we’ve performed with that produced outstanding outcomes. Research using the Extraordinary Teams Inventory (ETI) even exposes the reality that the average group contains roughly 15% of members who suck as employees and 15% who are genuinely extraordinary.

So, what sets extraordinary teams apart from the rest? Join author Kevin Coray and expert practitioners from the Extraordinary Teams Partnership, Sally Stamp and Todd Weinstein, for this practical discussion of what makes extraordinary teams tick. Discover how these experts incorporate the ETI and its research to help their clients make progress toward being extraordinary. Attend this webinar to look through the lens of exceptional teamwork and uncover how to coach your team to their highest potential.

Attendees Will Learn:

  • The definition and expectations of extraordinary teams.
  • Five differentiators of extraordinary teams.
  • Typical outcomes from ordinary, average, and extraordinary teams.
  • Implications for your specific role within groups.
  • The next steps in your organization’s success.

Who Should Attend:

  • Training and HR professionals
  • Independent consultants
  • Managers delivering training

Additional Resources:


Kevin Coray - Fairchild Partners Incblank
Kevin E. Coray, Ph.D.
An industrial and organizational psychologist and master somatic coach, Kevin Coray is a consultant to leaders, teams, and organizations. He is also co-author of the Extraordinary Teams Inventory and the Embodied Leadership Assessment (available soon from HRDQ). Kevin brings over 35 years of experience consulting to and coaching executives, teams and improving organizational performance as the leader of an award-winning, national consulting firm he ran for 27 years (www.cgstrategy.com).

blankSally Stamp - Certified Coach
Sally Stamp
Ms. Stamp is a certified coach and consultant who works with individuals, teams, and organizations, primarily in the areas of leadership development, communication effectiveness, culture transformation, and life/work balance. Her experience includes work for a variety of health care and technology organizations as both an internal change agent and an external coach and advisor.

Todd Weinstein - HR Professionalblank
Todd Weinstein
Todd is a certified executive coach with 20 years of experience as an HR professional, leadership consultant, and strategic business partner. He’s been an advisor, coach, mentor or facilitator to hundreds of leaders at all levels and with diverse teams. His coaching is based on rigorous training at the world-renowned Hudson Institute of Coaching and accredited through the International Coaching Federation (ICF).


Ordinary or Extraordinary? Why Some Teams Suck and Some Don’t

Sara Lindmont: Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar. Ordinary or
Extraordinary? Why Some Teams Suck and Some Don’t. It’s hosted
today by HRDQU and presented by Kevin Coray, Sally Stamp and Todd
Weinstein. My name is Sara and I will moderate today’s webinar. The
webinar will last about an hour, and if you have any questions go ahead
and send those right into us all throughout the session today. There is a
section on your GoToWebinar control panel. It should be labeled
questions for some of you, it could say chat, but if you open that up,
there’ll be a spot where you can type that in and click send. That’ll come
over to us and we’ll either answer those as the session is happening or
as time allows for Q & A at the end. If not, we’ll then definitely get back
to you by email. Go ahead and send in those questions, we’re looking
for some good participation today.
Sara Lindmont: Today’s session is based on the workshop and team assessment,
extraordinary teams available at HRDQstore.com. This complete set
gives you everything you need to deliver an engaging and meaningful
team training workshop. If you are interested in more help, our team of
skilled practitioners, some you’ll hear from today, they are available to
certify you as a trainer or deliver this workshop at your location for your
organization. Reach out to HRDQ for more information on how you can
bring teams from ordinary to extraordinary.
Sara Lindmont: We’re really excited to have three members of the extraordinary team
partnerships as our presenters today. First, here is Kevin Coray He is
trained as an industrial and organizational psychologist. Kevin is a
consultant and coach to leaders, teams and organizations. He is also coauthor of the Extraordinary Teams Inventory and the Embodied
Leadership Assessment. With over 35 years of experience Kevin’s client
work has an appreciative approach that utilizes his skills and
certification as a master somatic coach. He is a founding member of the
extraordinary team partnership.
Sara Lindmont: Todd Weinstein is a certified executive coach with 20 years of
experience as an HR professional leadership consultant and strategic
business partner. He’s been an advisor, coach, mentor or facilitator to
hundreds of leaders at all levels. He has held senior leadership roles and
multiple organizations in industries that include retail, hospitality,
healthcare, energy, technology and financial services.
Sara Lindmont: Sally Starbuck Stamp, working with individuals and teams as a
leadership development coach has been her focus for the last 15 years
since she became a Board Certified Coach. Her clients include a wide
range of individuals and teams where she has been using the
extraordinary teams research. Prior to that, Sally was a hospital
administrator of care consultant, and serial entrepreneur. It is an honor
to have all three of you speaking with us today.
Sally Stamp: Well, thank you very much, Sara. Thanks to HRDQ, for inviting us to join
the webinar today. Thanks to my colleagues at the Extraordinary Teams
Partnership, and especially to all of you who have joined this webinar.
