Lift Your People to High Performance!

Lift Your

People

To High

Performance!

team coaching

Lift Your People To High Performance!

Team coaching is the most sure-fire way to get your team aligned and performing at their peak. When a team is stuck in conflict and politics, it’s unlikely that any member of that team will reach their potential. Conversely, every member’s personal performance benefits from a high-performing team.

Is your team narrative what you would want it to be?

Is your team narrative what you would want it to be?

The Essence of Team Coaching

THE ESSENCE of team performance is truthful and skilful conversation, platformed on individual and collective self-awareness. Truthful conversation can happen when it is safe to do so. That safety seldom happens spontaneously. Most often, it needs to be contracted for between team members.

Management gurus Chris Argyris and Peter Senge pointed to people’s “defensive routines” as the major obstacle to people being able to treat mistakes as learning opportunities. They proposed a form of professional relationship which they termed colleagueship. This has since become known as psychological safety.

“If you want to raise the energy and performance within a team, don’t make them climb ropes, get them to speak their truth.” – Neil Bierbaum

The definitive study that led to the term psychological safety was done in 1996 by Amy Edmonson, now a Harvard professor. She found that the best performing hospital teams also had the highest error rates. Contradictory? No, it was a sign of their willingness and commitment to be honest about their mistakes. They could do that because it was safe to do so. This was confirmed by a finding by Google’s People Operations Department: teams with greater psychological safety outperformed all other teams regardless of skill level or personality makeup.

The safety being referred to here means that it is safe to ask for help, admit mistakes and raise issues / challenge each other, without fear of consequence. Team members know that their reputation and job will not be on the line for doing so. Things will not be held against them, even if they get the challenge wrong.

Another piece in the trust-performance link comes in the form of conversational intelligence. Studies have also shown that different types of conversation activate different parts of the brain—ones that are linked to distrust and trust respectively. The conversations that invoke trust are strongly aligned to a coaching style of dialogue. Various models that can be applied to teaching this form of dialogue. The most popular and well-known is Nancy Kline’s Time to Think model. However, there are others such as Bohm’s Dialogue that make an equal contribution.

Getting people to contract for a higher level of trust is the essence of a Team Performance Process. Neil specialises in shifting teams—especially the difficult ones for whom all hope seems lost!—to higher levels of performance through greater trust and psychological safety.

He achieves this by taking the team on a no-nonsense practical journey where they get to see themselves as creators of the experience they are having—and often complaining about. They learn to take the high road of being self-aware, empowered and responsible for every action instead of the low road of blame, gossip and politics.

High performance is the inevitable result.

What are your team performance needs?

There is most often a fair degree of uncertainty and tension when a new leader takes over, or when new members join a team.

It takes time for relationships to form. Often, with even a small change, the team can return to the forming stage (to use Tuckman’s Team Stages model) and has to work its way back through the stages to high performance.

The quicker you can embed new leaders or members, the better.

Often when a team is new, or when there are sensitivities because people take things personally, then we have this problem of too much politeness and not enough honesty.

This is not to say we should give bullies permission to not be polite or sensitive. People’s sensitivities should be acknowledged, but should not be allowed to dominate at the cost of honesty.

Honest, polite, sensitive feedback is crucial for high performance and getting the balance right is a skill that can be learned.

When conflict is high it may be a natural phase while people sort themselves out.

If the conflict continues, it can often be due to team members being more invested in their personal agendas than in the shared goal of the collective.

It can also be an indicator that team members have not managed to recognise, accept and harness their differences and play to each others’ strengths. Teams often get stuck because each member expects everyone else to do things they way they do and nobody wants to budge.

Complacency can arise when a team has been successful doing things a certain way. This can become entrenched and innovation suffers.

Teams can get stuck in this way and not see it, even when everyone else can. A high-performing team has the characteristic of constant challenge and shaking things up.

Every team member needs to consistently challenge other members to operate outside of his or her comfort zone.

If a team is not doing that it’s not standing still, it’s going backwards.

The greatest danger of success is that it gives rise to complacency.

