BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION
A team coaching program always involves a complex system! The team itself, its hierarchy, the company in the global sense of its development strategy, company culture and background, its market environment, its shareholders, etc. This is why, in our opinion, these missions can never involve a standardised approach… Everything is specific and must be adapted to suit: the duration, budgets, methods, implemented tools, everything must depend on the context of the team and the expectations that it has of its leader. In this light we feel we should present our approach in as much detail as possible:
THE CONTEXTS IN WHICH WE OPERATE
- Project teams which need to optimise their operation in order to face a difficult challenge over a specific time period (high pressure; limited resources; etc.)
- Management teams (Executive or Management Committees, etc.) facing situations of change: internal restructuring; reorganisation; integration with a team from another company and/or culture (post-merger or acquisition contexts)
- Project or management teams which have been set up “ex nihilo”: the start of a new adventure, everything needs to be put in place: cultural integration, definition of rules and methods of operation; leadership methods; future perspectives and strategic objectives; etc.
THE RESULT OF OUR INTERVENTION: A GENUINE COLLECTIVE CONTRACT NEGOTIATED WITH ALL OF THE TEAM MEMBERS
- Recognised, responsible and legitimate leadership
- A converging vision of the future and shared objectives
- A clear, responsible, shared and, above all, conscious performance pathway for the application of these objectives: respective weighting for innovation and strategy; measurement and analysis; processes and control; and of course the human element…
- Clearly defined and stated roles and responsibilities, in keeping with the above statement
- An established and agreed behavioural charter: what behaviour is acceptable (included) and unacceptable (excluded) for the team?
- A clear and mutually agreed internal communication network
- Established and mutually agreed problem and internal conflict resolution methods (direct relation with communication methods)
OUR APPROACH AND CONVICTIONS
- The team leader remains in their position throughout the team building process. It is he who will give instructions, provide the rhythm for the program, and who will apply the necessary choices and decisions at the correct moments.
- We will intervene through coaching, providing the means of support and facilitation. At all times we will be a source of propositions as well as protection: we provide the rules of the team building game and will be the guarantors of the whole of the process.
- We intervene on the level of the “system” rather than the individuals. We are convinced that most dysfunction and limitations within a team come from the preconceived, and often false, ideas which we have of the role, position and responsibility of “Others”.
- This is why we work hard to facilitate the sharing of representations by encouraging team members to “put themselves in the other’s position” and by working on classical sources of opposition (head-office/field-workers; production/marketing; etc.)
- We also facilitate the emergence of that which remains unstated, major disagreements, emerging conflicts, anything which may restrain or block a change process. During this team protection phase respect for the rules is very important, and we are there to ensure that.
- The styles and personalities of the members of our own coaching teams are complimentary. We are all different but we have been used to working together for a long time. We provide our clients with our rich experience of this complementarity, which allows us to react, clarify and adapt the intensity of the work to the various stages… and above all, to never restrict ourselves (or restrict you) into artificial, prefabricated or standardised approaches.
- We are convinced that a successful change process must be based on an existing “legacy” of values, behaviours and achievements. This is why we often start by looking at what the team wishes to maintain, the things of which it is proud. The next stage is much simpler; this involves working on what needs to be left behind (letting go).
OUR PRINCIPAL TOOLS
By definition our bespoke approach leads us to constantly adapt the contents of our “toolbox”. This is how we can be sure that it is your needs that will determine the choice of tools and not the opposite, as is too often the case in the consulting business. Here are a few examples, although we must stress that their use is never systematic, but always directly related to the context:
- Staff inventories. These tools allow us to consider “roles and responsibilities” by examining the natural preferences of the team members: analytic or human? Methods or strategy? Global view or detailed observation? Logic or intuition? Calm reflection or the dynamic of spontaneous action? The results allow us to work on the awareness of one’s difference (and difference to others); on the relation between one’s preferences and one’s position; on the team’s synergy and dynamics; etc.
- We know how to make the best use of these instruments ce qui nous permet de nous adapter à la spécificité de chaque équipe : allowing us to adapt to the specifics of each team: MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator); TMS (Team Management System); BELBIN; HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument); FIRO-B, etc.
- Team games: these playful work sessions (they will be numerous) allow us to observe the team’s behaviour when it finds itself in a situation where a common objective must be achieved, and to define the lessons which will be useful to strengthen collective performance. The keys to understanding are usually: the leadership methods applied; the (spontaneous or otherwise) organisation structures; communication within the group; each individual’s degree of commitment and involvement; etc.
- Creative workshops: again the media are numerous (use of photographic images; individual or collective representation through painting, drawing or collage; dramatic expression through role-playing; narrative procedures; etc.) and must be in relation with the team’s own culture. These workshops are often used to work on future perspectives, the establishment of strategic goals, etc.)
- Process workshops: These aim to define the various strategic objectives; to help the team to set up action plans and road maps with milestones, deliverables and progress evaluation instruments. In these workshops the team is responsible for its own work and deliverables under the supervision of its leader. We serve as guarantors for the system’s correct operation (respect for timing, what the others have to say, for the objective presentation of reports by sub-groups, final decision processes, etc.)
- Change management: we apply the specific tools which will allow the team to become aware that a change is a process with clearly defined stages. What stage are you at? Are there different levels of awareness within the team? How can we facilitate the passage from one stage to another? Here are a few examples of the essential questions which we will help you to answer using these models.