A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing the Team Alliance

DTA - Designing the Team Alliance - is a powerful coaching technique that transforms team dynamics and elevates performance. By focusing on creating a positive culture or atmosphere and fostering shared responsibility, DTA empowers teams to collaborate effectively, leverage diverse strengths, and achieve remarkable results. Coaches who implement DTA guide teams towards building trust, defining values, and fostering inclusion. They also promote shared responsibility by clarifying roles, encouraging collaboration, and cultivating a learning mindset. Embrace the transformative potential of DTA, and witness your teams flourish, thrive, and exceed expectations.

Josh Ether

11/4/20223 min read

Creating a strong foundation for teamwork is essential for achieving exceptional results. Designing the Team Alliance (DTA) is a comprehensive coaching framework that empowers teams to establish a culture of collaboration, shared responsibility, and high performance. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of Designing the Team Alliance, incorporating key elements such as identifying the team's agenda, setting context, designing the atmosphere, and fostering co-responsibility. By following these steps and integrating effective facilitation techniques, coaches can guide teams towards extraordinary success.

  • Step 1: Identify the Team's Agenda (and Park It) To start the process, it is crucial to identify the team's primary agenda or focus. This agenda could be a specific project, goal, or challenge that the team needs to address. Acknowledge and discuss the agenda with the team, clarifying its importance and relevance. However, it is equally important to "park" the agenda temporarily to create space for designing the team alliance. This allows team members to focus on establishing a strong and collaborative working dynamic before diving into the specific tasks or objectives.

  • Step 2: Set Context and Establish Agreements Before delving into the alliance design, it is vital to set the context and establish agreements for effective collaboration. Begin by emphasizing the importance of working together and achieving collective goals. Clearly communicate the purpose and significance of designing the team alliance, highlighting how it will contribute to the team's success. Engage the team in a discussion about their shared vision, values, and the commitment required to achieve their desired outcomes. This step helps create alignment and commitment from all team members, laying the foundation for a cohesive and high-performing team.

  • Step 3: Designing the Atmosphere or Culture The atmosphere or culture of a team plays a pivotal role in fostering collaboration, trust, and open communication. This step focuses on guiding the team to design the desired atmosphere that will support their success. Use thought-provoking questions to initiate the discussion. Encourage team members to envision how they want to be when faced with challenges or difficult situations. Ask them to reflect on the qualities, values, and behaviors that will help the partnership thrive. This collaborative process fosters a shared understanding of the team's desired dynamics and creates a sense of ownership and commitment to cultivating a positive and supportive working environment.

  • Step 4: Create Co-Responsibility Co-responsibility is a key component of effective teamwork. It involves each team member taking ownership of their actions and collectively working towards shared goals. Facilitate a discussion that focuses on co-responsibility within the team. Encourage team members to articulate what they will be accountable for individually and collectively. This process helps establish clear expectations and commitments, fostering a sense of ownership, collaboration, and mutual support. It empowers team members to actively contribute to the team's success and promotes a culture of shared responsibility.

As the Facilitator or "Leader": Throughout the DTA process, it is essential to embrace the role of a facilitator or leader who guides the team towards success. Pay attention to the team's emotional field and observe the dynamics within the group. Be mindful of the team members' engagement, emotions, and levels of participation. Provide support and guidance as needed, fostering an environment of trust and psychological safety. Acknowledge the partnership and the efforts of team members in creating the alliance. Express appreciation for their contributions and highlight the importance of their collaboration and commitment. Additionally, use the fading technique gradually. Step back as the facilitator, allowing the team to take ownership of the alliance and sustain its positive impact independently.

Designing the Team Alliance is a transformative process that elevates teamwork and unlocks team excellence. By following the step-by-step guide and incorporating effective facilitation techniques, coaches can guide teams in identifying their agenda, setting context, designing the team atmosphere, and fostering co-responsibility. This process establishes a strong foundation for collaboration, communication, and shared accountability, paving the way for exceptional team performance. Embrace the power of Designing the Team Alliance, and witness your teams flourish, exceed expectations, and achieve extraordinary success. By investing in building a solid team alliance, you empower your team to thrive in a supportive and collaborative environment, enabling them to reach their full potential.