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Building Amazing Teams: A Strengths-Based Approach to High Performance


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Full course description


Applying a strength-based lens, we will explore how to foster the key success factors that guarantee high-performing teams!

All human systems rely on teams and teamwork to survive and excel in today’s world. Team success has a huge impact on innovation, engagement, retention, and successful operational outcomes. And yet, many organizations settle for mediocrity from the teams they form. Real synergy from collective effort is actually very rare. Moreover, today's workforce looks drastically different and employees are experiencing burnout and feeling disconnected from their colleagues and their mission. How can you foster the conditions that help create incredible teams, and keep people feeling sincerely engaged without perpetuating burnout?

This course addresses an age-old question, “How can we get the most from our teams?” with new eyes!  We will apply a strength-based lens to explore how to best attain and sustain the necessary safety, support, goal and role clarity, inclusion, and generative interactions to foster high-performing teams.

This course will help you answer some of these questions:

  • Why are some team interactions energizing and meaningful while others can be a real drag?
  • Why do some teams seem to “click” and others seem doomed to dysfunction?
  • What can we learn from ‘exceptional’ moments where teams felt engaged, valued, energized, and fulfilled?
  • How can conflict be managed in a way that becomes generative?
  • And what can you do – whether or not you are the ‘leader’ – to help your team become a truly high-performing team?

Over 4-weeks course participants will explore the following topics:

  • Week 1: Building Great Teams: The Basics
  • Week 2: Building Team Cohesion, Safety and Inclusion
  • Week 3: Factors that influence Task Effectiveness in Teams
  • Week 4: What Can You Do? Leveraging Strengths to Get the Best Out of Your Team Today



By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the factors that influence task-oriented team effectiveness
  • Desribe the dynamics that impact collaboration in a group, including the basic paradoxes that adults encounter in teams.
  • Design a strength-based intervention to improve team effectiveness.
  • Analyze how teams develop over time.
  • Articulate the conditions for healthy/constructive conflict in teams.
  • Apply the SGRPI model to designing a team development intervention.


This online course is intended to take 4-weeks to complete. All lessons and assignments are accessed through the online learning platform, Canvas, with the option to gather via Zoom. The course format can be tailored to meet the needs of your organization. Please contact the Cooperrider Center with questions or to enroll:




Ron Fry

As a co-creator of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) theory and method, Ronald Fry, PhD, works with groups, organizations and institutions around the world to increase their cooperative capacity in order to engage the whole system in strategic thinking, planning and change. His research interests focus on the factors and dynamics that foster system-wide, positive change, and he continues to develop insights on large group dynamics, appreciative leadership, multi-stakeholder strategic planning, and business as an agent for world benefit. Dr. Fry is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University and a Stiller Endowed Guest Professor at the Cooperrider Center at Champlain College.