Admittedly, we talked about naming it and when we suggested it would
be entitled, Why Some Team Suck and Some Teams Don’t. We weren’t
sure that that was appropriate. Then on reflection, we decided, yes, in
fact, it is. What are we going to talk about today? Well, as coaches we’re
very interested in what you experience. We will begin with that and
we’re going to be inviting some answers to questions that we’ll pose to
you to learn more about whether you’ve had team experiences that
were sucky, solid or extraordinary.
Sally Stamp: We will also be reviewing some research from extraordinary teams,
work that’s been done and led to the development of the ETI. We’ll be
sharing some stories about our client experiences using this
information. We’ll also be identifying some steps actually to help you
move your teams from a continuum of maybe not so great to fully
extraordinary. Ones that would be memorable that you will want to
recount. We’re hoping that you leave this webinar with what I’m calling
the three eyes that you’ll go away saying it was interactive, informative
and inspiring.
Sally Stamp: Let’s move ahead and begin with taking a look at a question and we’re
going to invite you to respond in your question area as Sara had
identified and we want you to think about a sucky team experience. The
story we made up about all of this is that probably most all of you have
had at least one of those. If you’re in one now, please don’t mention any
names or be specific about that. At this point, we’d like you to think
about one or two words that describe or described how you felt in that
sucky team experience. I’m going to ask Todd to keep track of what’s
showing up as you enter in some of those words. Please do that now.
Todd, what are you seeing?
Todd Weinstein: Thanks, Sally. Just waiting for some responses here. Seeing a couple
come in, frustrating. I’m seeing annoying, draining. Waiting for a few
Sara Lindmont: I’ve got a couple here. I have a hyper aware of a knife in my back. I
checked out. Over overworked and disenfranchised. There’re several
that have come in with the concept of attacked, pushed, tense.
Definitely, disengaged and discouraged is a common one coming up.
Sally Stamp: Kevin, let me ask with your background in somatic coaching, what are
some things that you have experienced in describing the actual feelings?
Kevin Coray: I would just add to the participants that most of the words we’re
hearing or what I describe as emotions or judgments or some
description of the nature of the experience and if you then took it down
a level and said, “I felt discouraged or I felt disengaged or I felt stuck or
trapped or excluded.” What was going on in your body? What was the
impact of being in a sucky team on your health and well being?
Sally Stamp: Any of those show up, Todd?
Todd Weinstein: I’m seeing anxiety, tense.
Kevin Coray: Tense, migraines. Yeah, good. Hard to breathe deep.
Todd Weinstein: Hard to breathe.
Kevin Coray: Yeah, that’s it.
Todd Weinstein: IBS.
Sally Stamp: Well, that can be intense.
Todd Weinstein: It impacts all parts of our body.
Sally Stamp: Exactly. Yeah. When people say a sucky team experiences, making them
unhealthy, that can literally be true. Well, we just asked you to think to
about what actions did you take when you came to the realization that
you were in a team that wasn’t what you were hoping it would be?
Anybody enter in what they did about that, if anything? Any responses
Todd Weinstein: It was minimum.
Sally Stamp: It was a minimum.
Todd Weinstein: Putting in that, I fired the team. Start with the leader.
Sally Stamp: How about exiting?
Todd Weinstein: I tried to encourage collaboration, wanted to resign.
Kevin Coray: Pull off the team.
Todd Weinstein: Ultimately, rose above it and stayed. Let me just expand that one,
ultimately rose above it and stuck to the high road and was actually
promoted. I told them they have to get ready.
Sally Stamp: I think that’s a good segue in to what we’re going to look at next, which
is a comparison or contrast with a great team experience. Hopefully,
everyone’s had at least one of those. Take a minute now and think
about that and think about a great team experience. Again, what are
one or two words that described how you felt in those teams? Consider
what Kevin said about the feeling as opposed to just the cognitive or
thinking piece. What are some of those words? What are you seeing
now Todd?
Todd Weinstein: Exhilarated, excited, open, engaged, relaxed, energized, creative,
Sally Stamp: Much healthier in a feeling.
Todd Weinstein: Invigorated, supported, engaged and excited. Pretty different there.
Sally Stamp: Yes, yes. One last question related to this, what would be one thing that
in your experience as a team member, allow that to happen? What
allowed the experience to be so much better? Anybody throw out a
word about that one or two.
Todd Weinstein: Seeing trust, generosity, a great leader, safety, trust and respect. Deep
connection to shared vision, good leader, openness to ideas,
Sally Stamp: I think we’re hearing some themes here.
Todd Weinstein: Yeah. Feeling of others standing for me.
Sally Stamp: Well, so thank you for experiencing this with us and I’d like to shift now
to Kevin to hear really what we’ve learned from the research and how
does that compare with the actual experiences that you have all just
described, Kevin?
Kevin Coray: Yeah, thanks. The results, the emotions and the feelings that you guys
have all described about your great team experiences are really
consistent with our research. Here’s what we know, in 2009, Jeff
Bellman and Kathy Ryan published a book called Extraordinary Groups.
That particular book described their field research that they did on 60
teams, self identified as having a truly amazing team experience. Those
same kinds of words are there in the book, it’s the same really great
feeling. I reviewed the book for them, and then suggested that we
conduct broader research on what differentiates extraordinary teams
from solid or sucky ones, because they only study great teams.
