052718799-red-arrows-raf-display-team.png
rudder-and-compass.jpeg

leadership team coaching

The most important unit of performance in any organisation is the team.  Coaching a leadership team together is the way to really shift an organisation’s performance.

LEARN MORE . . .

executive coaching

Are you getting all the support and challenge you need to be the best leader you can be? Find out more about how executive coaching can help.

LEARN MORE . . .

 

 
career-potential-conceptual-meter-photo-045383591_iconl (search personal growth).jpg
Edward_Saperia_DSC_6754.jpg

TRANSITION COACHING

Coaching adds the most value in times of change and challenge.  Find out how coaching supports transitions critical to the individual and the organisation.

LEARN MORE . . . 

PRESENTATION / SPEAKER COACHING

Leaders need to inspire audiences - to breath life into them.  We’ve all been bored by endless PowerPoint delivered by disengaging speakers.  Don't be one of them.

LEARN MORE . . .

 

Leadership Team Coaching

The time of the hero leader is over.  A single leader can’t deliver on the demands of today’s volatile, complex and uncertain world. Only dynamic and effective leadership teams can navigate a path to success.  Competent team coaching is one of the three enablers identified as critical to senior leadership team effectiveness in Wageman et al’s landmark study of over 120 senior leadership teams. 

Teams do not improve markedly even if all of their members receive individual coaching to develop their personal capabilities.
— Ruth Wageman et al, 2008

Team coaching isn't for the faint hearted leader, but our process truly transforms the performance of a team.  It also enables the team's leader to capably coach their team moving forward.

WHEN IS TEAM COACHING MOST IMPORTANT?

  • When the team needs to lead change in the organisation and act as role models.
  • When the team needs to deliver a strategic priority for the business.
  • When the team, particularly a top team, isn’t delivering. 
  • When the team is less, not more, than the sum of its parts.

Click here to download our free article, '10 clues to when a leadership team needs external help.' 

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

  • Stage 1 - We agree an initial contract and scope with the organisation on the remit of the work, such that we can effectively enter into an investigation phase.  Through this we both get clarity on the needs of the team and the organisation, and an understanding of the system within which the team exists.  This involves interviewing team members and key stakeholders, measuring team performance through the Team Assessment Survey (TAS II).
  • Stage 2 - We design a programme based on the data we’ve collected and firm up our contracting such that we are clear on the intended outcomes and business benefits to be gained through the process.  We also work to co-create a way to measure progress and ensure your return on investment. We will agree both leading and trailing edge measures.  Effective programmes have a span of between six and twelve months.
  • Stage 3 - A launch event, normally two days, is where we co-create a team contract and learning agenda.  The development of the team is set firmly in the context of the system and the stakeholders the team must serve.  Prior to this event, the team leader will have received 1:1 coaching to support their leadership of the team.  Team coaches are not there to replace the team leaders but support them in their own development.
  • Stage 4 - A number of team workshops where the coach both supports and challenges the team to embed the operating rhythms, disciplines and behaviours that have been agreed upon, to continually learn how to be a more effective team.  The team coach will also observe team meetings so that they can gain insight and give productive feedback.
  • Stage 4a - Alongside the team coaching sessions, individual coaching is offered to support team members in their own personal development, both as team members and as leaders of their own teams.
  • Stage 4b - Supplemental learning activities.  The investigation phase sometimes throws up some deficit(s) in the team that are best served by some other intervention, alongside the team coaching, e.g. the team’s ability to inspire others, or to coach and develop their talent pipeline.
  • Stage 5 - The team review their learning and create a plan to sustain their performance and development.  The TAS II team survey is once again used such that we get a before and after picture of the team’s performance.

 

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM AND BUSINESS LIKELY TO GET OUT OF THE PROCESS?

To reiterate, the most important unit of performance in today’s organisations is the team.  Without the free flow of information within and between teams, with the necessary collaboration and cooperation, truly sustainable performance and competitive edge cannot be attained.

