Using the system not just talking about it.
Why is Systemic Team coaching more valuable to change programmes than regular team coaching? I believe it’s because the system and its key players are invited to the process to input and respond to the team coaching. The stakeholders of the team and the layers of the systems that they team operate in are not just given a voice but are asked to be part of the work.
Team coaching is a one-to-many session facilitated learning by a coach. A team is in the room together collectively being coached on their objectives. Systemic Team Coaching is defined as different because there is always a diagnostic (a 360 and/or interviews) that involves as many in the team’s system as can be handled. These players in the system includes all the team members and their current and future stakeholders both cheerleaders and derailers for the team are invited. All are asked to rate the team on all the team needs to be to add optimum value back to the system/organization and beyond. The questions they are asked are based around a team coaching model of Value Creating Team Dynamics. The data collated both quantitative and qualitative is then shared with the team so that they can respond through this truth telling exercise and no assumptions are left unexplored. Typically, the broken connections and hard truth telling players are then invited into the room to support change and learning activities. Then all parties truly feel seen and heard.
Coaches not trained in Systemic Team Coaching often ask what the systemic nature of Systemic Team Coaching is as we may already work with the system. I would argue that referencing the system the team operates in is not the same as using the system to accelerate change. For example, in team coaching the team can often share their disconnect with a stakeholder and try to work on fixing it without hearing the true perspective of what the stakeholder is thinking and feeling around the disconnect.
Think about what percentage of time is wasted in teams complaining about stakeholders, other teams and partnerships. Wouldn’t it be more useful that the team spends time on reconnecting the disconnects between parties. Now imagine that no time is wasted in just planning to do this but to have the team working with the other side of the connection, so both sides of the story are heard and addressed for the greater good.
Systemic team coaching ensures that the team listen to how to create value outside of the team by connecting the thinking to the wider organization. It goes further to bring in more lenses to the future thinking to ensure that not only business as usual improves but that they team look at future horizons to shore up their longer-term plans, activities and ways of working so that the team can be ahead of exponential growth and the value they can offer as a high performing, future focused part of the organization.
The magic is in the team really owing what they can achieve for the organization, themselves and future generations of team members beyond themselves.
Kate Freedman is a qualified Supervisor and PCC level Leadership, Team and Executive ICF coach. Kate has been coaching for over 10 years firstly as an internal coach for Unilever Plc as part of her Learning and Development role and has been running her own business for the last 5 years. She has a track record of successful commercial outcomes and credentials from corporate and private clients in a wide variety of industries and with clients at manager, director, and C suite levels. She is currently engaged as Supervisor for internal coaches with corporate clients in Banking and in FMCG and offer Supervision groups and 1-1 services through her website.
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An experienced accredited Executive, Leadership and Team Coach, Supervisor and Mentor