Season 2, Episode 38

Welcome to the Coaching Studio Podcast

This podcast features fun, lively conversations with masterful coaches who are creating an impact. Get to know them, their journey into coaching, and discover what wisdom they would offer you about being a better coach.

Let’s go!

Sophia Casey MCC welcome to the Coaching Studio

the Coaching Studio Guest Georgina Woudstra, MCC

I am happy to share Georgina Woudstra, MCC, with the Coaching Studio Podcast.

Credits

  • Host: Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC
  • Music: Frolic by Harrison Amer
  • Production Editing: Lyssa deHart
  • Social Media and Communications: Michele Logan

About This Episode

I look forward to introducing you to my guest today Georgina Woudstra, MCC. Join me on this episode as Georgina and I dive into the power of Team Coaching. Georgina shares how to stay a coach and empower teams. Team coaching takes a coach able to hold space. Remembering that there is Self, Team, and Situation. Georgina says, “I’m going to say it depends on the SPF because every team is different. Different sizes, contexts, lengths of programs, and levels of maturity. So my answer here is, in an ideal scenario, with a team that can hold it, and you may need to do more work to get the team to that place. But ideally, we mess around with the process as little as possible. See, the moment we facilitate breaking into small groups, and bring them back together, that’s facilitating. They’re not managing their own process. Right, but if the only invitation is to talk amongst yourselves for ten minutes, then you see, and they get to see how they self-organize. And, um, that’s when the learning happens, not when we organize for them. Otherwise, they need us with them organizing their process. So if we get out of the way, the system will reveal itself good, bad, or indifferent.”

Georgina Woudstra is much more than an executive coach. She is a chief executive coach with more than 30 years of experience and a proven track record in coaching CEOs, executive boards, senior leaders, and top teams. She specializes in coaching new and established CEOs as well as CEOs in the making. Georgina is one of the leading lights globally in team coaching. In 2017, she founded the Team Coaching Studio to provide coaches with a pathway to mastery in team coaching, ultimately leading to professional accreditation with the leading professional bodies. She is one of the first coaches globally to be recognized by the International Coaching Federation with the Advanced Certificate in Team Coaching.

Read the transcript of this episode of the Coaching Studio Podcast:

Lyssa

Hello. Lyssa deHart here with the Coaching Studio. Thank you so much for being a listener. And today, I really am excited to bring you the guest that I have in my studio today, Georgina Woudstra. She is an MCC coach with the International Coaching Federation. And it is such a pleasure, Georgina, to have you here in the studio today.

Georgina

Thank you so much. I’m really excited about this conversation. I can’t wait to get into it. So thank you for inviting me.

Lyssa

I’m super excited to get into it with you also, because I have a sense of, um, what is going to be really important about this conversation. I could be wrong, but I have some senses about what’s going to be really important. So, as you know, I like to start off with really what has been this sort of coach development arc that you’ve been on in your life? What has led you to becoming an MCC coach?

Georgina

It’s a long journey, actually. I first discovered coaching in, um, I think it was 1992, something like that, when, um, I had an entrepreneurial career starting, growing, selling businesses, and I sold a company, a tech company. And I was a bit lost, um, for the first time in my life was a bit flat and directionless. So I embarked on a Masters in Change Management, uh, thinking that that would always be useful and interesting. Um, and as part of my research, I interviewed a bunch of management consultants, about 25 management consultants. I think this really interesting reflexive approach, where rather than just analyzing what they said, I was tracking my responses to it. I wanted to see myself, discover myself through the inquiry, because the broader inquiry, the thesis was called Diving for Pearls. So my question was, all the self help books and business books start with have a vision, set out your strategy, set out your goals, overcome obstacles. But what if you don’t have a vision? And at that time, I couldn’t find that vision. So, through the process of research, I was looking for it inside myself, which was interesting. I didn’t realize how significant that was. And one of the management consultants I interviewed mentioned to me about coaching and said, I just got a feeling he might be really interested in this. Something about the way he talks about it really captivated me, um, because it was about being really present to the client and really helping the client discover themselves through the process, which, of course, is what I was wanting for myself.

Lyssa

Yeah, I love the parallel process that’s going on there.

Georgina

Uh, I was most taken by this idea. So I had the business interest in an entrepreneurial career. I also had a real strong spiritual interest. I was particularly interested in things that we can’t see, but we sense in this sort of universal power. And what is that? What, uh, is it that we don’t know or can’t see or understand? And was exploring in those areas. Then I had, I trained as a fashion designer, so I had a strong interest in creativity and learning and it coaching seemed to bring all of that together, you know, wow, that’s amazing. And the more I dug into it, the more I fell in love with now what has been my profession for 30 years.