Kevin Coray: Kathleen Ryan and I conducted research on many more teams and in
2014, as a result of our research HRDQ published the Extraordinary
Teams Inventory, or what we call the ETI. That research identified five
key indicators that distinguish what extraordinariness is as compared to
other kinds of teams. Since 2014, and the product has been out there on
the market, we’ve continued our research and added capacity to our
consultation and coaching services. Today, we’ve now done research on
over 2,000 people and 230 groups and teams. I just want to highlight
what we think of as the real key difference for extraordinary teams.
Kevin Coray: From the original field study Bellman and Ryan said what makes these
teams totally different is the level of outstanding results they get, both
tangible results and intangible ones. Some of the intangible ones are
about how it impacts the health and well being in the nature or dynamic
of the people in the team and you guys have described that in the chat
that we did. We would also say that most people are personally
transformed. There’s deep learning, and that there’s the opportunity to
think about this as you go forward into the rest of your career is as a
high point experience. These kinds of teams exhibit stuff like getting
outstanding goal achievement, like you said, people feeling respected.
One thing we didn’t hear from you, but there’s a lot of positive humor
and people have fun working together. There’s high commitment in
these teams and low turnover and there’s lots of this deep learning of
profound learning. Like somebody said, there are high levels of
psychological safety.
Kevin Coray: What we came around to was a model that included the five key
elements that were typical or characteristic of extraordinary teams. At
the same time, what were the outcomes and what we saw as the
outcomes of extraordinary teams were these outstanding results even
higher or better than what you would commonly known as high
performance teams and the personal transformation. It’s when all of
these things come together that that wow happens, that energizing
feeling, that connection that you get with the other people in the team,
that you’re hopeful and that you’re positively change. Now let’s shift
back to those sucky things and Todd’s going to dive in on one of these
indicators, just to give you a feeling for the indicators. I’ll just shift over
to Todd.
Todd Weinstein: Great. Thanks, Kevin. One of the qualities that really stands out in our
research is the diversity that exists on a team like this. By diversity, we
don’t just mean when people may look different or have different
backgrounds from one another, although that can definitely be a part of
it. The idea here is that what we’re really talking about is when
members of a team, embrace each other’s differences and see those
differences as a strength overall on the team. When that happens, they
may experience a few things, for example, they may explore and
challenge each other’s ideas. Of course, someone mentioned safety
earlier, the idea here is that safety would have to be present for me to
really feel comfortable to explore or challenge ideas, and to be open to
new ways of thinking.
Todd Weinstein: They would also move ahead through those differences to find
solutions. Even though they would be having a difference of opinion or
perspective, they would be able to get to more reasonable solutions
together that they’re working through. That also means a third thing
that is, they’re speaking up. They’re not avoiding the hard
conversations, they’re able to and comfortable to speak up and they see
those differences and that diversity as a strength. This is definitely one
of the key things that we noticed, and when we look at this a little
deeper, I’m thinking back to a time where I spent recently working with
a team that had a new leader and two sub teams that were having some
challenges. Think of this as a team made up of some analytical types
where people were really wanting to dive in and understand things
more deeply. Some more creative, innovative thinkers, where they were
really running into a bit of a challenge together.
Todd Weinstein: What we noticed in working with this team, is that what was happening
was a lot of conversations where they were not understanding each
other’s values, where there were tendencies for them to want to control
what was happening, and where conflict was happening, but not in a
productive way, there was a real lack of respect because they didn’t
really see things. If you look at things on the left side of the sucky side of
the continuum, what we wanted to do was to help them achieve their
goal of shifting more towards extraordinary and this meant getting them
into conversations that allowed this to become unstuck. They were
looking to learn about each other shared purpose and values to speak
up and be it find the ways to include one another, to have more
productive conflict, and to have cross functional work teams that were
really getting things done together.
Todd Weinstein: This embracing differences, if we go to the next slide, you can really
start to see what showed up here. This is just a snapshot of a team like
this, where there’s more detail in our report. You can see here that
definitely the lowest factor here showing up is this the indicator of
embracing differences. What this shows is that there are a number of
elements that are contributing to this team. What we wanted to do was
work with them through a series of coaching interventions, working
with individuals, working with pairs of individuals, with the leader of this
team, and really creating an environment where this became a catalyst.
For them to talk about those things that were undiscussable, for them
to really surface what was important to the team and allow them a
framework to get started and focus on how do we really want to make
each of these indicators change for us in a way that moves us towards
Todd Weinstein: Obviously, you can think of teams you’ve been a part of, or you’ve
noticed, where they’re struggling with some of these things. This report
became a way for them to begin to talk about it, and allowed us to begin
to work together. With that, I’d love to hand it back to you, Kevin, if you
want to take us a little bit more in terms of what are some of the ways
in which we can begin to make that shift happen?
