Tammy started by holding one-to-one interviews with the thirty-strong team, as she talked to individuals, it became clear that their problems were rooted in the constant change and instability they had been experiencing in the recent past. It soon became clear that they had not had a chance to digest and ‘grieve’ for the loss of previous managers and colleagues, for instance. They had also allowed themselves to believe that this ever-changing environment somehow signalled that they weren’t good enough. They were a demoralised and unproductive team that had become paralysed with anxiety.

Initially Tammy worked with them to help them get a sense of their own history. They had to grieve for the colleagues and working practices they had lost. Acknowledging the past was an important first step to begin to build a new team identity and to feel positive about the situation in which they now found themselves. Once they felt more of a team and more optimistic, their values and commitment to delivering a good service came to the forefront.

In the meantime, Tammy also worked with their individual managers, helping them to take up their roles with greater clarity and to use their authority and influence to achieve performance goals. Working with the management team as a group, helped them to clarify boundaries and identify how they might collaborate more successfully.

Over time, the whole team became more confident and as a result more productive. They became more focused in their conversations with each other and with their clients and as a result began delivering better services. They also learned to deliver on budget.

A team that had lived in the shadow of others within their organisation rediscovered their confidence and their self-belief, and found a path to better performance and service delivery.