6 SIGNS THAT YOUR TEAM NEEDS A COACH

Here are 6 telling signs that your team needs a coach. Having a coach doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the team. It essentially means that the team needs a “mirror” to see their own blind spots, so that they can start to become aware of these blind spots and have new choice for action.

Here are 6 telling signs that your team needs a coach. Having a coach doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the team. It essentially means that the team needs a “mirror” to see their own blind spots, so that they can start to become aware of these blind spots and have new choice for action.

  1. You want to prepare the team / individual for the next level assignment
    The team has been doing well. You want the team to take the next level assignment. You want them to play big. Make bigger promises. And you want to support them to make this big promise and coordinate actions to achieve these big results.
  2. They have gotten into a rut, and are not able to come out of it
    Often, teams get into a rut doing what they have been doing. Some times, they are in a rut, and they are even blind about being in this rut. What’s worse, many teams even think that they are doing well. This is when you need whack them out of their slumber; support them in getting out of their rut, and invite them to different games to be played and won.
  3. Results are not being achieved (and according to them, it’s not their fault)
    When you start to see teams blame, either each other or the external environment for not delivering their results, you know it’s time to bring in a coach. One of the most common missing elements within teams is a team member taking responsibility for the team promise. Frequently, individuals take responsibility for their own promises, but rarely for the team promise.
  4. Have the intention to succeed, but don’t know how to succeed
    Often, we come across teams that are highly inspired, and motivated. They just don’t know what to do next. They have all the intention to succeed. They just don’t know how to.
  5. The impact of this team not delivering results has a huge impact on the organizational results
    Some teams in organizations have more importance than the other teams. When these teams do not deliver results, then the entire organization pays a price for it. This can also be true for individuals. Such individuals and teams need to be specially taken care of and supported.
  6. The mood of the team is disempowered
    There is only very little a disempowered team can achieve. They way a disempowered team “listens” to possibilities and “responds” to possibilities is very different from teams that are empowered and raring to go.

If you see any of the above signs in your team, then time has come to seek help to ensure that your team delivers on the team promise. Often, we see teams do not even have a team promise. We have helped many teams create and achieve promises across organizations and industries and will be happy to support you too.

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The One Thing You Need to Lead Effectively

What if you discovered you are at this moment carrying a powerful tool for creating an even brighter future? And, what if you realized that learning to use this tool more effectively could upgrade your life and career more swiftly than getting a smarter phone or a faster car?

What if you discovered you are at this moment carrying a powerful tool for creating an even brighter future? And, what if you realized that learning to use this tool more effectively could upgrade your life and career more swiftly than getting a smarter phone or a faster car?

You have that amazing tool with you right now: your body.

Your body shapes your availability for leadership:

  • Your body provides the oxygen to your brain, which can then visualize new futures.
  • Your body powers your muscles, which walk over to greet new colleagues.
  • The degree of tension in your body signals to others whether or not you are safe to be around.
  • Your body configuration shouts to people whether you are open or closed to their ideas, without your saying a word.

This sort of body-driven capacity expands or contracts your leadership effectiveness every day.

Our Western education hasn’t prepared us to build our bodies’ capacity to support the futures we intend to create. Have you ever seen any MBA classes on Breathing, Flexibility, and Core Strength for Leadership Success? I haven’t either. Yet, every day I see people undermine their leadership with shallow breathing, constricted posture, and inability to stand firmly. Leaders sometimes need to take firm stands, yet many have no practice doing so.

As much as I love rigorous academics, I dare any management insight or algorithm to make as much difference to your leadership capacity as a body of any size that is strong, flexible, and calm.

Additionally, your body’s specialized capability affects whether specific futures are open to you. If you get violently seasick, a career as a naval officer is not for you, as my father-in-law discovered several decades ago. If you have keen vision, piloting aircraft is a possibility for you. If you develop stellar coordination, tennis is there for you. If your aerobic fitness is decent, a climbing or biking adventure with your kids may be possible for you.

If your body stays centered, and you can maintain your ability to reason when faced with a challenge, executive leadership is available to you.

The leaders I coach often haven’t made that best use of their bodies, so this becomes an area where they can significantly increase their capacity. By walking or exercising more regularly, they feel more mental energy and physical calm to bring to their work. By addressing persistent distortions from old injuries or cramped hours at the computer, they move with more physical flexibility; frequently, they discover others then perceive them as more flexible to new ideas. By connecting periodically with their belly and heart areas, they discover insights that have yet to bubble up to their conscious minds. By pausing to breathe deeply for a few minutes between meetings, they recharge and bring freshness to their thoughts.

6 Simple Body Practices

Here are some simple practices that make the most difference:

⇒ Take five deep breaths between meetings. Be aware of your inhale (feel your rib cage expanding sideways) and slowly out.

⇒ Get your heart rate up, preferably in the morning or at midday. Go for a run or do 15 minutes of step aerobics or exercise bike at your home, if you must, while catching up on the news.

⇒  Consider deep bodywork to help your body let go of persistent historical tension.

⇒   If you have a body that is sensitive to what you eat, experiment with the level of caffeine, sugar, protein, carbohydrates and such to find the right mix that keeps you clear-headed.