There is a story that after winning a tournament, golfing great Gary Player was on the course the next morning, practising his bunker shots. He, more than most, has demonstrated that greatness doesn’t happen without conscious effort.

A team that wants to sustain high performance needs to know precisely what practices got it there; it needs to define what new practices will keep it there; and it needs to do them.

The Essence of Team Coaching

THE ESSENCE of team performance is truthful and skilful conversation, platformed on individual and collective self-awareness. Truthful conversation can happen when it is safe to do so. That safety seldom happens spontaneously. Most often, it needs to be contracted for between team members.

Management gurus Chris Argyris and Peter Senge pointed to people’s “defensive routines” as the major obstacle to people being able to treat mistakes as learning opportunities. They proposed a form of professional relationship which they termed colleagueship. This has since become known as psychological safety.

“If you want to raise the energy and performance within a team, don’t make them climb ropes, get them to speak their truth.” – Neil Bierbaum

The definitive study that led to the term psychological safety was done in 1996 by Amy Edmonson, now a Harvard professor. She found that the best performing hospital teams also had the highest error rates. Contradictory? No, it was a sign of their willingness and commitment to be honest about their mistakes. They could do that because it was safe to do so. This was confirmed by a finding by Google’s People Operations Department: teams with greater psychological safety outperformed all other teams regardless of skill level or personality makeup.

The safety being referred to here means that it is safe to ask for help, admit mistakes and raise issues / challenge each other, without fear of consequence. Team members know that their reputation and job will not be on the line for doing so. Things will not be held against them, even if they get the challenge wrong.

Another piece in the trust-performance link comes in the form of conversational intelligence. Studies have also shown that different types of conversation activate different parts of the brain—ones that are linked to distrust and trust respectively. The conversations that invoke trust are strongly aligned to a coaching style of dialogue. Various models that can be applied to teaching this form of dialogue. The most popular and well-known is Nancy Kline’s Time to Think model. However, there are others such as Bohm’s Dialogue that make an equal contribution.

Getting people to contract for a higher level of trust is the essence of a Team Performance Process. Neil specialises in shifting teams—especially the difficult ones for whom all hope seems lost!—to higher levels of performance through greater trust and psychological safety.

He achieves this by taking the team on a no-nonsense practical journey where they get to see themselves as creators of the experience they are having—and often complaining about. They learn to take the high road of being self-aware, empowered and responsible for every action instead of the low road of blame, gossip and politics.

High performance is the inevitable result.

What are your team performance needs?

There is most often a fair degree of uncertainty and tension when a new leader takes over, or when new members join a team.

It takes time for relationships to form. Often, with even a small change, the team can return to the forming stage (to use Tuckman’s Team Stages model) and has to work its way back through the stages to high performance.

The quicker you can embed new leaders or members, the better.

Often when a team is new, or when there are sensitivities because people take things personally, then we have this problem of too much politeness and not enough honesty.

This is not to say we should give bullies permission to not be polite or sensitive. People’s sensitivities should be acknowledged, but should not be allowed to dominate at the cost of honesty.

Honest, polite, sensitive feedback is crucial for high performance and getting the balance right is a skill that can be learned.

When conflict is high it may be a natural phase while people sort themselves out.

If the conflict continues, it can often be due to team members being more invested in their personal agendas than in the shared goal of the collective.

It can also be an indicator that team members have not managed to recognise, accept and harness their differences and play to each others’ strengths. Teams often get stuck because each member expects everyone else to do things they way they do and nobody wants to budge.

Complacency can arise when a team has been successful doing things a certain way. This can become entrenched and innovation suffers.

Teams can get stuck in this way and not see it, even when everyone else can. A high-performing team has the characteristic of constant challenge and shaking things up.

Every team member needs to consistently challenge other members to operate outside of his or her comfort zone.

If a team is not doing that it’s not standing still, it’s going backwards.

The greatest danger of success is that it gives rise to complacency.

There is a story that after winning a tournament, golfing great Gary Player was on the course the next morning, practising his bunker shots. He, more than most, has demonstrated that greatness doesn’t happen without conscious effort.

A team that wants to sustain high performance needs to know precisely what practices got it there; it needs to define what new practices will keep it there; and it needs to do them.

