They laughed at my team, until we got to work - how to create teams that perform

Here’s the paradox; history, from the pyramids to a man on the moon, is the story of extraordinary teamwork, yet today, most work teams fail to fulfil their potential and most people have never belonged to a high performance work team. Relationships with teammates are the primary cause of people leaving their job and a significant source of stress.

Neurologically hardwired to crave social engagement, human behaviour is dominated by relationships and desires to be included; factors that persistently override personality and aptitude in determining behaviour. In rapidly changing, complex, modern organisations these psychological processes are little understood. Tragically the situation is getting worse as organisations unaware of team dynamics, and often supported by occupational psychologists, focus on individual performance to the detriment of collaboration, engagement and fulfilment. Pride, the currency of teamwork, has been devalued.

Attend this course to learn how to redress the balance. The training introduces the concept of Teamship, which draws from Social Identity Theory, Self-categorisation Theory, Systemic Family Therapy, Neuroscience and the Hogan Dark side to help you understand how teams work and offer a practical and coherent way to facilitate the creation of high performance teams.

09:00 Registration
09:30 Workshop starts
16:45 - 17:00 Workshop ends


Psychological theory underpinning the workshop

This workshop focuses on Teamship; which describes the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that are found in high performance teams and absent in ordinary teams. Its theory has two origins:

First, Social Identity Theory (Tajfel, 1974) and Self Categorisation Theory (Turner 1981), which explain the group and cognitive processes that lead people to modify their behaviour in group situations. Both are supported by extensive research (Haslam, 2004 or Brown, 1999) that suggests group processes in high performance teams override personality and redefine motivation, making personality focused team development redundant. Confidence has been further enhanced by fMRI research that gives insights into the neurological mechanism of social influence on cognitive functioning particularly in the area of innovation (Berns, 2008).

Second, Systemic Family Therapy has influenced our understanding of how Teamship is created and derailed. Tools from this theoretical perspective help teams recognise how behaviour is driven by the socially constructed meaning of what is said and done. In particular we use the practical application of Discourse Theory (Harre & Lagnehoven, 1999), and Positioning Theory (Campbell, 2006) to help teams develop Teamship and of Strange Loops (Oliver, 2005) to explore derailment.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Understand the psychological processes that affect behaviour in teams
  • Have practiced using diagnostic questions to explore a team’s strengths, its derailers and the systemic loops that block learning and change.
  • Know how to facilitate teams in a ways that transform the impact of "traditional team building"
  • Question the value of personality driven team development.


Chartered Psychologist Jeremy Holt is the founder of the Centre for Team Excellence, which specialises in helping organisations create high performance teams. He has worked with leaders and teams in more than 40 organisations from 23 countries. His diverse clients range from British Army officers fighting in Afghanistan to first-line sales managers fighting for market share; from Investment Bankers to Charity workers; and from CEOs to Customer Service Officers. Jeremy runs regular Master Classes at the Royal Society for the Arts, has led "topic tasters" at HRD, runs CIPD workshops and is a guest lecturer at Brighton University.

Booking Information

Target audience

Occupational Psychologists; Human Resources Managers; Learning & Development Managers; Trainers and Consultants who either are responsible for team development or "people performance." Sports Psychologists who work with sports team may also find the workshop useful.

There are not pre-requisite skills although participants who wish to use the approach should have basic facilitation and / or coaching skills as these will not be covered in the workshop.

Pre/post-course work

Delegates will be asked to complete a structured team investigation prior to attending the workshop.

Workshop fee:
DOP Members £220 (+VAT)
BPS Members £260 (+VAT)
Non-BPS Members £345 (+VAT)
Concessions £100 (+VAT)

Persons eligible for concessionary rate are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii, Rule 21 members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book


Society's London Office

30 Tabernacle Street



Wed, 12/10/2011 (All day)
BPS Learning Centre