Beyond Partnering: How to Create High Performing Teams on Projects

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Traditional partnering sessions are a waste of time and money. Period. I have developed a methodology that goes beyond the traditional partnering session and contributes to the success of all of the project stakeholders and the project. Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. We start with an introduction to emotional intelligence and the basics of beyond partnering. Everyone learns what emotional intelligence is, how it can be measured and improved, and how it relates to project and personal success. We also introduce the concept of physical well-being and the mind-body connection and how it affects emotional, physical, and mental performance, which contribute to project success.
  2. Project team members take the EQi 2.0 evaluation and Symptom Survey (physical evaluation). We will take the project team through their results and how it affects team dynamics, communication, stress management, relationships, and ultimately, personal, professional, and project success.
  3. Each project team member will create their own personal, professional, health, and project goals. While we are in this process, it’s a good time to focus on areas in the project stakeholders’ lives that they want to change-finances, health, a new hobby, quitting smoking, eating better, etc. We will take the group through project goals so that everyone is clear on the overall goals and how their personal goals and company goals tie into this entire process. We will also discuss the basics of communication, roles, and responsibilities for each project stakeholder and company. We will set metrics for project success and measure these throughout the project.
  4. This preliminary work will give participants a better understanding of themselves, their limitations, and what to work on. We also do some initial exercises to set a baseline. One is called the Four Quadrants. Participants divide a piece of flip chart paper into four quadrants and label them family, this project, personal, and future vision. At the top, they put their name and their favorite piece of music. At the bottom, they put some of their challenges for the project, personally, and professionally. This is a great exercise. It breaks down barriers and creates a lot of emotional threads among the participants. We keep this information for each individual forever so we can check in occasionally to see what has changed.
  5. We also have them write a letter to themselves dated the last day of the project that lists all of their accomplishments that they have attained as a result of the program as well as the results of the project. This future diary plants all of their accomplishments and project success in their subconscious so that even if they aren’t thinking about them consciously, they are still working on them. Recently, we have given the participants the option of making a mind movie, which is a visual future diary.
  6. There is much accountability built into this process.  We have cross function accountability partners.  For instance, the architect representative might be the accountability partner of a contractor’s project manager.  The owner’s representative might be the accountability partner of a superintendent.  They hold each other accountable throughout the course of the project.
  7. We also teach everyone how to coach each other.  There is a simple methodology where project stakeholders perform peer-to-peer coaching and group coaching, using the project as a backdrop and catalyst to help each other attain all of their goals and overcome any issues.
  8. We determine the group scores and address any group developmental needs as well as the project needs.
  9. We deliver learning modules spread throughout the project on various topics such as team-building, innovation, communication, relationships, stress management, time management, presentation skills, etc.  We create an atmosphere of learning, not an atmosphere of training. We also use the latest studies in neuroscience that tells us how people learn and retain information. We involve as many of the senses as possible during the learning process. We utilize reflective learning continually because repetition creates retention. We reflect each week we meet upon personal success and project success and measure the metrics that we have designated to determine progress.  These learning modules may also include areas specific to the project or group such as business strategies and vision. The programs we provide are truly customized to each individual, to each group, and to each company, and each project. And with minimal lecture and self-directed, experiential learning, activity-based learning, each program is truly unique.  This ongoing learning and checking in ensures success of individuals and the project.
  10. It is our experience that these leadership programs that we do for individual companies create a lot of closeness and trust and high performing teams.  We have taken the outcome and now applied it to projects.  When we apply this same methodology to projects, we create high performing teams and successful projects that go beyond partnering.



One Response to Beyond Partnering: How to Create High Performing Teams on Projects

  1. Reblogged this on The Construction App Guru and commented:
    Do you want to improve your project teams performance? Check out these tips from @brentdarnell. Have you ever looked at you EQ profile? Learning about yourself is a great first step in self mastery to improve yourself.

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