Team Coaching – True Story
Here is a true story of structured team coaching in action that I lived a few years ago.
The story starts with a simple inquiry looking for advice:
○ Dear Alain, I have been working in my company for 6 years and I have been a team leader for 1.5 years. There are 6 engineers (men and women) in my team…”
The description of the situation goes on to describe several signs of a dysfunctional team. Team members do not believe in a team spirit. The message concludes with :
“I do not know what to do? Can you please coach me through it? Thanks.”
This request was a bit out of the ordinary as it came from a young professional working in the manufacturing facility; an American based multinational organization that uses higher manufacturing technology in the Middle East. This large organization has its own training programs and culture.
○ Hi XXXX, thank you for your trust and confidence. I would like to clarify the amount of effort and openness we will need to fix these issues.
○ We need to have a conversation and go through each issue with more in-depth details, facts, and perceptions.
○ The process may take a few weeks of coaching with up to 3 conversations a week of 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
○ I can assure you the team environment will benefit greatly from the experience and you will rapidly grow your reputation as a very good innovative team leader.
We worked together for about 2 months (a few calls a week) to define the current situation (beyond surface perceptions). We identified the facts, developed an action plan and prepared a plan for its execution in the right and purposeful setting.
Two (2) months after our last coaching interaction, a progress update:
○ I did what you suggested in our meeting with the agenda we had worked out. By the end of the meeting, everybody was aligned, the message was passed that it was essential that we function as a team. Everyone agreed that this was the way to move forward to meet the team goal. I did not directly tell them, but I guided them to find the answers by asking questions.
○ Now I am seeing a good team change along with progress. Now the team sees the big picture. Every member trying to provide more towards the team goal. It did not happen suddenly, it is a process but I can see that teamwork getting better.
○ Three times we got “thanks” from Management which we never had before. The Team is now showing that they are supportive of each other, especially on a management platform. Of course, we sometimes face internal discussions, but it is much smoother and with more openness than before.
○ So, thank you very much for your support. I will inform you again when the team achieves their goal.
2 months later:
○ Hi Alain, I want to give you updates about my team goals. All my team’s metrics are green now. Thank you for your support!
3 months later:
○ Hi Alain, I want to thank you again. My team achieved the target, moreover, we achieved 45% over our target.
○ Now I have one more question. I have been asked to submit my name to my management for a promotion, but I am struggling with choosing the right name? Can you please suggest the best criteria for the promotion name? Thanks.
Hi XXXXX ,
Congratulations, very well done and a great way to contribute to the organization. Hope your team is aware and happy with these positive results.
If you have not done so yet, I would suggest you hold a celebration with the team, where you would recognize the individual contributions and the individual progress, the team members who took charge and supported their teammates the most. Toward the end of the celebration (example: after the dinner) you talk with all of them and highlight next steps:
1- New goals for the next year
2- Highlight a new opportunity and the challenge it represents, then ask who want to take on this challenge
Here are the key criteria I would suggest to guide you. …
In conclusion: Setting the proper teamwork environment, the proper team structure delivered results 45% above set goals. It also allowed team members to grow, to learn new skills and to develop their leadership.
Within 9 months, this young professional developed his team leadership skills developed his team and groomed 2 potential successors as he grew in the organization.
All members of the team were and are happy. They feel they have bonded and now trust each other. This became more than just a social bonding achievement through “team building activities”. They are becoming the nucleus for a strong and growing future for this organization.
Are you intrigued? Would you like to know if it applies to your business environment? Let’s chat over a coffee, call 1 (514) 594-0705 or at firstname.lastname@example.org