No we are not suggesting that you actually use “speed dating” at your next team building off-site.
It’s just a nickname that we use for a process that helps to accelerate relationship development within a team.
How does it work?
We set up a schedule and seating plan for short one to one meetings between team members.
Meetings are based upon exploring the potential behavioural dynamics of each pairing in terms of the potential possible strengths and weaknesses within the relationship.
Importantly we make sure that each pair works from an evidence based profile and report carefully composed beforehand. This provides a credible conversation starter and common language to discuss relationship strengths and weaknesses.
Pairs will then capture practical steps and strategies for ensuring that they identify what to improve, fix and sustain about they way they work together.
So in short:
1. Profile the team:
We use the Belbin Model to create individual profiles that capture behavioural strengths and weaknesses based upon robust Self Perception and 360 degree Observers inputs.
2. Generate Working Relationship Reports:
Once the initial profile data has been captured, Working Relationship Reports can be generated that provide insight into the relationship dynamics between two people. These can be tailored to reflect the actual reporting relationship between these people (e.g. one manages the other, vica versa or they are colleagues).
3. Let’s Do Some Speed Dating:
The team rotates through scheduled one to one meetings that enable them to use the report as a basis for the conversation about how they may currently operate, and can perhaps work to enhance their working relationship.
This is often a wonderful prelude to introducing a comprehensive Team Report on the dynamics of the total team.
At the end of the day, “teams succeed or fail one relationship at a time”, so this sort of exercise can help to build understanding and accelerate the team development process. People are thus able to deal far more effectively with pressure points in team relationships and how they may impact daily execution.
Ideally this process is carefully tailored and facilitated by an experienced and Belbin Accredited person (either internal or external to your organization).
It can be a truly powerful component of any team building or team development process.