In a recent workshop that laid out models for team coaching and included many details about the process of coaching leadership teams, participants were wondering how to hold it all, and how to be effective when in the role of team coach.
During workshop simulations where nearly impossible goals were set, those in the role of team coach got to experience first hand how difficult it is to pay attention to everything going on in a team. Encountering difficulty often tends to get interpreted as “I am not enough” and leads to self-doubt, freezing up, and feeling ineffective. All of these responses are quite opposite to what is needed in the moment!
In the debriefs of the workshop simulations, much learning happens. One of the key insights that revealed itself to participants is that it is incredibly important to r-e-l-a-x as a team coach. The more comfortable you are in your own skin, while at the same time not making it “about you” ~ the more you will feel like you are truly serving your clients.
To do this, we recommend paying attention to the following ideas:
* Make sure you know your client well and that you’ve learned as much as you can about your client’s culture. * Be very familiar with your material. * Know that a “tool” is only a click or two away. Study your tools! * Be clear that you cannot observe decision-making, communication, team life cycle behaviors, or any other team component that seems important all at once! Choose one area to observe per meeting. * Make sure that you are well rested, well hydrated, and clearly there for your client. Take care of other business so you are not thinking about it when you are with the team you are coaching. * Make relationships with your clients paramount. The better your relationships, the more comfortable you will feel, and the more you can relax into the work instead of panicking when the inevitable breakdown happens. * Go for the macro picture! Trying to remember every detail of what is happening before your very eyes will be crazy-making for you. * Patterns, patterns, patterns! Train your eyes, ears, and the sense-makers in your body to notice patterns and feed them back to your clients. This is invaluable to them.