The MindSonar Team Refresh Programme – a great tool for project teams

Prior to becoming a coach and therapist I was a programme manager responsible for the development and delivery of a complex national programme. This involved coordinating people from teams of very diverse specialties: people who were mathematicians, IT developers, communication specialists and policy developers to name just a few.

On the whole, the programme team members got along well and all were really committed to delivery of the programme. Overall they shared the same end goal and vison for its delivery. However, disagreements and misunderstandings would often arise between different members, some which carried a real threat to the success of one or another area of the programme. More often than not, such problems were caused by the different approaches and priorities of the different areas of speciality. For example, the policy makers hated details and wanted to know that the overall concept was being developed well, whereas the mathematicians were focussed on accuracy and statistical significance. The quality controller was seen as a miserable person, seeing only faults and always raising problems and the communications person wanted simply the good news to communicate to our stakeholders.

If only I had known about MindSonar back then! It would have been a fabulous tool to use with the programme team to enable them to understand their differences better and so appreciate each other’s strengths and see their own blind spots. The Team Refresh programme would have been perfect for enabling each member to see that there was no single right way to approach our programme – that, in fact, it was the range of thinking styles that was the team’s strength.

Within a Team Refresh workshop each team member completes a MindSonar profile in the context of working in that team. Using these profiles, each team member gets the opportunity to discover the “superpowers” and blind spots of every team member (including themselves) and to consider how the different profiles might both cause them stress and be able to help them.

At the end of the workshop the team members have a greater understanding of themselves as well as of the other team members and have also learned how they can work together, complementing each other to the benefit of the programme that they are delivering. As a team they will be able to communicate much more effectively between themselves, and to other teams.

Equally importantly, the MindSonar workshop would demonstrate that in such projects all thinking styles are equally valid, and that each contributes in an important way. In the case of my project for example, the meta programmes Specific, Use and Information were vital for the mathematicians, whereas for those developing the overall policy the meta programmes General and Concept were needed. It was essential that the data quality control individual was operating Mismatching, whilst the communications team needed to be running a Matching meta programme to be able to tell our sector how well the programme was coming along.

Some of these understandings did evolve in my team, but only in a piecemeal way as and when an issue arose. Had I been able to undertake a MindSonar Team Refresh workshop early on in project I believe a lot of the misunderstandings and resulting conflict and delays would have been avoided.

If you lead or coach project teams with a variety of specialisms then do consider arranging for a MindSonar Professional to deliver a Team Refresh programme for your whole team. The improvement in the way the team work afterwards will make it a very worthwhile investment.

About the Author

Ann Finnemore

Ann Finnemore

Coach and Therapist, living in the UK. Previously a teacher, a medical researcher and then a senior manager in the public sector. After re-training, Ann entered private practice as a coach and therapist in 2008, co- founding the business Getting You There with her husband, a physical therapist. Her first book “Life in the Driving Seat”, 2016 (Goldcrest books) and is available from Amazon.

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