Kevin Coray: Yeah. I mean, the key here is that teams are perfectly designed to get
the results they get. Sucky teams are perfectly designed to get sucky
results, but the elements that exist in those teams is what makes it so
and nothing is going to change unless somehow we change those
elements. Let that sink in a little bit. The teams are perfectly designed to
get the results they get. There has to be a way to disrupt the system, the
existing system, and then you have to do things like not leave it to
chance we have to intervene in some way, we have to be highly
intentional. Measuring it using something like the ETI to show and get
things on the table is huge as a way to open the conversation. Then,
from a coaching standpoint, you really have to work hard to change
behaviors, habits, culture, norms, the ground rules or other structural
elements that might be outside the team itself.
Kevin Coray: Sally, can you talk more about an extraordinary team and how it shows
up on the ETI?
Sally Stamp: Sure. I’d also like to add to what Todd was describing how in the actual
report there’s much more explanation of these indicators. An essential
piece that I discovered in reviewing data with teams that have taken the
assessment is they typically look at the lowest scores. That’s probably all
of us when we get feedback on something we look at, okay, what’s not
working as opposed to what is. Yet, what we would say is that
regardless of where you score on this, there’s always an opportunity for
growth and development. I’ve found it so interesting that teams will say
when they look at their scores, for example, in this one, “I thought we
were better and embracing differences.” Again, as Todd said, it opens
up the opportunity to talk about these things that teams don’t typically
take the time to talk about. From that standpoint, it can be one more
tool for any of you that are in team advising roles to use with the team.
Sally Stamp: To get back to your question, Kevin, and thank you, I’ve had an
opportunity to do an ETI with a number of teams in most sport in the
solid range, quite frankly and yet a couple in the extraordinary. One in
particular, I will describe, and actually we didn’t do the ETI until after we
had done some team coaching. While I’d like to take credit entirely for
their scores, extraordinary, I won’t do that. It was a small team in size, a
team that had a history together. While their roles were siloed,
functionally speaking, they did have a real sense of teamness and they
were truly curious individuals and they had an open mindset and
welcome to feedback. The engagement that we have with them did one
of the first steps that we would do in any coaching engagement, and it’s
a big part of all of this is to look at increasing awareness of the current
reality. We did a lot of individual assessments, personality, values,
strengths, and compared those, which allowed them to really begin to
appreciate differences and understand differences.
Sally Stamp: We also then looked at their vision, their purpose and really refined how
that was stated and looked at was it actually being lived behaviorally, as
well as just stated on a plaque. We also worked with them to identify
their roles or responsibilities, their current reality and all of the things
that entered into their teaming effectiveness. Again, this was the result
of the ETI after some team coaching and that continued afterwards,
their response to this data was, “We thought we were better in
embracing differences.” They still tended to look there, and yet realized
that they hadn’t embraced differences. They had acknowledged them,
and yet we’re not necessarily utilizing those to their full extent.
Kevin Coray: Sorry. Before you go on, I’m seeing here John has typed in a question
about, describe what highly intentional means with regard to making
the change from ordinary to solid or from solid to extraordinary. I just
say that this is an example. This is a team that made a big commitment
to getting substantially better and at work.
Sally Stamp: Absolutely. Another question that I have had from teams is, well, if we
finally make it to extraordinary what are the chances we’re going to stay
there? Now I have a thought Todd or Kevin, do you have a thought on
that as well?
Kevin Coray: The groups that are extraordinary do tend to stay there, but these are
really temporal results there if there’s a change in the nature or the
membership of the team, or the situation in terms of the larger
organization, for example, it can impact whether or not the team is
extraordinary. Extraordinary teams are really flexible, they’re able to
confront things that ordinary teams or solid teams can’t. They’re able to
adapt and stay extraordinary better than the other kinds of teams.
Todd Weinstein: I would draw connection as well to anything that we want to change in
our lives. If we want to get healthy, there’s a certain amount of work we
have to do to get to a specific level of health and then there’s a certain
amount of work we would have to do to maintain that. If teams want to
remain extraordinary, there’s going to be a certain amount of
maintenance work to always be paying attention to what helps those
conditions be there. Not just to work on it temporarily, but to really
make that a part and add in some mechanisms for that always to be a
focus for them. What we find, I think is that extraordinary teams find
ways to do that, to always be talking about what’s making this team
work, and what would make it even better.
Sally Stamp: Well, and thank you both, because I think all of that is so important that
not only expands on the whole idea of intention, it’s all about
commitment. As you said, Kevin how agility is a key element
demonstrated by extraordinary team. If that relationship exists, there’s
probably a likelihood that it can continue, however, it does need to be
practiced and done with intention.
Sally Stamp: Taking a look at the next slide about this idea of making a shift from
ordinary to extraordinary, what do we need to do? One other point that
I just thought of too is how extraordinary teams tend to recognize the
difference between task and relationship. I’m guessing all of us talk
about that at times. Yet, it’s fundamental to what Kevin talked about in
terms of personal transformation on an extraordinary team and how
relationship becomes important. Clearly, there has to be a balance, and
yet, that’s an essential element. Step one, if we would put this into a
step format, is this whole idea of awareness. Again, as Kevin said, doing
something over and over, is not likely to affect a change. Practice
doesn’t make perfect if you’re practicing the wrong thing. You need to
look at what you’re doing and really, what is the benefit of doing
something different?