Lyssa

What an amazing journey. But I think this piece around the internal exploration of what your own vision is, is so pivotal to finding, whatever the career is, coaching being one idea, but really anything that a person decides they want to spend their life really exploring and investigating is that need to do that deeper exploration into what that vision is. What did you learn about yourself in this process of your vision quest?

Georgina

I learned that I love business. I learned that I love, um, having a vision. I love having it by something to go after. Uh, and I really love the feeling of learning the sort of teetering on the brink outside of my comfort zone, not too far out of it. But I always need to feel like I’m stretching somehow. Um, and that’s part of my nature is that learning and reaching. And I also discovered at the time, 30 years ago, that I was fiercely independent and yet had a uh, huge craving for intimacy and inclusion with others. And part of my learning journey was to really, uh, shift from independence to interdependence and work out what that was. Mhm, I was a woman of the age where women didn’t want to be held back by life. We didn’t want the glass ceiling. I wanted to be out there running businesses. Even though I was the only chief exec in my field amongst 400 other male chief execs, I wanted this sort of sense of limitlessness. Mhm, and coaching, uh, gave me a way to explore the edges of that.

Lyssa

Yeah, I heard you say this movement also from independence to interdependence. Can you speak more about what that journey from independence to interdependence was for you?

Georgina

Yeah, well for me it’s deeply personal because I grew up, um, tall, large as in fat and isolated. Shy, deeply shy. And on the playground I was more the ones were holding back. Observing other kids play, wondering why people were so horrid to each other, why kids bullied each other. Um, but also wishing I was part of it, but I wasn’t. So I had that awkward socialness. I tried to overcome my team by, um, not going to need people, I’m going to look after myself and create businesses. Safety, safety in me. And um, whilst that brought some great strength with it, it also left me craving, uh, connection and craving relationship with otherness that I had to learn. I really had to learn about how, uh, that relationship works and the giving and receiving and what felt sometimes like a threat to my own independence, to be in relationship with others, both in work sense and also in personal relationship. And then over the years, I came to realize that if we sort of take a meta view that our, uh, society at that time in the all the self help books were about strengthen the individual, awaken the giant within. You can do it. Find out how you are. We were strongly engaging with the “I” in the system. And as we’ve shifted into the century and um, into this time, we are now with a worldly crisis. I think we’re only just realizing the absolute essential need to shift into “We” to shift systemically into dependence, to work out how to lean into one another, how to collaborate, how to go beyond, uh, the problems and challenges and land grabbing and power grabbing in the world. In order to create the best possible outcomes. I think it’s Otto Scharmer who said in his many brilliant books, but one in particular that I love about Theory U, https: //amzn. to/3WfzymX he says, collectively, we are creating results that nobody wants.

Lyssa

Right.

Georgina

It’s a big wake up call. And that’s at a societal level, it’s also an organizational level. Um, so there’s a lot of work for coaches to do. Yeah.

Lyssa

And as you bring up Theory U https: //amzn. to/3WfzymX I think it’s really important because not everybody may know about Theory You. And I will put a link to that book in the notes below. But that need to go into the bottom of the U, like you cannot just skip across the top and have a sustainable outcome. You have to go down and do the work of discovering what is below the surface.

Georgina

Below the surface, the deep dive, the diving for the pearls. But not just within me, within the “We. “

Lyssa

Organization or the team itself, on so many different levels that’s applicable. Right, well, and that really leads into, uh and I’m going to say what I hear from you is your passion. When I listen to you and I talk to you, it sounds like your passion, which is really this work of the collective, of the, um, collaborative, of the interdependence that you’ve been working on. Would you share more about your work around teams and what you are excited about and have discovered through your work?

