Team Coaching is a valuable resource for a senior leadership teams. Good coaching helps a group move toward becoming a real team by surfacing hidden dynamics so they can be managed. John Katzenbach and Douglas Smith, define a real team as “a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they’re mutually accountable” (1993, The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-performance Organizations, Harvard Business School, Boston). In any team, as long as the critical challenges of creating a team remain “not discussable”, they cannot be managed. Full team member engagement won’t occur unless each member of the team can trust that the conversation won’t end in harm to their objectives or to their future prospects. Crafting this environment is a central function of the facilitator. It also requires an investment in authentic participation by all team members.
Team Coaching is Team Building.
According to Douglas Riddle, Ph.D., “good team coaching helps the group take hold of their key team functions: setting direction, creating alignment throughout the organization, and building the commitment of everyone needed to accomplish organizational objectives. The team will do this work. Do they want to do it under the control of the strongest individual on the team or in the way that is most effective for the whole group? If the latter, some key questions must be brought into the conference . Typical questions are these: How does the group gather and synthesize the information on which it bases its decisions? How does the group decide what kind of decisions are required about strategy, policy, practice, and communication? In the absence of conscious choices about these processes, they tend to become dominated by the power relationships among the members and the personality patterns of each of them” (2008, Senior Leadership Team Coaching, Center for Creative Leadership).
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Facilitation, which is highly underrated, requires a mastery of a wide range of skills drawn from group therapy and individual counseling, to group dynamics theory and behavioral psychology. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and skill to navigate multiple levels of dynamics in-the-moment to produce insightful questions, meaningful observations, and to invite full participation from all present. Then add to that, the concept of “fragility of credibility”, as Riddle points out, and you begin to see the value of a quality facilitator.
Adventura has 25+ years of high quality facilitation under its belt. We are not timid when it comes to being authentic, nor are we shy about sharing our observations. We engage in this work because it is our passion and it will remain our passion to the end of our days.