A fast-growing digital media firm had internal communication issues (as well as a major client with a rapidly-changing internal culture).
Friction arose among the digital firm’s marketing, technical, and client service teams over marketing’s promises to the client. Promises that the technical side felt they couldn’t keep. That left client services to deal with frustrated customers who were “having them for lunch.”
First, we coached team members with direct contact with the client. TAI helped each become stronger when handling difficult client demands or managing expectations. We showed them how to work as a team to support the client and the company, rather than work at cross purposes.
Using tools such as character analysis and role playing, we encouraged all team members to look beyond how they usually interact with each other and their clients, and see those relationships in a fresh way. They soon discovered flexible approaches to real life team and client situations.
We analyzed each player’s communication style, suggesting ways to hone their messages for more impact. At the same time, TAI helped foster leadership skills in every individual, including how to motivate groups, how to provide clear direction and the critical importance of assigning the right individual to each role for the task at hand.
In tandem with our work with the teams, we interviewed their clients about the personal effectiveness of individual team members. This feedback led to a powerful understanding of personal strengths and created a solid foundation for making them even stronger.
The Results: Team Change for the Better
Previously, the work environment consisted of antagonistic behavior and infighting preventing employees from being fully effective in their work and with their external constituencies. After our engagement, there was a significant and marked improvement in their own performance as they began to collaborate and support one another. No more over-promising. Or under-delivering. They discovered effective techniques to nurture and protect relationships, adjusting their approach for problem situations.
The marketing and technical staff began to actively listen to each other. In listening, the marketers came to understand better the technical side of the business. The technical staff saw the value of the marketing teams’ contributions. And client services learned to integrate the strengths of all team members on behalf of the client. Making for improved company morale. (And a very happy client.)
TAI approaches are now used to nurture and encourage the next wave of company leaders, helping ensure continued growth of the organization.
The president of the firm says TAI’s approach is the most effective intervention she has experienced.