Georgina

I would be so thrilled to Lyssa. Uh, it’s really my deepest passion. And uh, first I want to say for listeners, our deep passions often come from healing something of our past. And hopefully, I’ve shared how, um, my own evolution of the human being. Informs what I do now. My greatest fear as a child or teenager in my 20s would have been public speaking, would have been showing my faith, would have been standing out in any way. And here I am. It’s what I do every day. And that growth has come from, um, really growing myself my own limitations rather than living within them. And we only do that in relationship. So we grow in relationship with others. If you take a baby and you remove it from all physical and interactive contact with parents or others, it withers and dies. We grow with others in relationship and together we achieve more. Together we have more range of possibilities, we can see more things. No one person makes sense of situations clearly by themselves. So we need to activate this more than ever. And the beauty of coaching is that it’s really about um, that you’re diving deep underneath to understand, to really create collective meaning, to discover rather than telling. So um, if I wind the clock back, say about 20 years, I’ve been coaching a decade or so, um, I’ve pretty much always had a senior leader in the last ten years or so, 15 years. A chief executive coaching practice is where I found my groove because that was really my own experience with running businesses. Um, I found that, uh, clients were asking me, saying, I love this work with you. Can you come and work with my team? And I was drawn to that, I was really drawn to that, thinking that would be fascinating because so much of what clients bring, uh, are issues of relationship or how to generate, uh, performance in others, how to understand others. Um, so I got the books, I’ve got a massive library of books and I got the books on teams. What makes an effective team, team strategy, how to facilitate teams. And I got in there and start to work on vision, goals, value, priorities, strategy, um, personality types. Myers Briggs types.

Lyssa

You got the library.

Georgina

I love the library. Um, but I got, I started to get really frustrated because I felt like we’d do all this good work, we capture notes. The team would say that was a great away day, or a great couple of days usually. And then the work we’ve done would just disappear onto a file server somewhere, never to be looked at again. And I found that soul destroying because that wasn’t happening in my one to one work with clients. That work was having a lasting impact and uh, it was in conversation with, um, a colleague or iterative conversations really, that I realized, um, I woke up to the realization that when I shifted from one to one work to working with the team that out of my own awareness, I was shifting role. I was no longer being a coach, I was being a consultant, I was being a facilitator, I was being a mentor. I was the one who had to have the knowledge on, um, the five dysfunctions of the team or the team effectiveness model or whatever the model was at the time. I was the one preparing a workshop. Mhm and um, saying at 09: 00 we’re going to do this, 10: 00 we’re going to do that. 11: 00 we’re going to do it. Do you ever do that in a coaching session?

Lyssa

M, no. Because that’s not coaching.

Georgina

That’s not coaching. So I really challenged myself to say, okay, what is coaching? Team coaching with a capital C, with coaching at the heart. And I tried to find courses, I even went on a couple of courses and sat there thinking, this is useful, this is really useful stuff for facilitators, for consultants, but it ain’t coaching. Because the power is all with the intervener. The knowledge is all with the intervener. Mhm so in the end, my supervisor said to me about a decade ago, uh, 2011, 2012, I think it was. Will you stop complaining about this and do something about it?

Lyssa

Basically, get your business done and get off the pot.

Georgina

Exactly. That was what I did. I set a mission to really put, uh, myself to the test and really in conversation and training and experiential work with others to really develop what coaching is in a team context. Yeah.

Lyssa

And so this is what I think is so interesting about your work also, which is I think I’ve got the books, I’ve been through the courses, I’ve done a lot of that also. And, um, it’s an interesting thing how easy it is for people to slip out of the coaching role and into the facilitation role, or even if they’re not mentoring or advising, but just facilitating. Like, I’ve got to keep this moving along. I need to make sure everybody is heard, whatever that need to is. As you’re doing this exploration down into the you of what coaching teams is, what are some of the things that you really begin to discover as you go along?

Georgina

Um, one of the first things I discovered was myself. So I was very much confronted, why.

Lyssa

Are we always there, Georgina? Why we’re always there?

Georgina

Back to yourself. And, um, I was confronted with my own edges, my own fears and limitations, my own needs perform that came out more in a group or team than with one to one. I still remember my first ever one to one paid coaching session with an organizational client and being terrified and thinking, am I going to offer a new value? What’s the question? I had my list of ten best questions to ask and my grow model. I needed those structures.

Lyssa

Uh.

Georgina

I was confronted with myself, my need to perform, I need to control, um, my fear of taking risks, my fear of getting it wrong in public, and all of that. So I really had to work on my own capacity to stand in the file, uh, of all my need to rescue, to fix, to control, to manage the time. The second thing I did was I really started to track m my onetoone coaching, what we now call mantras, or part of your stance, the little thoughts that go through your head, that help you be a coach, like, is their agenda. Stay with it, trust the process. Mhm is, uh, there work to do. Whatever those are for you, that was what I tracked that helped me. It’s all data. Is one of mine breathe?

Lyssa

Yes, it is all data, isn’t it? Just all information coming in for them to hear.