Sally Stamp: Taking the baseline ETI as I said, whether it’s done initially with a team
or at some point in, for example, a team coaching process can give you
that opportunity to open up conversation. It is one element of data or
information, and yet I found to be a very vital one, I have yet to have a
team that didn’t find the experience valuable. As a coach, it’s very
helpful for me because it really does eliminate some blind spots.
Typically, as I said, people are surprised by some of the findings of the
ETI. Get help.
Sally Stamp: This reminds me of something that one of my coaching instructors said
early on in my coaching career, which is that, “Many clients, individuals
or teams believe that they can do everything themselves.” Her comment
was typically, “I don’t doubt that you can, I’m not sure that you will.”
Again, it’s not that people aren’t capable of doing some of the things to
have more effective teaming. It’s a matter of having the time and the
commitment and the outside expertise to make it the best possible. If
indicated, get help and help can come in a variety of different ways. I
think the ETI is just one of those coaching consulting is another one of
those but having a neutral party observe and notice blind spots and our
automatic responses to things can be very, very helpful. Todd, I don’t
know if you had any other slot related to that with your experiences.
You’ve worked in so many different disciplines and so many different
service sectors.
Todd Weinstein: Yeah. I think another thing is reconnecting people to why they’re a team
or a group in the first place. Oftentimes, people get so wrapped up in
the day to day activity and the busyness of their work that they
sometimes forget to step back. If we think about this question from
earlier about being highly intentional, what are we being intentional
around? What is the purpose we’ve come together in the first place? I
can think of some work I did with a hospital system, for example, that
was just simply about reconnecting all of the different people in these
roles to the importance of the patient and the patient care. The idea
here is how do we get people also reconnecting to not just what it takes
for them to work well together to be extraordinary, but why they’re
there in the first place? I think that’s often something that gets
Sally Stamp: Thank you. Let’s do a poll. Let’s take a look at the current reality. This
you can respond to in your poll, there you go. Thank you, Sara. Think
about a team today, it can be the one that you’re on at work. It can be
another team, any team and how would you rate it knowing what we
now know? We’re going to consider that sucking or could be better was
in that ordinary range. It’s good, it’s in the solid range, very good to high
point, it’s moving into extraordinary. Let’s go ahead and vote and see
what we learned about the people on this webinar. Well, the votes are
coming in. All right. Here are the responses. Go ahead.
Kevin Coray: I know that as we see the results that we’re getting about 6% say it
sucks and present around 9% are saying it’s a high point in my career,
and the rest are coming in the middle but skewed more to the sucky
side, which is fascinating. In general, across the teams is that we work
with, we find that the results are relatively normally distributed and
yours are looking that way, but a little bit shifted to the more negative
Sally Stamp: I couldn’t agree. I was really surprised, and this was all word language
that we used and yet could be better is a pretty high number. I think
that that confirms what we believe that so much work is done in teams,
and we all spend time in teams, whether at work or family unit or
volunteer activities, and yet, they’re lacking in so many respects. Todd,
did you have any other thoughts about that?
Todd Weinstein: I was just going to make a quick comment. I think this is really indicative
of what I’m seeing a lot lately as being more of a practitioner of this
work in the organizations that I go into where people are feeling like
their team experiences are subpar. Where we’ve put a lot of emphasis
on the performance of the individual, but not as much on thinking about
how the group operates, or how that team is coming together. I think
it’s definitely showing in numbers what I’m often feeling when I’m
working inside companies that this is a big opportunity.
Sally Stamp: The question that I often get is what if it’s all the team leader? What if
the leader starts? I think one of you want to take that.
Kevin Coray: I would love to hear your thoughts on that, if you have been
encountering that before. I’ve got another question coming in after.
Sally Stamp: I’m just reminded I didn’t have engagement where I was invited to come
in and do some team coaching by the team leader. When all was said
and done, and everybody was excited, he said, “By the way, I’m not
going to be part of the group. I don’t need it.” That was not hopefully
the case often, it can be a challenge. That’s where having the ETI, for
example, and having the team leader participate and getting some
results and being able to have some open and honest dialogue around
that can potentially lead to a discussion about the role that the leader is
playing in making it not as great.
Kevin Coray: Often times, when we’re going to find that situation that will share the
ETI results first with the leader, when the leader is part of the problem
and open up the possibility for a discussion, that maybe is a missing
conversation that has been needed to happen together with the
provider and the team. Sometimes the supervisor needs some coaching
before you go into the full sharing of the results with the team itself and
the team together in making the decision about how to move forward.
Todd Weinstein: An interesting comment we got in from one of our participants says,
“One thought, we’re all probably on multiple teams. If we don’t have
one we’d score is extraordinary and the sucky experience is more
present or stands out. I do have teams that I’m on that are good, but the
sucky one is definitely louder.” It’s interesting how that can be taking
them out of our mind share, even if we’re on teams that are working
pretty well.
