Team Building and Conflict Resolution

Effective organizations nurture and benefit from strong teams. Kela Associates helps our clients build strong teams — leadership teams, program and admin teams, board teams, etc. Here’s how :We Excel by Helping You Excel

1) Clarification of Mission, Vision, Values, and “SMART” Goals: Often conflict among team members is the result of lack of clarity about organizational mission, vision, values, or goals. Kela helps our clients clarify mission, develop an inspiring vision of success, and agree on core values. Then we help our clients develop goals that Specific, Measurable, Aggressive yet achievable, Relevant [to mission, vision, and values], and Time-bound. With goals for achievement of mission clarified, many of the conflicts among members of leadership teams disappear or can be more easily resolved.  See our strategic planning and facilitation offerings.

2) Clarification of Roles and Responsibilities: Sometimes conflicts among team members arise because there is insufficient clarity about the roles and responsibilities of each team member and how individual performance will be measured. Kela Associates helps our clients:

  • Develop clear performance-oriented job descriptions;
  • Identify critical points of inter-dependence where one team members’ success depends upon the performance of another;
  • Data needs for successful team performance — so the right data gets to the right person at the right time in the right form to enable that person to take the right action or make the right decision;
  • Provide the coaching, feedback, support, and to ensure that performance improvement occurs whenever and wherever needed.

3) Developing  “Shared Commitments”:  For a number of clients we helped develop a set of “shared commitments.” These are compacts or agreements between team members. They help each team member understand what behaviors colleagues want and expect. In developing them, each team member has the opportunity to tell their colleagues what behaviors are wanted and needed in return.  Once “shared commitments” are agreed upon, we design processes to help teams use these “shared agreements” to improve teamwork and performance over time.

4) Fostering Co-Intelligence:  Conflict frequently arises when team members wage “right-wrong” arguments rather than using co-intelligence to arrive at the wisest possible answer. Kela Associates helps nonprofit teams learn and practice techniques for:

  • Respectful communication, using point-of-view language to present one’s perspective while honoring other perspectives on the team,
  • Proactively listening for the intelligence of the other,  and
  • Creative problem solving, including identifying solutions that embody the wisdom of different members of the team.

Kela tools include a systematic protocol for mastering productive conflict and achieving commitment in the face of disagreement.

5) Assessing Team Health and Improving Team Performance: Kela Associates can help your teams identify strengths to build on and diagnose areas in which performance can be improve. Using a well proven assessment tool that we modify or adjust to meet the particular circumstances of your organization’s most important team(s), we can help you measure, track, and improve team culture, health and performance. 

6) Retreat Facilitation: Kela Associates helps build board leadership and governance team strength and stronger partnerships between boards and staffs by facilitating retreats.  These retreats can focus on strategic planning, business plan development, sharing 360 assessments, or other topics of concern, but team building is always one of the goals and most important outcomes. To build strong teams we focus on:

  • building trust,
  • learning to appreciate diverse work styles and perspectives,
  • transforming conflict from destructive to constructive and from dangerous to safe through clear and  straight-forward communication and great listening,
  • overcoming barriers to shared commitment, 
  • embracing and practicing shared accountability, and
  • focusing on results.

7) Providing Team Building Training and Coaching:  Kela Associates helps provide training and coaching in nonprofit leadership team and/or board-staff collaboration to:

  • appreciate and harmonize differing work styles,
  • call out “elephants in the room” and address them,
  • encourage honest straightforward conversations about the most difficult and important subjects,
  • encourage accountability,
  • resolve clashes in organizational sub-cultures, and
  • promote mutual respect, teamwork, and highest wisdom. 

 At the heart of this work is helping leadership teams learn to listen better and enhance communication.

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