The National Trust
Remote and flexible working is on the increase. If managed well it can increase motivation and productivity as well as reduce costs. If you manage a team that works remotely or is spread across different sites you have to be more deliberate about building the dynamic of the team so that individuals and the team as a whole can flourish and achieve success.
Laura McHale, Head of Philanthropy at the National Trust, manages a team that are often based in different locations across the UK and are commonly out at meetings more than they are in the office. She wanted to bring them together for a team day to introduce some new members into the team, help people make time to think, manage priorities and develop their networking and influencing skills. She also wanted, in an uncertain external environment to build confidence and resilience and build support in the team in order to equip them to meet their challenging targets.
The first part of designing and delivering a successful team day is understanding the brief, learning a bit about the team dynamic and what success looks like.
‘What I liked about the day, was that it more than the day itself. Lucy took time to listen and really understand the context and our objectives’ Laura McHale, Head of Philanthropy at the National Trust
Lucy developed an agenda designed to give a mix of teaching theory combined with practical application with a focus on taking tangible actions back to the day job after the workshop ends.
‘Lucy spent time getting to know the team and her subtle approach helped to build trust and manage different personalities, ensuring everyone had an opportunity to participate. She approached the day as if she was working with a room of 15 individuals rather than delivering a course to a group of people’ Laura McHale, Head of Philanthropy at the National Trust
At Lucidity we take great care to design an enjoyable learning experience. We design for extroverts who often like to dive right in as well as introverts who often learn better with time for reflection. People learn by doing and it’s important to find ways to help people with different learning preferences participate. We like people to laugh and enjoy themselves too.
The National Trust Philanthropy Team have been able to apply the learnings from the day in different contexts, for example using open and closed body language in situations other than ‘networking’ and using their networking skills to work across and influence different teams internally.
There have been some success stories too.
‘We used some of the tactics and techniques that we learned from Lucy to get in the right mindset at a corporate pitch. It helped us to stay focused when we had to wait nearly an hour for our slot, which would normally have played havoc with our confidence. We held our nerve and went on to win the pitch’ Laura McHale, Head of Philanthropy at the National Trust
‘The networking skills training has helped us at many events that we attend, especially in terms of networking confidently, being focused on who we want to talk to and connecting people who we know could help each other.’ Team day attendee