Systemic Team Coaching: the next big breakthrough in leadership development

As an avid reader of HR In Sights I’ve often stumbled upon wonderful articles which have helped me grow, both personally and professionally.

Sharing an excerpt from an article posted by Ben Quarless. Thank you Ben.

Systemic Team Coaching is a process by which a team coach works with a whole team in the context of their organisation’s current and future requirements to help them improve their leadership as a whole team and as individuals. Connections with, impact on and ability to influence and lead in the wider system are additional outcomes that the approach achieves.

In Systemic Team Coaching the team is coached a team as a unique and coherent ‘whole’.
Systemic Team Coaching is therefore not the same as individual coaching of each team member in a group setting and is also fundamentally different to ‘team building’ which is generally more focused on improving team-member relationships.

A systemic team coaching approach considers the team to be an inseparable entity whose performance and results depend on the systemic, interactive, operational responsibility of its members – functioning both together and apart.

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The work starts with an inquiry as to the purpose and mandate of the team in the organisational context. The rationale and mandate for the team are examined from different perspectives to create clarity and purpose. Systemic Team Coaching is also primarily focused on achieving clear performance results as measured by mutually-created and measurable criteria.

Five conditions for effective Systemic Team Coaching

Systemic Team Coaching emphasises and focuses on the system alongside individual and team challenges. There are several conditions that engender effective Systemic Team Coaching:
1. There is a team of a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to or can create a common purpose with a set of agreed performance goals and are willing to examine how they can most effectively work together and hold themselves jointly accountable
2. The team collectively aspire to achieve a greater level of performance
3. The team can be open to working with others on their learning and performance journey
4. The team recognise the importance of meeting stakeholder needs and connecting their work to the needs of the organisation
5. The team understand the impact they can have in motivating and inspiring others across the organisation and beyond
The right practitioner
A Systemic Team coach works with and alongside the team and does not stand outside with a focus on facilitation alone or indeed training alone. The answers lie within the team and wider system. As a result each team member has the opportunities to develop personally and professionally alongside moving towards greater organisational health.

Therefore it is essential that organisations work with a coach who has the capacity to work with the whole team and see beyond the individual personalities. Someone who challenges thinking and will variously provoke and invite the team to expand the boundaries of its’ thinking to enhance performance.

Does it deliver?

Systemic Team Coaching can deliver extraordinary results for the team and organisation. This holistic approach has been shown to deliver increased performance and collaboration amongst key teams because it actively seeks to work with the organisational factors that sometimes unconsciously block teams from working effectively together.
In my experience, within a System Team Coaching session you are likely to hear bold cut-through statements that get to the core of some of the organisation’s most acute challenges and the team coaching work which takes places is therefore deeply embedded in the service of the organisation’s overall performance and health.
Systemic Team Coaching actively looks for ways to connect the work and journey of the team back into the organisation and explores shifts and changes that it can make institutionally – upwards, laterally and cascading through the system. As a result, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction and employee morale all benefit from the team’s improved ability to connect with, impact upon and lead in the wider organisational system.

Excerpt taken from article in HR In Sights posted by Ben Quarless

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Leading By Example

“Leadership is by example and that is what motivates people. You need to develop genuine closeness with your people in your organisation.” says Narayanan Vaghul, former chairman, ICICI Bank.

Here is an excerpt from his interview which appeared in The Smart CEO : The Wise Leader on 15 Dec 2011, posted by S. Prem Kumar.

While sharing his experiences on Managing people he says:

Managing people really means staying close to them. So, how do you stay close to them? Not through socialising or by throwing parties or by playing golf with them. We need to understand that gimmickries do not work and develop genuine concern for people.

When I joined ICICI, we had about 800 people in Mumbai. In a short span, I got to know each and everyone by name. I used to leave my door open between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. every day and anyone from the office could walk in and talk to me about anything. It could be about the bank or it could be about their personal lives; I never said, what you are saying here is irrelevant. It showed me an aspect of his or her personality. One thing we need to remember is not to be artificial. Never shut your ears to any kind of feedback you are getting.

The second important aspect is managing people by example. People keep looking at you – how you behave, how you smile and how you conduct yourself. Keep looking at yourself and make an attempt to elevate yourself. We need to motivate people by example and by who we really are. You cannot tell a person, do not be corrupt, when you are corrupt yourself. None of these things can be hidden. Your faults will show up at some point of time.

