Within teams often ‘stumbling blocks’ hold the individuals back from ‘flying in formation’. By skilfully facilitating sessions where specific topics are addressed, remarkable shifts can be achieved.
Recently I have enjoyed working with the CEO, Melanie Veness and staff of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business. During five three-hour sessions, perceptions, individual values, professionalism and team functioning have been explored. Discussion and reflection have shown how broad their spectrum of individual values is. In addition, the rich cultural mix has added to the different ways in which actions are perceived.
It has been a fascinating journey with an increase in positive relationships (within the group) with understanding and acceptance being underlying principles. By building trust and practising addressing topics without ‘getting emotional’, a platform for future growth has been established.
One of the exercises involved developing a ‘Code of Professionalism’ for their team from scratch. Over five sessions by changing group dynamics each time, and further developing understanding of individual values and team morale, a code limited to 20 points was finalised and accepted by the group as being the points they wanted included and the carefully chosen wording agreed upon.
And that is where the game-plan changed! From the first session, they had worked on ‘we will at all times…..’. And in order to get individual commitment, at the last session it became ‘I will at all times…’ The final version below was accepted by all the team members and their individual signatures confirmed their commitment. This document will serve a useful purpose as a reminder and also provide a checklist. When unsure, the question for individuals to ask is: ‘Is this specific behaviour of mine in line with all points in our code?’
It is interesting to note how different this is from other ‘Codes of Professionalism’ developed during BEI training programmes. This is unique and specific and a great deal of thought has gone into it. I commend Melanie and the team on their commitment to improving professionalism and team morale.
Please have a look at the other example of a Code of Professionalism developed by a different group during a BEI programme.
PCB ‘Code of Professionalism’
I will at all times:
- Treat others and conduct myself with respect and dignity
- Be assertive, not aggressive
- Show honesty and integrity
- Keep our work area clean
- Share knowledge if beneficial
- Build positive relationships with others
- Ensure good communication in our team and be a good team-player
- Respect organisational confidentiality
- Work towards continuous improvement in achieving the goals of the organisation
- Be solution orientated
- Lead by example
- Have fun / FLAG
- Immediately acknowledge customers with a smile and greet them appropriately
- Portray a professional image in the way I dress, speak and behave
- Smile pleasantly so that others feel welcome
- Check all documents carefully to make sure they are of a high standard.
- Keep our customers informed of progress and be a continual support system
- Deliver exceptional service by ‘going the extra mile’
- Keep myself abreast with technology
- Appreciate diversity and celebrate differences