Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Coaching Mastery – Becoming A Team Coaching Master

Coaching Mastery ~ Becoming A Team Coaching Master – The value of sponsor-leader-member engagement

We recently published an article entitled “Coaching Mastery ~ Becoming A Team Coaching Master – The value of sponsor-leader-member engagement” written by Janet M. Harvey, MCC, CMS, ACS

To be sought out and engaged as a team and group coach requires mastering the conversations you have with sponsors, leaders and members of teams and groups about the value of deploying a team coach.

According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Core Competency 1 skills, this involves maintaining the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions. According to the ICF Team Coaching Competency 1 skills, it also includes the following:

➤ Explaining what team coaching is and is not, including how it differs from other  team development modalities;

➤ Partnering with all relevant parties, including the team leader, team members, stakeholders, and any co-coaches to collaboratively create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans, development modalities, and goals.

The ICF Core Competency skills provide guidance as a starting point. Build your language and your business case for team and group coaching now because the need is urgent, as the data presented here suggests. The knowledge and confidence to evidence the value of the solution called team and group coaching must be developed, practiced and refined as the environment and context of business – variable by culture and experience – increases in complexity and change.

Let’s dive into some useful content to begin building your value proposition as a professional coach who supports teams and groups to be effective in the face of a hybrid work environment, blistering technological change, and an uncertain geopolitical climate that motivates productivity-killing anxiety.

Data compiled from more than 20,000 respondents to the annual Glassdoor employee survey – which identifies the 20 key drivers of engagement – indicates that almost no change has occurred over the last seven years, even for the “best” companies. And Gallup data from June 2022 indicates that the percentage of actively engaged employees is 32 percent, down from a historical high of 35 percent pre-pandemic. 

This means that 68 percent of the workforce is not actively engaged, so a new way of addressing engagement is needed.

Engagement is currently evaluated by the quality of the relationship between an employee and their manager. While important, that narrow focus leaves out the critical role that teaming, cross-functional assignments and temporary deployments have on organizational effectiveness.

Companies that adopt “always-on” listening tools to monitor engagement – such as pulse surveys, exit interviews, stay interviews, and open anonymous networking tools – exhibit greater agility and therefore faster recovery from challenging circumstances.

When leaders share feedback after every major company change and conduct open meetings to encourage people to speak up, they retain key talent and become a source of effective succession candidates for important leadership roles. All generations want greater transparency, inclusion, and autonomy for action because of what is learned.

Actions to install always-on listening and learning are well supported by a recent Tiny Pulse survey, which reports:

➤ 64% of employees said they wanted a check-in every two weeks

➤ 42% of millennials want feedback every week

The clear message: more communication and collaboration is needed. No matter what your favorite definition of leadership is (there are 462 million Google entries), I believe it’s largely dependent on a single ingredient: mastering successful conversations.

When this is examined in the context of the evolving composition of the workforce Millennials and Generation Z will comprise most of the workforce globally by 2025. For these next generative leaders in today’s business environment, feedback is central to agile performance.

Feedback can arise from many sources:

➤ peer-to-peer interactions

➤ collaboration and rapid teaming

➤ open networks that connect people and groups emotionally

Each of these require leaders to have effective relating skills and consistent character traits to be approachable and likeable with everyone. Building positive influence through consistently relating to others effectively is a choice motivated by one’s mindset and is a central focus of character development, individually and when in team settings.

Creating opportunities in any team or group settings for deploying coaching serves to accelerate and amplify delivery of feedback.

Top-down hierarchy is being rapidly replaced with a network of teams in which people are iterating and solving problems in a dynamic, agile way. Agility is the ability to make timely, effective, and sustained change when and where it provides a performance advantage. Becoming agile occurs through moving beyond personality into character development.

A shift in structures, roles and careers changes the way we lead, manage, reward, and move people throughout the company. It also pushes us to continuously learn – faster than ever. Scalable learning coaching mastery is essential, and occurs in cross functional teams rather than functional groups.

These teams are smaller, flatter and more empowered by an engaged leader. Modern leaders integrate always-on learning, exploration and dialogue to enable continuous invention, relentless communication between teams, and bringing people together in a shared culture. These are all areas that may be strengthened through team and group coaching engagements.

Teams and groups naturally seek to harness insight, although not often consciously. Notice that no one stays on a team or sustains attention unless there is something interesting and useful to explore and discover. Awareness and choice are available when members are coached to embrace this paradoxical experience with the intention for effective work together as a “yes/and” rather than an “either/or” experience.

For example, “Yes, I see your point, and here’s another” rather than “Either we pursue my way or I’m out of here.” This is a paradigm shift from a traditional approach to teamwork that emphasizes conflict resolution toward an approach that embraces conflict as the seed of creativity for new solutions. Breakthrough resides in the heart of the paradox and can be made conscious quite quickly through a team and group coaching process.

Inside of organizations, this paradoxical phenomenon is multiplied by the number of times individuals join and leave teams; even with learning, the impetus toward paradox is in the culture. Conflict ignored as a source of creativity leaves a lot of opportunity cost on the table and  generates a lot of productivity loss in and out of the direct team interaction.

These two phenomena offer coaches a way to speak directly about the value of deploying team and group coaching. A coaching approach emphasizes creating awareness and accelerates the discovery of the unconscious paradoxes operating so that the team addresses the source of disruption and breakdown more quickly.

Being generative as a team coach allows everyone to originate, create, learn, and produce results in any context, with synergy and accelerated performance

Tell us what you think about this issue and this Coaching Mastery article.

How does it apply to you and the women in your life?
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