Would your team make the grade?
Internationally certified team coach Angela van Dorssen talks about her daily practice.
When I started 7.5 years ago, individual coaching was still associated with dysfunction. Now it is almost absurd if you, as a professional, do not have a coach. Team coaching is somewhat lagging behind. Whereas in America every high performing team works on cooperation and ongoing reflection, in the Netherlands I am usually called up in the event of trouble or when results are not being achieved. Or perhaps the team thinks we are going to build rafts. While this is certainly good for team building, team coaching is about much more than that. In team coaching, you work on team goals that contribute to better cooperation AND a better team result.
I often tell my clients that I’ll “have a look at what’s hidden under the carpet”.
What needs maintenance?
I don’t do this myself. One of the first steps is letting the team itself report on what is going well in the team and where challenges remain. A comprehensive intake is carried out and a report is produced on the team. The dialogue that follows is crucial and not necessarily easy. Suddenly everything is on paper. The next step is identifying what the team wants to work on. Concrete goals and results are recorded in a coaching plan.
Every team has growth potential
A colleague and I recently worked with a police detective team. The results of that team’s own self-evaluation prompted an honest open discussion. This is difficult to achieve in daily practice. This is only natural, because the next day these team members have to be able to rely on one another in their police work. And saying what you really think makes you vulnerable. By being vulnerable on that day, real issues were exposed and clear agreements were able to be made.
Within a high school department, it was exciting to read what was really going on in the team. No topic is off limits as far as I am concerned, since I am confident that every team wants to be/become the best version of itself. Education is characterized by strong autonomy, which was getting in the way of cooperation. They discovered their commonality through their passion for the subject and for the students. Now, six months later, this team is working resolutely to improve its processes and is increasingly discussing and dealing with issues.
Team MOT checklist
Do you, as a manager, want to get to work with your team yourself and gain insight into where your team needs support? Send an email and receive the Team Health Audit Checklist free of charge.
Teams that regularly audit themselves (or have themselves audited) function better and stay ahead of the competition!
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