Sally Stamp: Well, I know Kevin is a researcher, and yet I’ve read, probably not
substantiated research, though, so many times the negative thoughts
are what remain with us. Thinking about the story of lost luggage at the
end of your trip, no matter how great the vacation was, that’s what
you’re going to tell people about. I think some of that can happen, what
do we do about that? We have an idea of the current reality and
obviously, this is just one sampling. What we would suggest is
comparing that with a future vision. Imagine having an extraordinary
team, and again, regardless of where you are in the audience now,
whether you’re a team leader, or a team member, or a team advisor but
consider an extraordinary team. Think of those words that you used,
and that the research has suggested describe extraordinary. There was a
lot we heard about trust and respect, and psychological safety and
shared vision.
Sally Stamp: Think about how close are you in your team to that vision now? Is the
gap greater or lesser than what you thought it was? Then what’s getting
in the way of being better? I’d invite you to think about what you or
other team members are doing as opposed to sometimes all the
external factors that we suggest getting the way. The blame game, if you
will. Take personal responsibility for what’s getting in the way of being
better. A coaching question that I often ask clients is what will it be like
if nothing changes? What will that feel like? What will that be like? How
motivating and non motivating will that be? Finally, well, how important
is achieving your vision? In some cases, perhaps not as important and
that’s a choice you have to make. Yet, if it is important, then to take
some of the steps we’ve talked about and getting more insight and
awareness into the teaming itself, and then determining what you might
want to focus on to make it better makes sense. Anything that you
wanted to add, Kevin?
Kevin Coray: I think that’s great. Let’s move to what Kathy said about teams.
Sally Stamp: One of the authors, we love her quote, “Life is too short to spend time
in teams that don’t fulfill their promise.” Now, our take on that was,
because we’re not as politically correct as Kathy is, “Life is too short to
spend time in sucky teams.” Again, it’s about a choice. It’s about really
making a decision in terms of what’s important to you, as a team
member, what’s important to the team, and in turn to the whole
organization that the team is a part of. It’s something to take a look at.
Todd is going to talk a little bit about another way to do that.
Kevin Coray: Before we do that, I see a question from Malcolm about a fifth question
on the prior slide around. What are you prepared to do to make your
team extraordinary? How hard are we prepared to work on it? That’s a
great thought. I’ll just leave it at that. It’s well said.
Sally Stamp: Very well said.
Todd Weinstein: I might add that the questions that you were asking before are great
reflective questions for us. They’re also really practical and useful
questions to be asking if you’re a part of a team, or working with a team
that you can pose and get into some great discussion around. Think
about the vision, what’s getting in the way, what would it be like if
nothing changes, and getting people to talk about those things can be
great precursors to all this work.
Todd Weinstein: Let’s go to the going deeper slide here. Great and if you think of what
could be happening next, if you are part of a team or noticing that
there’s an opportunity for a team that you’re working with, to go a little
deeper on this and wanting to be more responsible for its performance
in that way, we are offering a launch to extraordinary one hour
consultation, which is really just a complimentary call to sit down and
help you do four key things. One is clarify? What are the results you’d
like to see with this team? Number two is what will it really take to get
there and really think through maybe at a deeper level what you’ve
been wondering about or wanting to work on? The third might be to
discover what’s that number one thing that may be holding the team
back? Oftentimes, there’s some root issue or challenge that hasn’t been
uncovered or talked about. This can be a way to explore that a little bit
Todd Weinstein: Finally, identifying the powerful actions that will move this team
forward or if you’re responsible for the performance of that team,
something that maybe you can be doing to begin that process? This is
something that we’re wanting to be able to offer for those who want to
go a little bit deeper. There are always the opportunities to use the ETI
and other tools that we have out there. Of course, the book is a great
resource as well. We wanted to at least, put that out there and then
maybe open it up for some questions to see additional thoughts, input
or other questions that may be on your minds as we pause here for a
moment to see. What would you like to add? While we’re waiting for
some questions here, maybe I’ll go to my colleagues, Sally or Kevin,
anything you would want to add?
Kevin Coray: Yeah, I’d add one thing. This is really, we think that in a one hour call, we
could get to the bottom of the four major questions and designer way to
move forward together with you.
Todd Weinstein: Sally, how about for you, anything to add?
Sally Stamp: Yeah, I thought I heard another question in the background. Yes. I think
that for all of us, we’re happy to share some of the experiences we’ve
had as well. I would say, if anybody wants to take advantage of this, we
can talk a little bit about that, especially for those of you in the audience
that are advising to teams. Going deeper is something that we have
found can be so beneficial. In our work, we typically don’t just go in for
an hour or two overall or even for one short event, recognizing that
teaming is a process, as is the coaching of teams a process. It’s
important to frame it that way, and also to help equip people to be
better on their own. It’s not about ever creating a dependency
relationship where we’re going to need help on an ongoing basis. It’s
really about developing the insight, awareness, choice and action
planning to do it yourself. I would add that, that was a long at Todd.