Georgina

Yeah, for them to hear. And then, uh, I think one of the big learnings for one to one coaches is the mistake I made at the start was try to go straight into coaching ah, which is emergent without having set up a container. And this is quite technical ah, in the way stuff to go into for people who are listing. Haven’t, um, thought about this, but um, when you think about the ICF competency of, um, establishing a coaching agreement, just that basic foundational competency of what’s the contract here? What are we working on? How we’re going to go about that together? That sounds easy, doesn’t it? If you’ve got a team of eight or ten people and you ask them that question, what’s the topic we’re going to focus on today?

Lyssa

They go everywhere.

Georgina

They go everywhere. And you’ll get at least eight or ten answers and um, then what do you do with that? Because you’ve asked the question to them, they’re giving you those answers and then they’re looking at you going, okay, what are we going to do now? Ah, what are we going to do now? So learning how to navigate that territory to create a coaching agreement is a constant flow of going from many to one mhm, and that’s what our learning is. Now, if we facilitate that, we may need to at the start to get some energy going, we may need to stay. And I’ve heard you say we need to focus on our goals, we need to focus on listening to each other, we need to focus on, uh, clear decision making and follow through. Classic things like that. Here’s your list of ten things. Which where do we start? You might need to do that.

Lyssa

Yeah. And it’s so funny because this even happens in individual coaching, right? Where your client comes to you and they come in and you’re like, what would you like to talk about today? And before you know it, they’re like 20 things have just rolled out of their mouth. And as a coach, you’re not going to go, well, let’s start with the first, right? Uh, we’re going to be like, of all these 20 things that you’ve brought forward, what do you want to really focus your attention on in our time together? And I would assume in the team what I’m hearing, it’s agreement setting.

Georgina

Yes, it is. Um, sometimes that process at the start of team coaching takes longer to get to that agreement.

Lyssa

Yeah.

Georgina

Because of that going from many to one, it’s complex enough with one person, let alone with all those voices.

Lyssa

It speaks to the fact that agreement setting is coaching. And so doing the work of the many of, uh, them being and you talked about it a bit earlier, about empowered and having agency as a team, not being told what, okay, let’s fix this or let’s start with that. Or whoever’s got the most power in the room will do what you said, but rather, how do they get to that place of cohesion that they’re in agreement enough that they’re willing to work on this piece of the bigger basket of places they could explore. I’m sorry, that’s just so exciting. So I really appreciate you sharing that.

Georgina

Totally. And then another big learning ah, for us coaches is um, if you’ve facilitated quite a lot, often you’re managing the time, you’re managing an agenda to time slots and sessions. Within that agenda you like a workshop and you’re managing the energy of the group as a facilitator. So the energy drops and you go, okay, let’s have an energizer here, let’s pick it up again. Um, as a coach you don’t do that. It’s their energy. Don’t mess with it. It’s data. What’s the energy telling them? So just as with a client on a one to one coach, if you notice their energy goes down, you notice their awareness turns into themselves or up somewhere or the pay slows and then MCC, you’re not going to go, oh, the energy is dropped off here. That’s just going to come up with.

Lyssa

Your body, everybody.

Georgina

Which takes away from making contact with what’s emerging in the moment, right? Um, learning to stay with those moments.

Lyssa

Some of the kind of, the thoughts that I have rolling around in my head as you’re talking is what is the energy telling you? Right? And asking that of the team, what is this energy telling you all about your situation? Um, and so it just becomes another all data is data, right? All data is data. However we say data, data. Um, yeah, exactly.

Georgina

There’s lots of things, little micro things that we need to learn. Another one of the coaches, um, or if you facilitate it, maybe tracking content. So team member one said this, team member two said that, team member three said that. Maybe writing content on a flip chart. None of that is our work. The code not about content. Our ah, awareness goes into the team’s process. And by that I mean, what’s the interactional patterns happening here? Not for us to critique, it none of our business, uh, whether we think it’s working or not. It’s the client, the team’s agenda. But we may notice patterns. So we’ve noticed that one person, um, is withdrawn and says very little. We’ve noticed that the conversation cycled round and come back the same place several times. Um, that may be a pattern. We’ve noticed the team are brilliant at bringing forward ideas. Um, and we can work with that and hold the mirror up to these strengths and what the strengths are bringing them, what the cost might be of these in order that the team start to learn. Mhm, so for example, with a team recently, I just noticed you have the most incredible propensity for ideas. And every time you bring forward ideas, the energy of the team seems to drop it. And um, I wonder what’s happening with those ideas? How are they getting turned into decisions? How are you selecting those ideas? And they went, oh yeah, we’re terrible at that. We just generate loads of stuff, and then we generate loads of stuff in the next meeting, we really need to work out how to focus. So my role then is to encourage experiment mhm to say, okay, let’s have a ten minute conversation about something that’s really important and meaningful to you. What’s the problem that you need to solve as a team? Because they can pick one like that. There’s so many things we’re already have a conversation about that an experiment with completing that conversation in ten minutes, landing something, see how it goes. So we create experiments with the team, partnering with the team in the moment that emerge from themes that appear in front of us. Not bring a workshop on decision making with the ten different decision making models. And here’s how you can apply a fishbone to your problem as, uh, a consultant or a, uh, train as well.

