What Could Be Better
While conversation models worked in drawing team insights, setting up the day with a "climate of openness" was crucial, and this largely fell on facilitators. Even with our facilitation experience, some of the shortcomings were jokes that aimed to diffuse a serious, reflective environment, and some discomfort from the leader's engagement. Our insight is that it is important to establish a buy in from the leader and for them to trust the process as they undergo a transfer of power. It is important before the session to let them be keenly aware of this. Conversation cards were not introduced in this first session, but in conjunction to a day of learning about effective teamwork, it is actually the missing element to continue the conversation in the team. They should be given at the end of session for the team as a framework for continued team discussions.
Obviously, one workshop is not enough. I will continue to conduct workshops to test the strength of psychological safety and conversation models. In the next workshop I plan on using this field guide and conversation cards as a give away so teams can sustain their dialogue. Because of the management nature of effective teamwork as a topic, many creatives don't drift naturally to learn about it. The mini-experience created from a workshop is a fun and engaging way of getting creatives onboard so they see the need for it. As such, a workshop currently seems the best way to introduce these concepts, with conversation cards as companion tools. Team leaders and members who have experience, or who are interested in facilitation, should carry on the conversation.