The link to the article is: http://www.thesmartceo.in/cover-story/the-wise-leader.html

Executive coaching strengthens leadership pipeline

The growth of Executive Coaching Industry in India, over the last few years, gives me immense joy. In the earlier years of setting my business, most of the meetings with potential clients were devoted to building an awareness of the Coaching. The scenario has evolved now, and clients are seeking out coaches for their personal and professional development. The media has played a wonderful role in bring Coaching to the forefront.

Sharing here an article which was published in The Economic Timees.

“Executive Coaching helps successful leaders to become more successful. It is viewed as something special for ‘High Potential Leaders’ to do better in future and improve their retention rate”, explained Dr. PV Bhide, President-Corporate HR, JK Organization during an interview with TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. According to him, the Coaching Industry is growing exponentially in India and is estimated to grow from present Rs. 200 Crore per annum to Rs. 800 Crore per annum by 2014.

Perry Zeus and Dr. Skiffington (of the Behavioral Coaching Institute) defined executive coaching as a time bound dialogue between coach and coachee within a productive and result oriented context. In their view, it is about change and transformation that the coachee aspires, which emanates from asking the right questions rather than providing the right answers.

Rajendra Ghag, Executive Vice President, HR & Admin of HDFC Life christened executive coaching as ‘Gold Mining Mentality’. It is brought into play to unleash the true potential of senior leaders and improve their performance by asking relevant questions. “We hire coaches, who are seasoned professionals from the industry. An ex-chairman of a big company is brought to train senior leaders of our organisation and reduce interference in their work”, he added.

Earlier, executives were reluctant to be coached, but now it is viewed by candidates as a sign of being on an accelerated career growth path. Underlining the challenges of the executive coaching industry in India, Dr Bhide articulated, “There is a need for impetus in propelling research to identify what practices would be more effective from Indian coachees’ point of view. As most ‘Global Coaching Certifications’ teach western coaching models and methodologies.

During one of the Skills Dialogue session, a series of high powered panel discussions organised by TimesJobs.com, industry experts pointed that there is absence of experienced coaches, who have finer business wisdom as compared to what theoretical coaching model based methodologies provide. And, on the demand side there is a need to sensitize CXOs and HR heads to focus on improvement, change, and outcomes rather than merely a feel-good factor.

Suggesting the way forward, Dr. Bhide advised organisations to identify specific domains that can be benefited most through executive coaching and create a culture of coaching by nurturing internal leaders and managers to become coaches.

Together, experts expressed the want to bring in more structure into this emerging industry to help define the engagement models and professional approach that this function requires in the Indian context.

Link to article: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-01/news/31528311_1_coaching-industry-executive-coaching-models

Top 10 professional life coaching myths

Here is a wonderful article by Robert Pagliarini in CBS which touches upon the major life coaching myths and demonstrates the value life coaching brings in helping others achieve their goals.

Life coaching is all the rage. Harvard Business Review reports that coaching is a $1 billion a year industry, but just what is a personal coach, professional coach, or life coach and why are so many executives and individuals using them to catapult their careers, break free from 9-5 jobs, and to create better, more fulfilling, richer lives?
First, what is a professional coach? The International Coach Federation (ICF) — the leading global coaching organization and professional association for coaches — defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Second, who’s using coaches? In a 2009 study of the professional coaching industry by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), they found that coaching was used by 90% of organizations surveyed and that even in the economic downturn, 70% report that they are increasing or maintaining their commitment to coaching. Coaching is clearly popular, but what does a professional coach do?
As with any growing profession, there can be a lot of confusion. To help distinguish fact from fiction, click through the pages to read the top 10 personal coaching myths..