Lyssa

I do have to say that I do like a fishbone myself, just as a visual. But I think to your earlier point too, it’s like, it doesn’t create a sustainable change of what they do, is they learn how to use this tool, but the tool is out of alignment with what’s really showing up in the space. And rather, if I’m hearing you correctly, as you’re working with this team.

Georgina

The.

Lyssa

Patterns and the ways of being are naturally showing up. Do an experiment in the moment with the ways of being that are actually presenting themselves, because that’s where their brain is lit up to in that moment also. So to play with it in that moment, you get your energy rockets. When you’re thinking of ideas, how do you make decisions about those ideas and take action on those ideas? Oh yeah, we’re kind of like rubbish at that. Well, let’s explore. How do you do that now? Do you break them into smaller groups or do you have them work as the entire team since that’s the way they would normally be working? Or is it a baby step into the bigger team?

Georgina

We have an expression at Team Coaching Studio which is, uh, is Self, Team, and Situation and annoyingly, I’m going to say it depends on the SPF because every team is different. Different size, different context, a different length of program, a different level of maturity. So my answer here is, in an ideal scenario, with a team that can hold it, um, and you may need to do more work to get the team to that place. But ideally, we mess around with the process as little as possible. See the moment we facilitate break into small groups, bring it back together, that’s facilitating. They’re not managing their own process. Right, but if the only invitation is talk amongst yourselves for ten minutes, then you see and they get to see how they self organize. And, um, that’s when the learning happens, not when we organize for them. Otherwise they need us with them organizing their process, right? So if we get out the way, the system will reveal itself good, bad, or indifferent, right?

Lyssa

Because then it just points to the next place. That’s a good place to explore. Uh, what would then allow you to be able to self organize more effectively? Versus and I brought up the other thing earlier about breaking them into smaller groups because I see that happen all the time in teamwork and I was really curious. So I’m so glad to hear this idea of, um, you want to always be, like you said, Sts, right, like self team situation. And there may be some teams in which it is important because they don’t have the ground rules to be able to navigate that yet. But the goal is that they’re a self organizing unit at some point. Pulling back is the goal.

Georgina

Yes. Learning happens at, ah, a team level in terms of how we work together, um, when the team subtly encode processes or norms that support how they work together. If you’re with a team that you’ve worked with for a while, you’ll have norms whether you’ve worked on them or not. Who leads the meeting, who captures things, how a decision is made, how timely the team is, who talks, who stays quiet, who brings ideas, who shoots them down. They’re all norms. Um, and when we facilitate the process, our aim is to control those norms in order to enable the team to be effective. So facilitation is brilliant and absolutely necessary. If the team have an instrumental outcome that they’re issuing with, they need to get their vision clear. They’ve got an urgent decision to make. They need to clarify their strategy. There’s a clear task to be done. Mhm then you manage the process, they can get the task done. Um, uh, you’re temporarily inhabiting what needs to be a team held role. Mhm so if we’re pulled into that, let’s say you’ve got a team of ten and you say, okay, I’m just going to stand back here. You talk about this problem or issue that’s really meaningful to you and see if you can land it. And I’m standing back observing, and it’s chaos. First thing happens, I might get activated. My performance triggers go off. This is messy, this isn’t working. I’ve got to fix it, I’ve got to step in. So I’m managing all those pools. They’re going to hate me. They’re going to think coaching is a waste of time. I’m managing all those pools. Um, if the team gets into enough discomfort about it, notices, becomes aware of how they’re managing themselves, it will self regulate, and all we need is a little prompt like, what do you notice about how you’re working? What’s working? Well, what would make it even better? Do you want to reset? Let’s do another five minutes. It’s just that light touch. I’m out of the content.