The Essence of Team Coaching

THE ESSENCE of team performance is truthful and skilful conversation, platformed on individual and collective self-awareness. Truthful conversation can happen when it is safe to do so. That safety seldom happens spontaneously. Most often, it needs to be contracted for between team members.

Management gurus Chris Argyris and Peter Senge pointed to people’s “defensive routines” as the major obstacle to people being able to treat mistakes as learning opportunities. They proposed a form of professional relationship which they termed colleagueship. This has since become known as psychological safety.

“If you want to raise the energy and performance within a team, don’t make them climb ropes, get them to speak their truth.” – Neil Bierbaum

The definitive study that led to the term psychological safety was done in 1996 by Amy Edmonson, now a Harvard professor. She found that the best performing hospital teams also had the highest error rates. Contradictory? No, it was a sign of their willingness and commitment to be honest about their mistakes. They could do that because it was safe to do so. This was confirmed by a finding by Google’s People Operations Department: teams with greater psychological safety outperformed all other teams regardless of skill level or personality makeup.

The safety being referred to here means that it is safe to ask for help, admit mistakes and raise issues / challenge each other, without fear of consequence. Team members know that their reputation and job will not be on the line for doing so. Things will not be held against them, even if they get the challenge wrong.

Another piece in the trust-performance link comes in the form of conversational intelligence. Studies have also shown that different types of conversation activate different parts of the brain—ones that are linked to distrust and trust respectively. The conversations that invoke trust are strongly aligned to a coaching style of dialogue. Various models that can be applied to teaching this form of dialogue. The most popular and well-known is Nancy Kline’s Time to Think model. However, there are others such as Bohm’s Dialogue that make an equal contribution.

Getting people to contract for a higher level of trust is the essence of a Team Performance Process. Neil specialises in shifting teams—especially the difficult ones for whom all hope seems lost!—to higher levels of performance through greater trust and psychological safety.

He achieves this by taking the team on a no-nonsense practical journey where they get to see themselves as creators of the experience they are having—and often complaining about. They learn to take the high road of being self-aware, empowered and responsible for every action instead of the low road of blame, gossip and politics.

High performance is the inevitable result.

What are your team performance needs?

There is most often a fair degree of uncertainty and tension when a new leader takes over, or when new members join a team.

It takes time for relationships to form. Often, with even a small change, the team can return to the forming stage (to use Tuckman’s Team Stages model) and has to work its way back through the stages to high performance.

The quicker you can embed new leaders or members, the better.

Often when a team is new, or when there are sensitivities because people take things personally, then we have this problem of too much politeness and not enough honesty.

This is not to say we should give bullies permission to not be polite or sensitive. People’s sensitivities should be acknowledged, but should not be allowed to dominate at the cost of honesty.

Honest, polite, sensitive feedback is crucial for high performance and getting the balance right is a skill that can be learned.

When conflict is high it may be a natural phase while people sort themselves out.

If the conflict continues, it can often be due to team members being more invested in their personal agendas than in the shared goal of the collective.

It can also be an indicator that team members have not managed to recognise, accept and harness their differences and play to each others’ strengths. Teams often get stuck because each member expects everyone else to do things they way they do and nobody wants to budge.

Complacency can arise when a team has been successful doing things a certain way. This can become entrenched and innovation suffers.

Teams can get stuck in this way and not see it, even when everyone else can. A high-performing team has the characteristic of constant challenge and shaking things up.

Every team member needs to consistently challenge other members to operate outside of his or her comfort zone.

If a team is not doing that it’s not standing still, it’s going backwards.

The greatest danger of success is that it gives rise to complacency.

There is a story that after winning a tournament, golfing great Gary Player was on the course the next morning, practising his bunker shots. He, more than most, has demonstrated that greatness doesn’t happen without conscious effort.

A team that wants to sustain high performance needs to know precisely what practices got it there; it needs to define what new practices will keep it there; and it needs to do them.