Top 10 Professional Life Coaching Myths

Myth #1: Life coaches are professionals who can help you achieve your goals.
Fact: Some, but certainly not all coaches are professionals who can help you reach your goals. One of the problems in the coaching industry is that anyone can call themselves a professional coach, life coach, personal coach, etc. Jennifer Corbin, the president of Coach U, one of the largest and oldest coach training organizations in the world, has said, “Technically, anyone can hang up a shingle as coaching is not regulated. Many people ‘coaching’ have no idea what coaching is as they haven’t been trained or haven’t been coached by a professionally trained and credentialed coach. There are ‘schools’ that will offer a credential after three hours of training and people read a book or watch a TV program and decide ‘I’m a coach!'” As a result, the quality of coaches vary dramatically. I strongly suggest working with a coach that has been accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF provides independent certification that is the benchmark for the professional coaching industry.
Myth 2: Executive coaching is a nice employment perk.
Fact: Coaching is as much a perk to your employees as are their computers. Employees may view coaching as a value added benefit, but the successful organizations see coaching as something much more than a perk. Done right, professional coaching can drive sales, employee engagement, creativity, workplace satisfaction, and bottom line results. Wellness programs have been shown to provide approximately a 300% return on investment (ROI). In other words, companies who spend $1 in a wellness program (e.g., exercise clubs, personal trainers, smoking cessation workshops) earn $3 as a result of decreased turnover, fewer sick days, reduced health insurance costs, etc. It’s no wonder wellness programs have experienced such tremendous growth — it makes financial sense.
The ROI from professional coaching is even more astonishing. According to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives, the Economic Times reports “coaching resulted in a ROI of almost six times the program cost as well as a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality.” Additionally, a study of Fortune 500 telecommunications companies by MatrixGlobal found executive coaching resulted in a 529% ROI. The CIPD concludes “coaching is not just perceived as a nice-to-have intervention.”
Myth 3: Personal coaches can only help you reach personal goals / Professional coaches can only help you reach business goals.
Fact: A good coach is someone who is an expert at helping others create positive change in their lives. For some clients, the positive change they most want may be focused on personal goals such as relationships, time management, work-life balance, stress reduction, simplification, health, etc., but other clients may be more interested in professional or business goals such as leadership, getting a promotion, starting a business, etc. An effective coach works with the client to help them live a better, richer life – regardless of their type of goals
Myth 4: Professional coaching is for “problem” employees.
Fact: Coaching used to be a euphemism for “you’re doing lousy work, but before we can fire you we need to show that we’ve done everything we can to support you so we don’t get hit with an employment lawsuit.” No more. According to Paul Michelman, editor of Harvard Business School’s Management Update, “whereas coaching was once viewed by many as a tool to help correct underperformance, today it is becoming much more widely used in supporting top producers. In fact, in a 2004 survey by Right Management Consultants, 86% of companies said they used coaching to sharpen the skills of individuals who have been identified as future organizational leaders.”
Good coaching focuses on an individual’s strengths and aims to help the client achieve what they want more of in life and at work. The goal? To help the client identify and achieve their greater goals and to help them live a better life. A good coach isn’t there to “fix” anyone, but to help the client navigate toward a more engaged and compelling future.
Myth 5: Personal coaching takes too much time.
Fact: Professional coaching is a high-leverage activity. Clients can achieve remarkable progress toward their desired future in less than an hour per month of coaching. There is a wide spectrum of how coaching is delivered. Some coaches prefer to meet one-on-one with clients in an office, but most recommend telephone sessions for the ease of use, minimization of distractions, better privacy, greater efficiency, and for (yes, apparently) better connection to the client. Best practices in coaching call for between two and four sessions per month that last at least 20 minutes and up to 60 minutes. A sweet spot for many coaches and clients seems to be three sessions per month for 20 to 45 minutes a session – a miniscule investment of time for the results achieved.
Myth 6: Life coaches are like having a good friend to bounce ideas off and to keep you motivated.
Fact: Your coach may be friendly, but they are not your friend. Your coach is your advocate. They want the best from you. They will work with you to help you reach your goals and to succeed. Your coach will hold you accountable and challenge you to grow and do more than you think you can do. They may push, pull, and stretch you in ways that may feel uncomfortable. And unlike a friendship, the coaching relationship is unilateral – it is exclusively focused on you and your goals, not the coach, his family, his golf handicap, or what she did over the weekend.
Myth 7: Executive coaching is only good for upper management / Coaching is only good for entry level employees.
Fact: Coaching is good for anyone who is motivated to create a better life. Initially professional coaching or executive coaching was for upper management, and some organizations still focus their coaching efforts on their top performers. For example, a column by the Economic Times titled “A Personal Coach” says coaching is “designed to help senior leaders create and execute breakthrough ideas, develop strategic pathways and set milestones. Companies across the board are similarly opting for coaching to help their high-potential executives perform in larger, rapidly-changing roles in a globalized world.”
But professional coaching isn’t just for the executive suite. The CIPD research study shows just under 5% of coaching is restricted to senior executives. Now, more and more companies are recognizing the powerful benefits of providing coaching to rank and file employees. For example, online shoe and clothing company Zappos.com, known for their outstanding commitment to creating a culture of unparalleled customer service (they even teach this through Zappos Insights), has a full-time goals coach who works with any employee – not just management – on helping them create better lives.
Myth 8: Professional coaches tell their clients what to do and give them advice.
Fact: Bad or inexperienced coaches tell their clients what to do and are constantly giving advice. Good coaches do not. Most clients realize they don’t need another parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker telling you what you should be doing. Instead, coaches help their clients explore and come up with the best choices for them based on where they are and the client’s vision for their future. Coaches are experts at the process of changing behavior, which is much more valuable than giving instructions.
Myth 9: Executive coaching is expensive.
Fact: Coaching can cost a great deal of money. Harvard Business School’s “What can Coaches do for You?” research whitepaper reports some executive coaches cost up to $3,500 for an hour of coaching. While this is an extreme, most personal coaches charge a monthly retainer between $500 to $2,000 a month. What this means is that either there are a lot of really stupid people wasting their money on coaching each month or they are getting results worth at least the cost of their coach. I have trouble paying $12 a year for a magazine subscription I don’t read, so I’m guessing coaching is paying off. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study commissioned by the International Coach Federation, individual clients reported a median ROI of 3.44 times their investment in coaching. Bottom line, coaching is an investment that can produce monetary rewards above and beyond the cost.
Myth 10: Professional coaching is spiritual and relies on “harnessing the energy in the universe.”
Fact: I have no idea what “harnessing the power of the universe” means, and my guess is that most professional coaches don’t either. When I first started researching coaching, I was under the impression coaching involved lots of chanting, incense, meditation, and other spiritual practices. While there are many great spiritual coaches that may incorporate these practices into their session, most coaches are practical, professional, business people who are focused on tangible results, not airy-fairy mysticism. You can leave your granola and Birkenstocks at home.