36% of overall performance (Profitability, Quality, Innovation, Growth) can be attributed to collaboration quality.
Frost & Sullivan (2006)

Here are some of the common outcomes from a team coaching process:

  • Clarity on whether this group needs to be a team or an effective working group.  Sometimes we find that months of effort have gone into trying to form a great team when a team is not needed but an effective working group is.  Much of what we do is also highly effective in creating a high performing working group but the focus is different. 
  • There is no meaning without context.  Many teams attempt to function without taking their context into consideration.  Team coaching brings greater clarity of the system the team must perform within, the stakeholders they must serve and the measures they should be monitoring.
  • Clarity of mission is critical.  Asking team members what is most important very often gets many different answers.  What appears to be clarity and alignment on the surface is masking confusion and turmoil underneath. Meredith Belbin once asked “Do you want a collection of brilliant minds or a brilliant collection of minds?”.  We want a brilliant collection of minds with a true and clear alignment of purpose.
  • A clear agreement as to what is important to them, how they act towards each other and how they hold each other accountable.  This is a fundamental building block of high performance.
  • Proper buy-in.  We’ve all experienced agreement in the meeting, the 'false yes' that turns to inaction, or even counter action, outside of team.  This process tests the commitment of team members and encourages true accountability.
  • The building of trust.  Without trust and transparency we can’t have positive conflict and without that we can’t have creative collaboration. Team members learn to engage in proper dialogue that gets to meaning rather than surface discussions.
  • Clarity around the resources and influence the team need to achieve their goals.
  • Enhanced morale and team spirit.  Team engagements and away-days often start here and while this is important, it is the result of teams working and delivering results together, not the other way round.
  • And of course, enhanced results depending on how the team and its stakeholders measure success.  This is assessed at the start of the engagement and monitored as we progress through the coaching.
  • Sometimes there is a shift in the make-up of the team such that talent better supports the context and the mission.  
  • High performing teams are clear in their mission, membership and accountabilities.   In the research quoted above, fewer than 10% of team members agreed who was actually on their team!

Get in touch to find out more about transformational teaming.

Executive Coaching

Great executive coaching is transformational.  It enables fundamental change, not only for the coachee but for the people they lead and the organisations and stakeholders they serve.

Here are just some of the benefits that have been derived from my coaching:

  • Improved leadership and management skills
  • Increased strategic agility
  • Better (and faster) decision-making
  • Increased resilience and confidence
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Enhanced ability to enable change, inspiring and motivating teams
  • Better communication and influencing skills
  • Improved working relationships.
  • Retention of key talent

What can you expect for Executive Coaching?

At it’s simplest, coaching is providing a safe and confidential space with someone you trust to not only support you, but challenge you and speak the truth as others won’t.  One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is simply listening with 100% of your attention.  Perceptive questioning increases self-awareness and this is the foundation for all emotional intelligence.  How can you expect to have emotional self-control if you’re not aware of what triggers negative states ?

Gregor provided superb insight, challenge, support and advice as a coach. He has a flexible approach which allowed us to explore a huge range of topics and develop genuinely meaningful and practical outcomes which I could easily apply in my day to day activities. I found the whole coaching programme with Gregor a hugely motivating, challenging and ultimately rewarding experience.
— John Eastwood, Head of Commercial Strategy, Anglo American

I believe that any coaching engagement should be co-designed.  For example, coaching sessions are undertaken face to face, via telephone/video or a mixture of both mediums to suit the needs of the client.  The most common format is 6 - 8 sessions, each lasting two hours spaced 4-6 weeks apart.

The most important meeting is the first.  Often called a ‘chemistry session’, this is the chance for coach and coachee to explore whether or not they can develop the trusted relationship that is the foundation of good coaching.  No matter the methodology used, research shows that by far the most important factor in the success of a coaching engagement is the quality of the relationship between coach and coachee.  The chemistry is also our opportunity to check what you aim to get out of the coaching and whether my abilities are a good match for your needs.

Our first meeting is generally about defining objectives and goals - both short term goals and longer term aspirations. Where appropriate the line manager is included in a three way meeting so they are fully engaged in the process.

