Everyone has a breaking point

Everyone has a breaking point

Internationally-certified (team) coach Angela van Dorssen talks about her daily practice. She has been a certified neuro-transformational coach since March 2020.

I was recently asked to work with a small MT in the SME sector. They were all lovely people, but they were no longer able to work together. Things were getting pretty heated. The conflict between them was already apparent in the initial meeting. Believe it or not, that was a good sign for me as a team coach. It told me the team wanted to be a better version of itself, but wasn’t able to take that step yet. The team was stuck in repetitive patterns of behaviour that keep triggering conflict.

An intake with all MT members individually enabled us to get to the heart of the problem. It became apparent that past business decisions were the seeds of conflict between the team members.

The pain of powerlessness

What emerged so painfully from the intake session was a shared sense of powerlessness and frustration. They didn’t know this about each other. Up until now, they had only seen that decision-making was slow or not taking place at all, communication was strained, MT members were at odds with each other and trying to convince each other of their own point of view and that explosive situations were occurring on a regular basis, which led to even more tension. And there was work to be done when it came to behaviour.

One thing leads to another

A destructive pattern had arisen due to the sense of powerlessness. That’s normal human behaviour. Anyone will start behaving in an annoying way if they are provoked enough.And that’s where collaboration goes wrong. If someone pushes your red button of powerlessness, the Wi-Fi connection in your brain is lost and you want to protect yourself. One person will hit out blindly, while another will implode. Yet another will prefer to run away and pretend that nothing’s wrong for fear of confrontation.

And that’s precisely what was holding this team back. The violent explosions and the necessary judgements of some team members were causing other people in the team to implode. And that reactivates the red button of powerlessness. Others were quietly watching the game being played out from the sidelines, even though they are actually involved in it themselves. And then suddenly the glass of confidence breaks. The pressure is too much.

Back on track

Once this team saw the dynamic that had been created and the impact it was having on their results and future, they chose to do something about it. To sweep up the broken glass and to put the problems on the agenda. We are now working with each other to put together a coaching plan that will help them tackle their problems in a logical order.

I’m making each team member responsible for his/her own impact. I’m training them to work with ‘the antidote’, a tool that will ensure each individual recognises his/her own red button and continues to communicate in a constructive manner. Slowly but surely, the mood

in the team is changing and everyone is laughing with relief. Everyone’s on the same side again and playing their role in the game.

If you think I might be able to help you, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.

Team coaching