There are three stages and nine steps of the Board/Team Dynamics Process. In the first stage we focus on identifying the roles that board and team members play and the pattern by which they interact with each other. In this stage we also focus on identifying areas where they get stuck and how each board member contributes to the cycle.
Stage 1: Identifying Board’s Current Interactional Cycle
In this stage we look at the emotional realities that underlie and organize board interaction. We then, with the help of the client, get a sense of the issues that board members are experiencing, access underlying emotions, re-frame the problem in terms of the negative pattern or a cycle, and help to slow down the process to start to create safety. There are four steps in this stage:
Step 1: Understanding current process and interaction difficulties.
Step 2: Identifying and developing awareness of the ineffective steps in the cycle.
Step 3: Understanding the underlying emotions that contribute to the negative cycle.
Step 4: Becoming aware of the problem in terms of the negative cycle and identifying safety needs.
Stage 2: Restructuring Interaction – Developing Board Cohesion
The second stage is about restructuring the bonds and trust by creating a new kind of responsiveness. In this stage, we help the client identify fears and triggers that cause the emotional disconnection. We start to create new patterns of interaction by helping the client to stay accessible, responsive, and engaged. This acts as an antidote to the negative cycle – and new patterns of interaction start to emerge, creating a more secure and trusting bond. The second stage of the process consists of three steps:
Step 5: Aligning the board and the team through deepening each member’s active engagement.
Step 6: Promoting to be accessible, responsive, and engaged, creating new interactional responses.
Step 7: Facilitating new interaction through open emotional engagement and bonding moments.
Stage 3: Integration and Validation
The last stage is consolidation and integration. In this stage, we facilitate the emergence of and consolidate new solutions to differences and challenges. We also note the changes that the board members have made throughout the process, bringing awareness to how they have aligned themselves to the common vision, mission, and core values of the company and created a new, secure bond with each other. This reinforces the idea that together we are stronger. The third stage consists of two steps:
Step 8: Practicing new interaction responses to address differences and challenges.
Step 9: Validating new effective interaction, reinforcing safety, and maintaining emotional connection.
Going through these three stages, board and team members are able to experience a real coherent image, story, and a new version of how they managed to move from a negative cycle that caused so much emotional distress for them into a more positive cycle of safety, bonding, and trust.