Teamwork Ugh

A woman talking to a colleague in an office.

Teamwork. Collaboration. It sounds so straightforward, doesn’t it? Time and again, however, leaders share with us just how challenging it is.

Many models describe what effective teaming looks like, the lifecycle of teams, and the dysfunctions team experience (thanks Patrick Lencioni!)

While there’s value in many of these ideas, in the individual coaching context getting down to the belief level of the individual on the team often offers a powerful way to help someone show up better in their role on the team(s) they are on.

As you can see in the quotes above, we come to the table with a lot of beliefs about what it means to be a part of a team. At earlier stages of our development, we may think about teamwork as making sure I do my part, without much regard for other people’s parts or the ultimate outcome.

As we grow, we become less focused on our own contribution and more on the goal or outcome the team as a whole is charged with achieving. We can offer help and participate in the give and take required to ensure a satisfactory outcome is achieved. Beyond that, we may be able to take on an even more expansive and generous view, holding not only the collective outcome in mind, but considering the individual experience, contribution, and growth of each team member along the way.  

Here at The Sparks Group, we gain a window into these beliefs through coaching, often helped by assessments. We favor the Aephoria Identity Map (AIM), which combines the Enneagram (personality) and the Identity Maturation Framework (maturity), which we can think of as two major operating systems that drive our thinking and therefore our behavior. We can complement the AIM with the Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 instrument that gives us a window into how key people around a leader experience that person. Taken together, this gives us a comprehensive view with lots of options for digging deep into how a leader thinks about and experiences group work. 

Have you ever had a similar thought to one of those above? Have you ever struggled with a team (who hasn’t)? Have you ever wondered how to make a team better and have an easier time being on a team? Ever wish you could re-create that one time you had a really great experience being on a team?  

Drop a note. We can help. 


Founder & CEO
The Sparks Group