In 2012, Ruth Levin-Vorster was invited to conduct a workshop with a senior team of executives for a large multinational. There had been a number of changes in the management structure and reporting structure over the last few months, due to the implementation of a new operating system, and the executive management team was having a problem integrating different cultures from two decidedly different divisions, with equally different leadership styles.
Whilst observing the team the day before, Ruth noticed that whilst the leadership team was comprised of some very senior, competent individuals, many of them, as a result of the relationship dynamics in the room, were not present, sometime during the course of the 3 hour workshop. Yes, they were there in body, but not present in mind or soul.
At any given moment in time, certain individuals either engaged or disengaged during the course of a conversation. There were many reasons for this, some due to hierarchical fears, some due to race, religion, gender, personality, in fact in almost all instances, the individuals were probably ‘present’ only a third of the time, choosing to disengage for various reasons for the balance.
This dynamic was a concern to Ruth, as without the team being fully present, they were only able to harness a third of their potential, which in business translates to 66% less productivity, 66% less engagement, 66% less commitment, agreement, buy in and contribution. Without a fully integrated executive management team, who is all present 100% of the time, the new structure didn’t stand a chance of making it. And it was here, that the need to facilitate authentic interpersonal relationship training was conceptualised.