Outcomes

What you can expect to gain

  • A better understanding of self and others within the team context;

  • Recognition of, and greater willingness to work with, differences in style and temperament;

  • Awareness of one’s own and others’ defensive trigger points and how to work empathically together;

  • Improved levels of “psychological safety”;

  • Understanding of where the team is in terms of high-performance and what needs to happen to get there;

  • Having addressed the “elephant in the room” and able to deal with any other “sacred cows”;

Benefits

What this can do for your team

  • Improved rapport, with less time and energy wasted on thinking about “how to say” something;

  • A deeply felt, shared clarity of purpose, which has the knock-on effect of greater decisiveness, both individually and collectively;

  • Team members knowing how to be firm with each other, and when to be flexible;

  • A greater shared confidence in the future, and in the team’s ability to handle what comes;

  • A greater capacity to inspire and influence each other, and to call on this power, or energy, at will;

  • Improved relationships within the team, and a better team reputation within the organization;

  • The competence to quickly reach agreement, take greater accountability, and achieve results.

Outcomes

What you can expect to gain

  • A better understanding of self and others within the team context;

  • Recognition of, and greater willingness to work with, differences in style and temperament;

  • Awareness of one’s own and others’ defensive trigger points and how to work empathically together;

  • Improved levels of “psychological safety”;

  • Understanding of where the team is in terms of high-performance and what needs to happen to get there;

  • Having addressed the “elephant in the room” and able to deal with any other “sacred cows”;

Benefits

What this can do for your team

  • Improved rapport, with less time and energy wasted on thinking about “how to say” something;

  • A deeply felt, shared clarity of purpose, which has the knock-on effect of greater decisiveness, both individually and collectively;

  • Team members knowing how to be firm with each other, and when to be flexible;

  • A greater shared confidence in the future, and in the team’s ability to handle what comes;

  • A greater capacity to inspire and influence each other, and to call on this power, or energy, at will;

  • Improved relationships within the team, and a better team reputation within the organization;

  • The competence to quickly reach agreement, take greater accountability, and achieve results.

Outcomes

What you can expect to gain

  • A better understanding of self and others within the team context;

  • Recognition of, and greater willingness to work with, differences in style and temperament;

  • Awareness of one’s own and others’ defensive trigger points and how to work empathically together;

  • Improved levels of “psychological safety”;

  • Understanding of where the team is in terms of high-performance and what needs to happen to get there;

  • Having addressed the “elephant in the room” and able to deal with any other “sacred cows”;

Benefits

What this can do for your team

  • Improved rapport, with less time and energy wasted on thinking about “how to say” something;

  • A deeply felt, shared clarity of purpose, which has the knock-on effect of greater decisiveness, both individually and collectively;

  • Team members knowing how to be firm with each other, and when to be flexible;

  • A greater shared confidence in the future, and in the team’s ability to handle what comes;

  • A greater capacity to inspire and influence each other, and to call on this power, or energy, at will;

  • Improved relationships within the team, and a better team reputation within the organization;

  • The competence to quickly reach agreement, take greater accountability, and achieve results.

What does a Team Coaching program look like?

Transformation seldom happens as the result of a single intervention. Balanced against that is the question of time and budget. Here are the three levels — or degrees — of team intervention that are available, taking into account the factors just mentioned.

VIDEO | Making the shift from expert to leader

One of the greatest challenges we face is giving up our role as a subject matter expert and taking on the mantle of leadership.

What does a Team Coaching program look like?

Transformation seldom happens as the result of a single intervention. Balanced against that is the question of time and budget. Here are the three levels — or degrees — of team intervention that are available, taking into account the factors just mentioned.

VIDEO | Making the shift from expert to leader

One of the greatest challenges we face is giving up our role as a subject matter expert and taking on the mantle of leadership.

What does a Team Coaching program look like?

Transformation seldom happens as the result of a single intervention. Balanced against that is the question of time and budget. Here are the three levels — or degrees — of team intervention that are available, taking into account the factors just mentioned.

VIDEO | Making the shift from expert to leader

One of the greatest challenges we face is giving up our role as a subject matter expert and taking on the mantle of leadership.

To find out about executive coaching for leaders and individuals, follow this link.

To find out about executive coaching for leaders and individuals, follow this link.

What People Have Said

What People Have Said

What People Have Said