Helping you to flourish

The α-Team

What is an α-team?

An  α-team greatly out performs other teams.  Its members have very high connectivity; they communicate on a deep and truthful level.  We can clearly see how they mesh together.  They are creative and dynamic.  Above all, they are far more successful than other teams.

Connectivity: how the brain works, or this tree.

High connectivity results when:

  • All team members spend a good proportion of their time doing what they do best, not constantly battling weaknesses.
  • Everyone knows exactly what is expected of them at work.
  • Team-members do work that challenges and  engages them.
  • The team has regular, well-conducted meetings that build energy and enthusiasm.
    Everybody has real opportunities to learn and develop.
  • Successes are celebrated.
  • The manager fully understands all this and knows how to make it happen.

Our programme of one-day workshops will help your team become an α-team.

How do we know it works?

The programme is based on the latest science

This shows that very small changes in the initial conditions lead to disproportionately huge, though ultimately predictable, results.  Therefore small changes in a team’s dynamics can and will lead to large effects in the overall success of the business.
We know how to bring about these small changes.

Tailored to the specific needs of the individual team, all the workshops in our programme will:

  1. Increase understanding of and develop the key skills needed for any team – whatever the size and whether newly formed or long-established – to become an α-team.
  2. Build team connectivity with practical exercises.
  3. Increase each individual’s engagement and resilience.

We recommend that the whole programme be followed in order to ensure the greatest benefit.

α-team workshops:

  1. α-team spirit:
    How does a successful team think?  How does it talk?  How does it work?  This workshop challenges how team members think about themselves, about each other and about events.  Using well-researched strategies for change, it opens up the emotional spaces that lead to optimism and creativity.  Then begins the vital transformation in how we speak, and how we listen.
  2. α-team manager:
    How  should managers prioritise putting the team’s strengths to work and then taking a step back?  This workshop hones the skills that differentiate the truly great manager from the merely good one, focussing on how a great manager thinks and what he or she does.  It includes topics such as how to understand and develop the core talents / innate strengths of team members; how to prioritise time and effort effectively; how to celebrate success appropriately and how to delegate more productively.
  3. α-team impact:
    How do you make the right impression from the very start?  How you look and feel influences your confidence, your performance and how others perceive and respond to you as an individual, as a team or as an organisation.  This workshop, delivered by an expert in image, impact and corporate identity, looks at the ABCs: appearance, body-language and communication: why they matter so much and how we can make positive change to benefit the individual and the whole team.
  4. α-team health:
    How do you achieve the physical and mental wellbeing to contribute your best to the team, and for yourself too?  This workshop, delivered by a practising psychiatrist, builds understanding of and resilience to stress and focusses on the small changes we can make to lifestyle that deliver huge results.
  5. α-team voice:
    How do you use your best voice to speak and present brilliantly?  This workshop, delivered by a leading voice coach, gives everyone greater confidence when speaking to large or small groups.  It focusses on controlling nerves, projecting successfully, understanding personal presence and use of space.
  6. α-team meetings:
    How do you run inspirational meetings that stimulate creativity and accomplish tasks ‘with ease and grace’?  This workshop, for managers and potential managers, focusses on writing a really effective agenda, achieving the most in the shortest time, building energy and team connectivity through mutual appreciation and listening.

To start building your α-team contact us

The Science

This programme is based on well-validated, peer-reviewed, widely accepted studies and findings in the fields of business, neurology, psychology and mathematics.

Some key findings:

  1. Connectivity, which is defined as ’strong patterns of interlocking behaviours indicative of mutual influence’ , is what makes teams successful.  But it is very hard to measure.
  2. It has been found that a very clear correlation exists between a team’s success, which we can measure by profit and loss, customer satisfaction and 360° reviews, and various ratios in the ‘speech acts’ (things people say to each other) of the team. The three measures are Positive versus Negative, Self versus Other, Inquiry versus Advocacy.
  3. Highly successful teams were found to have a P:N ratio averaging 5.8:1, with O:S and I:A ratios of about 1:1;

    Medium-performing teams’ ratios were P:N = 1.8:1, S:O and I:A ratios = 2:3;

    Low-performing teams’ ratios were P:N = 1:20, S:O = 1:3, O:S =1:30.
  4. The positive: negative ratio is the what most clearly correlates with the team’s level of success.
  5. Positivity broadens and builds.  Positive emotions make us more receptive and more creative, opening our minds to a wider range of possibilities than is normal;  negative emotions, in contrast, narrow people’s ideas about what is possible.
  6. We can develop a team’s  ‘psychological capital’ — that  is the confidence and efficacy, the optimism, the hope and the resilience of its members.  Increased psychological capital will lead to greater connectivity.
  7. Because of the way the brain develops, people’s natural talents are largely fixed by their mid-teens.
  8. Outcomes are non-linear: very small changes  lead to very large results.

What the terms mean:

  • Positive: showing support, encouragement or appreciation.
  • Negative: showing disapproval, sarcasm or cynicism.
  • Inquiry: questioning aimed at exploring and examining to understand.
  • Advocacy: arguing in favour of the speaker’s viewpoint.
  • Self: referring to the person speaking or to the present group or to the organisation the speaker belongs to.
  • Other: referring to a person or group outside the organisation the speaker belongs to.

Losada diagram

The Complex Dynamics of Three Types of Business Teams (Losada and Frederickson 2005) Dark grey represents high performing teams, light grey shows medium performing teams and white shows low performing teams. The vertical axis represents emotional space.

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