Link to the article: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57345386/top-10-professional-life-coaching-myths/

International Coach Federation – Code Of Ethics

Part One: Definition of Coaching
Section 1: Definitions
•Coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
•A professional coaching relationship: A professional coaching relationship exists when coaching includes a business agreement or contract that defines the responsibilities of each party.
•An ICF Professional Coach: An ICF Professional Coach also agrees to practice the ICF Professional Core Competencies and pledges accountability to the ICF Code of Ethics.

In order to clarify roles in the coaching relationship, it is often necessary to distinguish between the client and the sponsor. In most cases, the client and sponsor are the same person and therefore jointly referred to as the client. For purposes of identification, however, the International Coach Federation defines these roles as follows:
•Client: The “client” is the person(s) being coached.
•Sponsor: The “sponsor” is the entity (including its representatives) paying for and/or arranging for coaching services to be provided.

In all cases, coaching engagement contracts or agreements should clearly establish the rights, roles, and responsibilities for both the client and sponsor if they are not the same persons.

Part Two: The ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct

Preamble: ICF Professional Coaches aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the coaching profession; are respectful of different approaches to coaching; and recognize that they are also bound by applicable laws and regulations.

Section 1: Professional Conduct At Large

As a coach:

1) I will not knowingly make any public statement that is untrue or misleading about what I offer as a coach, or make false claims in any written documents relating to the coaching profession or my credentials or the ICF.

2) I will accurately identify my coaching qualifications, expertise, experience, certifications and ICF Credentials.

3) I will recognize and honor the efforts and contributions of others and not misrepresent them as my own. I understand that violating this standard may leave me subject to legal remedy by a third party.

4) I will, at all times, strive to recognize personal issues that may impair, conflict, or interfere with my coaching performance or my professional coaching relationships. Whenever the facts and circumstances necessitate, I will promptly seek professional assistance and determine the action to be taken, including whether it is appropriate to suspend or terminate my coaching relationship(s).

5) I will conduct myself in accordance with the ICF Code of Ethics in all coach training, coach mentoring, and coach supervisory activities.

