Following two studies (Hay Management consultants, now Korn-Ferry and Gallup), up to 70% of an organisation’s culture comes directly from the behaviour of its leader(s)! Having shadowed hundreds of executive teams working together, we saw a strong pattern emerge: behaviours create the Executive Team’s culture. That culture, in turn, affects strongly the quality of the intellectual debate and ensuing decision making process. To ensure a proper team dynamics at the top (and cascading down) is therefore critical to business success!
No “Teflon coaching”:
I was coming for advice, push back, a friendly ear and, above all, a sparring partner. But each time I met a marital counselor (five during my divorce!), I had that feeling of wasting my time. Until I sat and spoke with an old friend: for me, he put himself in danger and broke the code of conduct of the brilliant psychoanalyst he is. He spoke and did not only listen. He disagreed and challenged and did not just silently sit. He labelled and shared his opinions and did not just restate his understanding. He was alive and passionate not distant and professional. He was caring and present, not neutral and detached! In one hour, I progressed more with him that in twenty with his colleagues… I am not a Teflon coach, I am a sparring partner!
Coaching, not massaging:
I am always impressed by these “coaches” (and more impressed even by their clients) who maintain their coaching mission for months if not years with the same “victim” (I should have said client, I am not sorry). I keep my coaching sessions to a maximum of five to six. If no significant progress has been made, I recommend someone else to my client.
When Team-Coaching, I know that we will have to go through a “trousers down session”. Tuckman would call it “Storming”. It scares me, it makes me anxious, I fear it may go horribly wrong but out of respect for the personal risk each team member takes by opening up, I accompany them, with courage and authenticity through those Moments of Truth!