Todd Weinstein: That’s great. We did have a question that came in. Really a comment
that I think is a part of this experience, though. That was it being a huge
issue with a leader, who’s maybe more of a sucky leader. I’m wondering
if either of you would want to speak to what do you do, if there is one
person and maybe that’s the leader who doesn’t really seem to care
about that teaming experience? What chances does that team have of
becoming extraordinary when you have that one person, especially if it’s
a leader, playing a role of really not sponsoring or support that work?
Kevin Coray: I’ll take that. We mentioned earlier that we often go in when we
administer the ETI and work with the leader first to open up the
opportunity or the possibility of the leader. Hearing feedback from the
team in a new way and creating opportunity, have that missing
conversation with the supervisor in a way that hopefully is safe.
Oftentimes, there’s a deeper coaching that has to happen with the with
a team leader who thinks they’re doing the best they can with the skills
they have, and yet they don’t have a sense at a deeper level about how
their behaviors impacting everybody else. It may well be, for example,
that the team leader is the person who makes people feel not safe to
back to somebody who’s early, concerned about a sucky team versus a
really extraordinary one.
Kevin Coray: Then the question would be in honoring this, the supervisors sense of
why do you do that? Well, I did that because it made me successful in
the past and it’s the one way I know to manage teams. Yet we might, in
a coaching conversation, be able to move them to a place where we’re
able to say, at one point in your career that was probably functional, it
may have been functional even in earlier times in your life. Yet, in this
particular situation, it’s no longer functional and won’t help to move the
team forward. We’ve had feedback from the team about safety, and
what would that look like? What are the differences in the kinds of
behaviors that are exhibited when safety exists in the team? Mostly, the
team members wouldn’t be able to make that intervention, but when
we see it, we’re able to go deep with those kinds of supervisors. It could
also be that, that’s the case with individuals in the team as well that
their behaviors that they’re doing that are holding the team back.
Sally Stamp: I would add with respect to a team member who was potentially
resistive, disruptive or otherwise, not a team player. Lots of times there,
they really are not self aware. They don’t appreciate the impact that
what they’re saying or doing is having on the team, to have conversation
about that can help and there are times that it won’t. I believe
individuals and teams can change yet there must be a degree of desire
and intention to do that. Sometimes if there’s not, then that can be a
very real obstacle and it might mean that somebody shouldn’t be a
member of the team in my experience.
Todd Weinstein: Here’s one more coming in that, I think is an interesting one. Given that
we are often working in many different teams that are constantly
changing, or assignments that change with each project, how does it a
teammate achieve an extraordinary experience? If it’s the same team
working on multiple assignments? Or if someone’s finding themself a
part of many different teams? How do you make that an extraordinary
experience? Either of you have a thought on that? I’m happy to jump in
Kevin Coray: I’m happy to jump in. we’ve had experience couple of our extraordinary
team partners, we’ve had experience with consulting teams where you
change the people that you’re working for, the people you’re developing
deliverables for, or with engineering teams or with firms where project
work is such a big part of the way moving forward for our team. To the
extent that the team members shift, and you don’t have an existing
intact team, it starts to be incumbent on the enough people to learn the
key characteristics of extraordinary teams. As you reorganize into a new
project team, to bring that discussion forward about how are we going
to work together? What are our ground rules? What is it that we want
to do when we don’t agree with each other? In essence, to start to focus
on the relationship side of the project team, or the dynamic side of the
project team? The Extraordinary process kinds of side of working on a
project and before we jump into the task.
Todd Weinstein: Sally, I’ve got one more here. I’m wondering, if you can jump in on this
one. This is a question that says, I’m often on the end of making… this
person consults with teams and says, I’m often at the end of making the
case to the leader how important the teaming is, and requiring time and
space, even when delivery on tasks seems the highest priority. Can you
speak to how the ETI might help make that case for leaders?
Sally Stamp: Yes. Again, we’ve probably all had that experience. It’s a variation of
why do I need to do this? Then that’s the question, well, what happens if
you don’t? Often, I will show you a sample of ETI report to someone and
review the areas and look at what learning could come about as a result
of that. That can be very effective in helping somebody to see that going
just that much deeper. Again, it’s such an easy assessment to administer
and interpret and process that I think, from that standpoint, that’s how
I’ve approached it.
Kevin Coray: I think I’d als add that, there’s enough information out there about the
return on investment to the bottom line of teams that the teams that
are more extraordinary that exhibit these kinds of characteristics are so
much more effective in producing returns for the company. Although it
may seem that just keeping at it is the best way to go, because we have
so much to do, taking time to reflect and understand your own
processes is so valuable. May be that in some cases, you may need to
offer that research to the team leader and then open the conversation
that way as well.
Sally Stamp: Yeah.
Todd Weinstein: Yeah. I’m reminded of some of the research that Gallup has done some
of the more recent research that Google has done on team
effectiveness. A lot of times I’m seeing people bring in not only the data
from a team, but also other broader research efforts to really help make
that case. Usually, like you said, Kevin, it’s the team’s data that really
stands out the most and creates the most visceral experience for that
leader to say, “I really want this to be different.”