The more senior the client, the more likely that the coaching is less goal oriented and more of a thinking partnership where the leader has a confidential sounding board.

For any goal oriented situation I prefer a systemic approach.  No leader exists within a vacuum.  The function within a system of stakeholders and without taking the system into account we won’t deliver the best outcomes.  With this in mind I undertake stakeholder interviews, with confidential feedback to the coachee.  Occasionally we find the use of a more ‘fixed. online 360° tool appropriate.

The agenda of subsequent sessions are not driven by me but you as the client, dependent on your needs in your immediate context. 

I draw upon an extensive range of psychological tools and methodologies to enable the required development but I’m proud the feedback I get from clients is that they appreciate my pragmatic and practical approach.

At the end of the coaching I conduct an interview which captures the impact the coaching has had for you and the organisation.  It’s also important to assess the quality of my coaching so evaluation is also undertaken.

In specific situations I will guarantee my results.  This is where there is a specific need for behavioural change.  This is usually when someone has been highly successful despite certain patterns of behaviour.  Please contact me for more details.

 

Transition Coaching

Career transitions are events that give the highest levels of challenge to leaders and their teams. Moving up to a new level, a new company or both is always a time of risk as well as opportunity. Transition coaching supports senior managers during these periods of transition and change.

There are four scenarios where the label Transition Coaching suits.

  1.  A new role in a new organisation
  2.  A new role in the existing organisation, most often a promotion
  3.  Preparing to go to the next level
  4.  A career change

The first two scenarios are often called ‘First 90 Days’ coaching after the great book of the same name by Michael Watkins.  Ideally, starting well in advance of the transition itself, I work with the client around a structured plan to ensure the best chances of success.  This can be a critical investment with clients reporting they’re 6 months ahead of where they would be without the coaching.

Sadly, not every organisation has the foresight to engage a coach in advance of a promotion and the new leader then needs support to handle the additional levels of challenge that were unforeseen.  What is seen as the issue holding the leader back is rarely the element that really needs to change and it is the open transparent exploration that coaching provides that allows the significant change to happen.  This is most common in scenario 2.

Scenario 3 is often part of succession planning, talent is identified as being ‘nearly ready’ for the next level but are still seen to be ‘missing something’.  This is often something like confidence, leadership presence, communication style or strategic capability.  Maybe as an individual, you know that you need something else to get to that next level, or maybe you need to decide whether or not that career path is right for you.

And lastly, the career change.  This is a more structured approach like the First 90 Days where we particularly look into life values and test the various options under consideration before any significant choices are made.

Transitions coaching is often supported by the use of psychometrics like the MBTI® or Hogan’s MVPI (Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory).

Please contact me for more details.

Presentation/Speaker Coaching

Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess
— Richard Branson

"Inspires and motivates others" * - This is judged to be the number one skill leaders need to succeed.  In a study where more than 330,000 bosses, peers, and subordinates were asked to rank the top four competencies leaders need to succeed from a list of 16 key leadership skills.  

You can see the top 10 here and it’s easy to see how coaching impacts every single one except number seven - ‘Displays technical or professional expertise’*

Great leaders stand out by creating a vision of the future that is vivid and compelling - a vision that motivates employees to act and stakeholders to be positively engaged.  How we speak, how we communicate and the presence with which we do it is part of our executive brand.

Public speaking is only part of the work I do in communication and it’s particularly critical skill for senior leaders. What I have learned is that there is a line that great speakers step over.  It’s a line between delivering a presentation and giving a performance. This requires a different way of thinking and being.

There are two key areas to work on, the content and the performance.  Before this some people need to work on their confidence as they may have a fear of speaking to larger audiences.  This isn’t surprising as public speaking ranks higher than death as a fear in both the US and the UK.

We review the goals of the communication, how best to put the key messages across in the most engaging manner.  We then rehearse and I am able to give guidance as to what needs changing.  This is different than other coaching areas as by necessity, I have to be judgemental.  This is something all good coaches strive to avoid but is an absolute necessity in this area.

Please contact me for more details.

* Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, 2014