The Art of Working in Teams and Groups: Breaking the Collusion of Mediocrity, Building Firm Engagement


About the Course

The collusion of mediocrity occurs when we seek to avoid being honest in order to keep things “nice” and “comfortable. We try to avoid awkwardness by maintaining the status quo rather than challenging it. The result: mediocrity. “

Some people don’t collude but too many do. In business this occurs both internally between employees and managers and externally with customers and suppliers. It is often born of fear. “If you are honest around here, you are viewed as a trouble maker” or “Our customers aren’t open to feedback and we don’t want to risk losing the contract”.

When collusions are broken, the results can be damaging. Hearing the truth is not always an easy process. It takes time to get used to it. Honesty may have to be re-asserted as a value in a company that as become a collusion of mediocrity.

Non-colluding organisations achieve greater performance because there is nothing blocking openness, authenticity and real conversation. It can be awkward at first but over time, when teams and groups get used to not colluding, it feels freeing and refreshing; it also feels more dynamic, positive and motivating as things get done and we make full use of all of our resources. Engagement and involvement goes up because we feel listened to and feel that the conversation is real and helpful. Groups start to work much more effectively together. Stress can be reduced as fear and dissatisfaction are no longer “bottled up”. The organisation feels more awake and alive.

This life-changing course can help to create more confident, dynamic and motivated teams and groups. Very practical and hands-on, we will explore what goes wrong in groups and how to improve how teams and groups work. We’ll step free of “cheesy” and superficial views of teams and help to create a more authentic and workable definition of how we can work socially together.

Course Approach

This workshop-style course takes a very hands-on and practical look at the real dynamics of teams and groups. Participants will explore and try out a range of successful approaches to:

  • communicating effectively in teams and groups

  • understanding and practising what team working really is

  • learning and practising the difference between “advocating” and “enquiring”

  • breaking collusions of mediocrity

  • resolving conflict and difficulties in groups

  • solving problems effectively in groups – including groups that include our suppliers and our tenants

  • leading and facilitating team and group meetings

  • identifying how we can facilitate and lead groups and teams

  • facilitating diversity in groups and teams

Course Outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will have drawn on their own experiences of this particular but vital topic. We’ll explore what groups and teams in our organisation are working less well and that will allow for greater clarity and some real actions to take away to transform the groups and teams we work in. We’ll have practised collusion breaking and the skills of naming issues, and bringing suppressed questions and issues to the surface. We’ll feel more energised and motivated in the groups and teams we work in.

About the Facilitator

Paul Levy has worked on customer care with over 30 housing associations in recent years, as well as leading workshops all over the world exploring how to ensure customer service is authentic and effective. He is director of CATS3000, a change consultancy based in Brighton, UK. Paul is the author of the book Digital Inferno.



About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.
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