When Green meets Green

LSGH HS English Faculty Team

LSGH HS English Faculty Team

The start of the school year frenzy is on! Parents and children couldn’t get enough preparation for the long journey ahead. But they aren’t the only ones gearing up for the uphill climb. The La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) High School English Department Faculty team also had its share in getting “amped” for the school season through a team building workshop held last June 4 through a partnership with The Green Box Learning Solutions, Inc (TGBLS).

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LSGH09The session focused on personal awareness as a step towards strengthening of interpersonal relationships, listening and trust-building. Team cohesiveness exercises were also facilitated highlighting the role of both the formal and the informal leader, cooperation and strategy planning.

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LSGH06LSGH04Over-all, the learners displayed enthusiasm and creativity, more than enough to solidify their vision towards moving as one team, all set for the new school year ahead.

LSGH 05Thank you, LSGH HS Faculty Team! Animo La Salle!

Strengthening Teams Thru Trust-Building Workshop

Steve Tamayo, Owner and President of Asia Pacific Catering Services and Restaurants Inc., walks around during events catered by his Company. He checks if the plates are clean, if the coffee’s hot and the chafing dishes warm. He feels that he owes this to their clients, to make their events memorable through excellent food and best in class service. As their Company grows, he knew that he needed his Leadership Team to share this mission and to be empowered as his partners in leading the Company forward.

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When the Green BOX Learning Solutions Team met Mr. Tamayo and the Top Leaders of Asia Pacific Catering Services and Restaurants Inc, they said that they want to be a Team that values each other and the Company, that shows concern for its members (“may malasakit”), that listens and communicates openly, appreciates each other’s efforts and believes in each other’s abilities. They felt that this is the kind of Team they need to be to if they are to effectively implement the organizational changes that growth demands and to respond to employees’ need for direction and confidence under the stress that is sure to come with growth and development.

The Team

To begin addressing these issues, Green BOX designed and facilitated a Trust Building Workshop participated in by all of the Company’s managers. In one and a half days, the participants established a common understanding of what trust is; they identified, described and agreed on behaviors that will build trust; practiced these behaviors and planned and committed to a course of action that will maintain and grow trust within the Leadership Team. The Company’s top leaders were present during the entire workshop, listening, participating in the activities and sharing their insights along with the heads of the different departments (Kitchen, Warehouse, Accounting, Sales and marketing, Corporate Office and Admin, Purchasing).

Action Planning_Albert's Group

During the activities, the participants worked together in getting tasks done; they got to know each other’s working styles, values and needs and they collaborated on working principles that will be included in their Team’s norms. Green BOX facilitated the processing that came after each activity when participants reflected on how they worked together, identified strengths and areas for improvement and formulated individual and team commitment statements that can increase trust, openness and eventually, effectiveness as a Team. At the end of the workshop, the Team was able to agree on and commit to an action plan and a list of five trust building behaviors that they will practice and monitor.

Outdoor Sharing

Trust Walk

As with all Team Interventions, sustaining the effectiveness of the workshop depends on how well changes in attitude and behavior are practiced and supported when the team members are back in the workplace. As part of its consulting process, Green BOX provided complete documentation of the workshop, recommendations for follow through activities as well as tools and references. Knowing how committed and driven the Leaders of Tamayo’s Catering are, the confidence in this Leadership Team’s success is high.

 

An Afternoon of High Flyers

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It was a burst of sunshine having been invited as a resource team given the topic of Team Effectiveness in the monthly seminar event of the Philippine Federation of Pest Management Operators’ Associations Inc. held last July 3, 2013 at the NIA Compound, EDSA. Our team was invited by Mr. Jessy Aquino, Charter President of the Federation and Training Coordinator and Board Director of PAPFI or the Philippine Association of Professional Fumigators, Inc. He is also the owner of SSPEX Sanitation Systems.

Our team was requested to deliver a 2-hour interactive session covering owners, managers and employees of Pest Control Companies in the country. We have not delivered team dynamics in a nut and bolt type, so at first, we felt challenged. It wasn’t long when we found and decided on the best design we feel most apt for the occasion.

Our activity was entitled High Flyers with the objective of building individual paper airplanes and setting them for launch collectively as a team to reach a marked area in the room but the catch is — the paper gliders should not touch the ground. Any fallen planes will mean a penalty for the group. The participants close to 50 heads were mostly shocked on how they will proceed with the activity. 2 groups were formed and were given time to plan the launch.Every minute which passed in the planning phase, frantic faces appeared and more clarifications were raised. The expected outcome is for the 2 groups to collaborate, one group will launch the gliders on one side of the room, while the other team catches them in the opposite end.

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IMG_6772What was the result? What we expected came true. Sadly, the 2 teams did not collaborate. Although there was an attempt made by a few leaders of one team to reach out to the other team’s leader but it was perceived as a “spying activity”. Unfortunately, the attempt did not solidify and another strategy of non collaboration was tested. Both teams used the “launch and catch the planes” meaning, after they have thrown their paper planes, they ran as fast as they could to catch them. In this technique, there were 2 successful cases of planes thrown and caught by the owners, one from each group.

Too often, people when formed in groups would feel they need to work exclusively within their teams and are inclined to decline from thinking outside of their autopilot modes to reach out to the another team to collaborate. Some people, by default would always fall into the trap of competing, staying true to the survival of the fittest concept, and totally throwing out the idea of synergy. What’s worse is when an invite to work together is extended, it will most likely be seen as a ploy to outwit their team.

Perhaps if the two teams worked as allies, the cost of the fallen planes would have diminished or could have been kept to a minimum. We hope the idea of collaboration and openness to shift paradigms were good A-HA moments for our participants.

How do we keep flying in our teams? How do we continue to shed our old habits or ways of thinking to allow for more cooperation and partnerships? Let me leave these questions to you as you reflect on your own personal experiences when working in your own teams.

Let’s keep flying everyone!