Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) is a specialist hospital for dental treatment located in London, United Kingdom, and a part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) is the largest postgraduate dental school in Europe and has a reputation as one of the world’s leading academic centres for dentistry.

The following extract consists of feedback from Jacqueline Jackson (Divisional Manager)  and Dr Tim Hodgson (Clinical Director) at The Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) after Anita Pemberton facilitated a Divisional Management Team away day for the hospital, using Insights Discovery.

How did you experience the recent team day?

Jacqueline: "It's sometimes very difficult to “see yourself how others see you” – but it does us all good to take a look in a full length mirror every so often – it's not always pleasant to look at – but as you are facilitated though a process, the realism of what you see is less of a shock and more of a light bulb moment."

What was nature of the problems or issues that presented you with a challenge (in terms of people development/team issues) that you sought ACP’s help to resolve?

Jacqueline: "The team could be described as a dysfunctional family – with lots of bickering and “puffing out of feathers” – there seemed to be an "us and them" culture within the division, with each sub group feeling the need to defend their own position."

This session was the first time most of the people in the room had actually sat and talked to the other in a conversational way – even though most of us have been at the Eastman in excess of 5 – 10 years (in most cases more!).

Tim: There was no real understanding of how individual behaviours can destroy or enhance a working relationship. It's fair to say that there was a rift between the academic and the NHS teams – each had different drivers with no concept of unification.

What did you value most about the way ACP approached the work with you and the team?

Tim: "The approach was open and transparent and you were not afraid to deal with difficult individuals." 

Jacqueline: "It was approached in a playful but no nonsense sort of way - the team were left in no doubt that this was a serious session – but it was presented in such a way that we knew that we were also going to have a lot of fun. No one was allowed to not join in – people were encouraged rather than forced to put their points across."

How did Insights Discovery help you address team issues?

Jacqueline: "There appeared to be open hostility towards a certain personality type which was  inappropriate. Instead of stamping on the behaviour you let it run and allowed the group to challenge the behaviour which gave a very powerful message. I have had lots of “colourful" conversations from the team since the session, which although fun, does reflect the more serious side of the training and the depth of understanding achieved."

Tim: "You made people aware of their value and potential to derail process through lack of understanding of others personality types and communication styles."

What have been the results so far and any other benefits?

Tim: "Communication is starting to flow more freely across the team - there is less of a gap between the Academic team and that of the Trust."

Jacqueline: "The greatest outcome is that people are still talking about the day weeks later. People are also talking about how we arrange the next meeting and the need to have EDH / EDI joint sessions."

In a nutshell, what did ACP bring to the table that would cause you to recommend us/me to other parts of the business or other organisations?

Jacqueline: "For me – you brought permission to the table – permission for the 30 people involved to act as a group rather than as individuals – permission to talk in a safe environment whatever your role in the organisation – permission to say “maybe I should be a bit more yellow and less red at the team meeting”.

Tim: "A full day workshop that levelled the playing field and had relevance to all. It has catalysed change."