Sally Stamp: I’m thinking of two teams in particular that both scored extraordinary on
the ETI and the emphasis they placed on acknowledgement and
celebration. That was not something that they had, initially recognized
for what it was. The value of doing that was so significant and led to this
idea that we’ve talked about a personal transformation where people
just really felt transformed by the experience and a lot of it related to
that. We don’t always take time to do that.
Kevin Coray: Malcolm just asked a question about, how do you show up as an
extraordinary team member? That’s a great question. An extraordinary
team brings out the best in each of us that we have an opportunity to
contribute in ways. I think about the old Phil Jackson quote about the
amazing basketball team when he said, “We need to finish strong. We
need to take this team which is a whole bunch of amazing individual
performers and make them work together as a team. Where is it that
Jordan need to pass, as opposed to driving in and making a shot
himself?” It was that whole sense of how do we work together? Is a big
part of how do I be an extraordinary team member? Become curious
about others differences as opposed to being triggered by them. There
are a whole lot of skills that individual team members start to develop
and become more supportive of each other in really extraordinary
Todd Weinstein: From my experience, when I’ve seen this in action that leaders or the
team members as they start to learn more about each other’s
capabilities and differences. That’s how the energy gets built. The
curiosity, like you said, really drives a deeper understanding of what can
everyone do to contribute? Now I know who to go to when I have a
question or need some support on something that up until now I’ve
been I’ve been struggling with on my own. That begins to build that
momentum as well.
Todd Weinstein: I know we’re getting close on time. I guess I just want to check in with
Sara and see if there’s anything else you’d like to add in here at this
point, or if you want us to keep taking questions. I know we’re getting to
the top of the hour.
Sara Lindmont: Yes, thank you, Todd. Yes. I do one other question that I personally
actually have. We haven’t we have a little bit of time here to go ahead
and answer that. If you do have any other questions, though, everyone
out there, go ahead and send those in anything we don’t get time for
today we’ll answer by email after the session. You will get all your
questions answered, go ahead and send those in. I personally have a
question, I volunteer a lot. I’m on these short teams, where you’re not
with these people all that long of a time, and sometimes it’s really
awesome and sometimes it is just terrible. My question is, are there
times where that’s just okay, and we all tend to just suffer through it?
Are there other things that maybe we should be doing? Are there times
where it’s just like, we just accept them?
Kevin Coray: Yeah, thanks Sara. There’s a fair amount of teams that I’ve worked with
are boards that change over time, particularly for not for profit
organizations. One of the things that I find over and over and over again,
is if we can orient the board to what makes great teams as part of their
orientation as opposed just about the mission and the roles of the board
members, it makes a huge difference and how they work together.
That’s going to happen over and over and over again, a board will
change maybe every year or maybe every three years and not for profit
organizations. It’s a constant battle for the executive director and the
staff to manage the dynamics of the board shifting. It’s a great way to
just start with board activity is to be able to have them have an
experience of working together and then use the ETI to then go to a
deeper place that board retreat for example.
Sally Stamp: Well, I won’t jump in Sara was saying that something I’ve done with
informal groups is a little like what we did today. When we’re getting
together for just a project, a task force or anything to say, “Okay, we
have a choice about what we want this experience to be like short lived
as it is. Let’s think about a great experience that we had.” Everybody just
give some thoughts on what allowed that to happen. Like Kevin is
saying, just so that we have some awareness before entering into the
relationship can jumpstart the process towards making even that
Kevin Coray: Yeah, exactly. To try to get this positive vision of how we’d like to be
because everybody knows fundamentally what they need to do to move
in that direction. They may not be highly skilled, but at least they’re
leaning in the same direction and their moral open to help.
Todd Weinstein: My one small add might be the word being, like you said, how do we
want to be? Oftentimes, when we’re on a team, we focus on what do
we need to do? What do we need to get done? I think bringing in both
sides of that, what do we want to do? How do we want to be together?
Identifying that up front can make a big difference from an early outset
of any team or group experience.
Sara Lindmont: Great. Good. Thank you. I just want to share I don’t know if you guys
have seen it, but we have a comment here. That came in from an
attendee that says that he loves how the three of you work together
and played off each other. I thought that was a great example of some
extraordinary teaming.
Kevin Coray: We do try to practice what we preach.
Sara Lindmont: It’s great, good. Well, thank you so much, Kevin, Sally and Todd. That
was really wonderful. We appreciate everyone today participating in
some great participation. Thank you so much. I do just want to share for
those of you who don’t know HRDQ, we publish research based
experiential learning products that you can deliver in your organization.
You can check out our online or print self-assessments and workshops,
like the Extraordinary Teams Inventory, the foundation of today’s
session. We also have up-out-of-your-seat games, reproducible
workshops that you can customize. Check those out.
Sara Lindmont: We do have a team of practitioners that can come help you deliver a
session, the coaching that Todd talked about as well. We have
practitioners that can come on board and help you internally in your
organization for teaming, and all sorts of people skills topics. We do look
forward to being yourself skills training resource. I just want to say
Kevin, Sally, Todd, thank you for joining us today.
Todd Weinstein: Thank you for having us.
Sally Stamp: Thank you.
Sara Lindmont: Thank you everyone for participating in today’s webinar and happy

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