⇒  Get the sleep you need. Nearly all of us need 7 to 8 hours a night.

⇒  Do yoga or Aikido to invite your body to find its center, connect inner experience and outer action, build strength, and stay flexible.

When was the last time you went to a sales meeting or was in a conversation or you did anything without your body?


About the Author: Pam Fox Rollin is a Coaching Excellence in Organizations practitioner and community member. Executive Coach, IdeaShape and Altus Growth Partners.

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Eight Principles Improvisation Teaches Us About Leadership and Life

Every improviser has a process — and at the very critical points, they ditch it and follow their gut. Why is this important to Leadership?

Improvisation is thought to be one of the most frightening gigs around yet is exhilarating once mastered.

Every improviser has a process — and at the very critical points, they ditch it and follow their gut. Why is this important to Leadership?

Improvisation is thought to be one of the most frightening gigs around yet is exhilarating once mastered. When in performance, improvisers in front of an audience are thrown suggestions at them, and right now they must make something meaningful out of one of them. It’s the true test of spontaneity. There is no need to be funny or clever. Just be there listening, open and ready for anything.

Because the best business plan, the best management plan, the best marketing plan, the best sales pitch or presentation is as good as its execution.

And each inescapably is confronted by unanticipated events, situations, or problems, meaning that…

Every business plan, at some point, inevitably becomes an act of improvisation.

Look at how the work of improvisers can reveal their easy-to-use principles to have you listen more deeplythink on your feet, take risks more readily, be spontaneous and meaningful, and be well-regarded as a leader.

How to Improvise

Here’s how improvisers do it and what you can do:

1. Great leaders allow for possibility. Say “Yes…and” (Accept all offers – no denials.) – This raises positive energy around any idea. It’s a must-have for creativity. Any denial kills the idea and creates a “no place to go” situation onstage. Saying “Yes…and” affirms and acknowledges a contribution. Great leaders allow for possibility. This is where creativity and innovation are born.

2. Collaboration at its bestMake your partner perfect – When you say “Yes…and” to validate your partner, the space between you is heightened and explored fully. All boats rise with the tide. By holding your partner up and they hold you up – there is so much more that can be achieved.

3. Great leaders rehearse for spontaneity. Prepare to be unprepared – Know and be ready for the likely questions and issues. Improvisers practice. They rehearse the devices they use so that no matter what is thrown at them, they have that structure to hold onto. Use planning and preparation tools, find a suitable structure, and practice your interactions. If you can prepare to be prepared, you can prepare to be unprepared.

4. Supportive and positive behavior: Play with good players – It makes you better. Look at the A-Teams and the Dream Teams. What can we learn? You get better by being with those who are at their best – which means you are at your best. Excellence begets excellence. “Supportive and positive behavior wanted. Cynics need not apply.”

5. It’s in your fellow teammates where you will find true safety. Rely on the team – Trust that at that moment “in the spotlight” when you don’t always know what’s going to happen, it’s only with your fellow teammates that there is true safety. Amy Poehler from SNL, Second City in her Harvard College graduation speech said that she “only needed to look into her partner’s eyes to know that she was safe.”

6. Don’t merely rely on the words – Show don’t tell. Be very specific – In your daily business, you dissect, analyze and intellectualize or develop a valuable case history and then you need to communicate your ideas and your solutions physically. We have clarity of purpose and clarity of our verbal message. Don’t merely rely on the words. Pay attention to your clarity of physical expression and presence. It is this message that leaves the larger impact and impression long after your audience is gone. We are only interested in direct communication – meaning mutual perceiving.

7. Use the pause. Don’t comment – It’s easy to keep your mind going and your mouth moving. What about a moment of pause? Why not try a moment of silence where your stance and presence demonstrate absolute faith in your own proposal?

8. Find your ability to perceive and sense fully. Don’t think – Get out of your head and into the space. Get out of your head and into your body. That’s what improvisation games have you do. It strengthens your ability to perceive and sense fully. Talented behavior is your greater capacity to experience and have involvement on all levels: intellectual, physical, intuitive, says Viola Spolin, the mother of Improvisation.

The intuitive is most vital to any learning situation.  The improvisation game provides involvement and freedom needed for experiencing.  You shut off the mind.  When the rational mind is shut off we have the possibility for greater intuition.

This allows spontaneity which frees you to feel your own true nature.

Improvisation is not a solitary sport. It’s great to know that better work can be achieved by working for the good of the group rather than the good of the individual.  The “we” is stronger than the “I.”

Key Competencies

Some key competencies that distinguish great leaders from the rest of the pack are that they:

  • Collaborate across boundaries with ease to get the whole room to respect the different interests and perspectives of all stakeholders, making it possible to realize breakthrough innovations.
  • Move easily from problem-solving to creating. Letting go of fear and anxiety motivates action and encourages the best contributions.
  • Leaders who are pragmatic are always prototyping and experimenting – a definition of creating. They are oriented toward possibility, evoking inspiration and creativity throughout their organization.
  • Using the Improvisation with these eight principles builds those leadership muscles so that your organization can be more creative, versatile, and nimble- a surefire design for success.
  • These skills resonate in all areas of your life.

This article was originally posted and published with Thrive Global, see here.


Written by guest blogger, Martha Gelnaw.

 

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