BDP: The Three-Stage Process
Poor performance and board/team dysfunction starts with emotional disconnection. When members do not know how to connect with each other, they get caught in a negative cycle which moves them away from safety and connection, into distance and conflict. Board/team members get stuck in a repetitive way of relating and reacting to each other. This looks like anger-demand followed by numbing and withdraw.
Through the Board/Team Dynamics Process or BDP, we reconstruct emotional responses that change the negative pattern of distress and guide board/team members into new emotions that structure a new pattern of interaction where board/team members start to pull each other closer rather than pushing each other away.
BDP helps create emotional connection where members can stay accessible, responsive, and engaged – key components of a secure relationship. Board/team members become more effective, collaborative, engaged, and much more aligned with the company’s strategies, vision, mission, and core values. The more emotionally connected board/team members are, the more positive, cohesive, and effective they become. It offers:
- A clear focus on the elements of board members distress based on the scientific research on emotion, adult relationship and productivity. BDP offers a clear map of addressing board/team relationship problems and its strengths. It is on target.
- A defined set of skills and techniques to transform interactions between board/team members as emotions are being explored and addressed through key interventions.
- Empirically validated research that has been tested in different settings, by various researchers.
- A solid framework based on attachment theory for coherent understanding of human distress, the goals of the process, and the key interventions that have a profound impact on productivity and collaborative culture.
Through BDP, board and team members expand and re-organize their key emotional responses, creating a positive shift in team interactional patterns that elevates the company’s performance.
STEP 1: Understanding the current process and interaction difficulties.
STEP 2: Identifying and developing awareness of the ineffective steps in the cycle.
STEP 3: Understanding the underlying emotions and triggers contributing to the negative cycle.
STEP 4: Becoming aware of the problem in terms of the negative cycle and identifying safety needs.
STEP 5: Aligning the board/team through deepening each person’s active engagement.
STEP 6: Promoting to be accessible, responsive, and engaged, creating new interactional responses.
STEP 7: Facilitating new positive interaction through open emotional engagement and bonding moments.
STEP 8: Integrating new interactional responses when addressing differences and challenges.
STEP 9: Validating effective interaction, reinforcing safety and maintaining emotional connection.
The techniques that are outlined in BDP increase emotional connection and make boards and teams more effective, collaborative, engaged, and much more aligned with the company’s strategies, vision, mission, and core values. Our experience working with boards and executive teams show that the more securely connected members are, the more positive, cohesive, and effective they become.
Negative emotions cause rigid and constricted patterns of interaction and create unsafe environments. This limits engagement, collaboration, and prevents the board or team members from developing secure relationships with each other.
The goal of BDP is to:
- Expand and re-organize key emotional responses
- Create a positive shift in interactional patterns
- Foster safe and secure board and team relationships
By the end of the process, board and team members will not only be reconnected but will know how to stay united and strong in addressing challenges together. These challenges include dealing with changes in the economy, in the environment, the competition, or taking the organization through a transition.
An Example of the Change Process
In a session, a CEO’s numbness and withdrawal expands into a sense of hopelessness, a feeling of distress, and disconnection. He begins to assert his need for respect and, in doing so, becomes more accessible to his board. He moves from “There is no point in talking. I don’t want to fight.” to “I do want to work together with my board. I want them to give me a chance. Stop poking me and let me learn to be there for you.” His directors’ critical anger then expands into fear and shame. They can ask for and elicit reassurance. They move from ” You don’t get it.” to “It is so difficult to say – but we need you to reassure us.”
New cycles of bonding interactions occur and replace negative cycles such as pursue-withdraw or criticize-defend to reach-support. These positive cycles then become self-reinforcing and create permanent change. The relationship becomes a safe haven and a healing environment for every board or team member.
In dealing with human interactions (with the proper training) it is relatively straight forward to identify emotions and negative patterns which diminish our cognitive and social abilities. In order to break these unproductive cycles or to institute change of any type necessitates organizations and leaders to learn new “emotional connection“ skills; hence, the importance of BDP. It is a transformational journey enabling organizations and leaders to unleash the power of emotional connection.
This does not happen overnight, it requires enactments, time, and hard work. Through the application of BDP, you and your organization can achieve positive and sustainable results leading to enhanced and more effective team functioning and decision making. The result is ultimately improved productive, performance and Return-On-Investment (ROI).
For a summary article describing BDP, click here.