Egos and collaboration: Building Effective Teams, Part Two

The Hass Business School study I referred to last time ingeniously studied the relationships between high-powered individuals and team cohesion, creativity and collaboration. And in each of these areas, findings were pretty unambiguous: teams composed of high-powered individuals performed significantly worse than low-powered to neutral-powered teams. Hass researchers cultivated a sense of power amongst some […]

Emotion – the ‘elephant in the room’ in team conflict (Part 1)

Where does team conflict come from? One of the answers, of course, seems obvious once you name it: emotion. Aggressive emotion to be precise. Emotion can overheat – it’s volatile stuff – and it makes much better sense to learn to become aware of its influence, both in us and in our colleagues or bosses. Leadership […]

Essentials of effective business coaching (Part 2)

MIT professor Edgar Schein suggests the open inquiry approach I concluded with last time is one of three modes of inquiry; he calls it ‘pure inquiry’). We move on from pure inquiry to what Schein calls ‘diagnostic inquiry’ – focusing in closely on specific elements of the coachee’s story. This should not be confused with […]

Ten tips for effective team coaching (Part Two)

I’ll resume my tips for effective team coaching here with a further five core tips that shouldn’t be neglected. Know your non-verbal behaviour habits. Concentrate on staying as physically composed as possible during team coaching. Coaches need to be aware of habitual non-verbal behaviours. As systems theorists have long understood, all non-verbal behaviour is simultaneously […]

Ten tips for effective team coaching (Part One)

Here are some key tips I’ve come to consider core features of effective team coaching, a process that I believe should never be confused with advising and directing. 1.    Dodge the bullet. The “bullet” comes in the form of an implicit supplication: “Solve our problem(s) for us.” It’s exceedingly tempting to fall into this role […]

Leadership and the art of not knowing (Part Two)

Here’s the core predicament that those in leadership find themselves in: virtually all organisations prize competence and expertise; however, in a mind-bogglingly complex world, no one individual can possibly have all the answers. A study by business consulting and coaching experts Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner found that virtually all the leaders they spoke to struggled […]

A short introduction to systemic coaching (Part Two)

As we saw last time, if individual coaching rests on enhancing individual strengths, systemic coaching rests on the professional interfacing of those individual strengths. To return to the sporting analogy, a rugby team will achieve greater success by learning how to efficiently interface complementary individual skills with one another than if each individual alone sought […]

A short introduction to systemic coaching (Part one)

I’d like to spend a little time discussing a relatively new development in coaching: systemic coaching. However, before doing so, let’s take a little detour into the world of sport. Most people in the business world are at least intuitively aware that coaching had its origins in the world of professional sports. At the risk […]

Team coaching: moving from stagnation to functionality (Part Two)

What can be done when a group of intelligent and resourceful senior leaders appear stuck in a conflict-strewn deadlocked rut rather than functioning creatively and productively as a team? In an accurate observation, Gestalt consultant Herb Stevenson notes: “You cannot create real teams by convening a set of people and calling them a team.” Recognising […]

Team coaching: moving from stagnation to functionality

In the continual white-water conditions of global commerce, capable CEOs must not only have enormous resilience and stamina (intellectually, emotionally and physically), but also excellent communication and listening skills, too. Yet why do some leadership teams turn out to be riven with destructive conflict or simply incapable of working as a team? A few fundamentals […]