6) I will conduct and report research with competence, honesty, and within recognized scientific standards and applicable subject guidelines. My research will be carried out with the necessary consent and approval of those involved, and with an approach that will protect participants from any potential harm. All research efforts will be performed in a manner that complies with all the applicable laws of the country in which the research is conducted.

7) I will maintain, store, and dispose of any records created during my coaching business in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security, and privacy, and complies with any applicable laws and agreements

8) I will use ICF member contact information (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) only in the manner and to the extent authorized by the ICF.

Section 2: Conflicts of Interest

As a coach:

9) I will seek to avoid conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest and openly disclose any such conflicts. I will offer to remove myself when such a conflict arises.

10) I will disclose to my client and his or her sponsor all anticipated compensation from third parties that I may pay or receive for referrals of that client.

11) I will only barter for services, goods or other non-monetary remuneration when it will not impair the coaching relationship.

12) I will not knowingly take any personal, professional, or monetary advantage or benefit of the coach-client relationship, except by a form of compensation as agreed in the agreement or contract.

Section 3: Professional Conduct with Clients

As a coach:

13) I will not knowingly mislead or make false claims about what my client or sponsor will receive from the coaching process or from me as the coach.

14) I will not give my prospective clients or sponsors information or advice I know or believe to be misleading or false.

15) I will have clear agreements or contracts with my clients and sponsor(s). I will honor all agreements or contracts made in the context of professional coaching relationships.

16) I will carefully explain and strive to ensure that, prior to or at the initial meeting, my coaching client and sponsor(s) understand the nature of coaching, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements, and any other terms of the coaching agreement or contract.

17) I will be responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern any physical contact I may have with my clients or sponsors.

18) I will not become sexually intimate with any of my current clients or sponsors.

19) I will respect the client’s right to terminate the coaching relationship at any point during the process, subject to the provisions of the agreement or contract. I will be alert to indications that the client is no longer benefiting from our coaching relationship.

20) I will encourage the client or sponsor to make a change if I believe the client or sponsor would be better served by another coach or by another resource.
21) I will suggest my client seek the services of other professionals when deemed necessary or appropriate.

Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy

As a coach:

22) I will maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information. I will have a clear agreement or contract before releasing information to another person, unless required by law.

23) I will have a clear agreement upon how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client, and sponsor.

24) When acting as a trainer of student coaches, I will clarify confidentiality policies with the students.

25) I will have associated coaches and other persons whom I manage in service of my clients and their sponsors in a paid or volunteer capacity make clear agreements or contracts to adhere to the ICF Code of Ethics Part 2, Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy standards and the entire ICF Code of Ethics to the extent applicable.

Part Three: The ICF Pledge of Ethics

As an ICF Professional Coach, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical and legal obligations to my coaching clients and sponsors, colleagues, and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with the ICF Code of Ethics, and to practice these standards with those whom I coach.

If I breach this Pledge of Ethics or any part of the ICF Code of Ethics, I agree that the ICF in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the ICF for any breach may include sanctions, such as loss of my ICF membership and/or my ICF Credentials.

Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

Psychologist and researcher, Robert Plutchik created The wheel of Emotions – a model of human emotions and their relations and combinations. It consists of 8 basic emotions, opposed in pairs, and multiple shades.
The model resulted in a circumplex where emotions and variations are represented by different colors and hues. This circumplex can be flattened in a 2D view (see below) to allow viewing of all emotions at once.
Plutchik identified eight primary emotions, which he coordinated in pairs of opposites: joy versus sadness; trust versus disgust; fear versus anger and anticipation versus surprise.

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Intensity of emotion and indicator color increases toward the center of the wheel and decreases outward. Akin to a color wheel, variations in color intensity correspond to variations in emotional intensity. Thus, the eight primary emotions occupy the middle ring of the flower with more intense forms occurring in the center (depicted by bolder colors) and milder forms the extremities (depicted by paler colors).

For example, “Rage” is the stronger form of “Anger” while “Annoyance” is the weaker. Similarly, terror becomes fear and then apprehension; Ecstasy becomes joy and then serenity.
Further, secondary emotions are displayed as combinations of the primary ones: Acceptance and apprehension combine to create submission.

Personally, I find this model pretty illuminating. Although, Plutcih’s model is a good start, it seems to be incomplete. It has often been argued that many complex emotions have not found place in this model. To that extent, this model is limited.