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I recently facilitated a multiple fire department team meeting. The team had MANY items that they wanted to cooperate on to produce cost-savings for their communities, but the monthly team meetings were not moving toward accomplishing their goals. It was time for a team review to align their collective intention by defining their mission, specific goals and objectives with completion timelines. Since they had so many items that they wanted to accomplish, I helped them prioritize and organize subgroups to work on projects in between their monthly meetings.

If your team is not accomplishing your team goals, take a regularly-scheduled meeting to review the following:

1 - Is every team member committed to the team and its goals?

2 - What are the team's goals (long-term and short-term)? Are individual goals different?

3 - How am I contributing to the team's success? What can I improve or change in myself?

4 - What has worked for the team in the past?

If your team is having trouble communicating effectively, an unbiased third-party facilitator, like myself, can help keep the conversation honest and productive. Please contact Rogers Consulting at www.RogersConsulting.us to discuss your organizational needs and develop customized training or coaching for your team to reach its best potential.

Have you ever been in a team that is actively meeting, communicating, working collectively and individually toward the team's goals, and yet the team is not moving forward in accomplishing the goal?

It is time for a team reality check. Ask questions to get honest answers from all team members (do this anonymously for newly-formed teams that have not established a high level of trust yet). The questions may include:

- What is our team goal?

- What is your intention toward the team?

- What effect are you having on the team?

- What adjustments can you personally make to align with the team goal?

- How do your past and future actions move away/toward the team goal?

- Do you or others have other goals that differ from the team goal?

- How has the team been more aligned in the past? What changed?

- What would make the team more aligned, combine individual intentions?

The purpose of this exercise is to get the team aligned in the same direction toward a collective goal. Often team members don't know why their team is not performing well together, or they may blame others -- which doesn't help align the team, but they can answer questions about themselves to be aware individually and to be accountable to the team to resolve their own issues.

Once this exercise is completed, agree as a team to start each team meeting by everyone stating his/her individual intended meeting outcome, align into one outcome and redirect any divergent intention during the meeting. This should keep the team intention aligned going forward and working toward accomplishing the team goal.

Rogers Consulting

Are you constantly following the direction of others? Have you ever attended a meeting where someone stopped the meeting to take a moment of silence and asked everyone to imagine what could be possible? Do you take silent time to think of possibilities in your life, your work, your team?

If you have not experienced this recentlly, take a silent moment to think of new ideas and use your imagination. I have heard life coaches and management coaches talk about this in business meetings and books within the past year. I have seen the value of giving everyone in a team a moment of slience to process and contribute imaginative ideas that progress the team effort and create more innovative ways to succeed in teamwork.

I personally developed my own business concept after a talk on this topic, silently driving home in my car (after struggling to decide on my business direction this for a few years). If one person can completely change the direction of her life in a moment of silence, imagine the progress that is possible when a group of team members align and enact their collective imagination.

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