Lyssa

Yeah. The thing that’s just really showing up is the one just the ease that the coach then when you can let go of all these little pulls and hooks, and you can notice them for yourself, but you can set them to the side, you’re just holding the space again. It’s just holding the space and sharing what shows up for you, what you’re noticing, and then asking, being inquiry and curiosity then, with the clients, to learn about what they’re discovering through the process of what they normally do, which they do through habit at some point as well. So they’re not even aware of it anymore.

Georgina

Yes, exactly. I mean, you think about one of the hallmarks of, uh, Mcclevel coaching is the fluidity and artistry with which a coach engages with the client. And in this case, the client is the team. Mhm not about the control, the knowledge, the agenda, the performance. Um, we trust the team as a partner. We trust there was and that’s hard to do when the team seems highly conflicted or dysfunctional for the same as a client who’s lost. We trust that potential in them, not try to fulfill the gap for them. Ah.

Lyssa

My husband, um, he has a team, and he always is saying things like, profits are a trailing indicator of actions. And so the focus is always on what are our actions, because the profits are just a trailing indicator. And in some ways, what I’m hearing as you talk is performance is a trailing indicator of how well the team organizes, reorganizes navigates conflict, or whatever it is that’s showing up, decision making, that performance is the trailing indicator in this. So if we’re striving towards performance, it’s the same thing as striving towards profits. You’re missing all the stuff in the U that leads to that outcome right there.

Georgina

Um, nice model you’ve created there. I like that with the you in between.

Lyssa

Um, this is just brilliant because I don’t know, and maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the listeners will be like, oh yeah, we already know all this stuff. But my guess is, for a lot of people, this idea of really, truly coaching within a team is not what is the status quo. It is not the norm of how coaches coach teams. I think the norm is more what we’ve been talking about, of advising and facilitating and hurting and controlling and moving.

Georgina

M people towards personality assessment, team assessments, um, whether it’s an airgram or bridge or many others, debriefing them content, bringing content to the team. And that’s often because the sponsor is saying, so what are we going to do in this day? What are we going to.

Lyssa

Do, uh, well, and it brings up the idea because I think for a lot of people, there’s a sense of, I’ve got to show value. And if we’re doing some stuff and I have some things on paper that demonstrate we’ve done things, then the ROI will be there. This is kind of off topic a little bit, but how do you demonstrate the ROI when you’re, like, your team is going to function better, but you won’t have tons of other things that are thrown at you in order? And maybe there’s that also. Like, maybe it’s, uh, a balancing act.

Georgina

Would it be okay if I just briefly I will answer it, but I want to put it back to you and say in the leaders you coach, how do you demonstrate ROI when they’re wanting to be more effective as a leader?

Lyssa

Yeah, well, I think I asked them what indicators of leader effectiveness they want to demonstrate, and then what? We start working on what stops or is in the way of demonstrating what they said.

Georgina

I think it’s really similar. It might not be an answer that you can get to right up front. We might need to do more discovery work, exploring work, so the team can discover what that is. But it’s the same thing as what does this team need to learn to be super effective? Mhm these are the results you want to achieve the output that you talked about. What do you need to learn to achieve those and how are you going to work together? Uh, what do you need to learn to how you go about teamwork, um, and that we can help them discover. You think about the coaching competency of creating awareness. We can help them discover the opportunities for growth simply by inviting their attention onto their process. Give them any tasks to do. Come up with a list of your top six values. Let’s, uh, have an experiment, and then instead of looking at the values, take attention. What do you notice about how you went about that, or I noticed the team the other day for 15 minutes. They, uh, came up with a framework of the top eight attributes of what made them a successful team, and they turned it into a model with a shape and prioritized it. I was blown away at the team’s capacity. Mhm so we go, okay, well, that’s working well. How can you use that more?

Lyssa

Yeah, leverage that into these other areas.

Georgina

Yeah. Mind blowing capacity. I’ve never seen anything happen so far, uh, like that. Uh, wow.

Lyssa

And it’s so interesting, too, because I think that that hook or the pull that a coach would get is, tell me about the values. But to your point, it’s not about the values. It’s how did you get to the values? That is the really important information for the team to be gathering.

Georgina

Exactly the values is good work, isn’t it? Facilitator can do that. Work, right? And if the clients coming to us saying, um, what I really want you to do is help us come up with our list of eight values, then, um, let’s facilitate that. But most of the time when I get a phone call, um, I could do with some help with my team. And I’m wondering if you’re a right person. How come? What’s happening? Clients? What are you noticing? We’ve hired the best people in the industry. Honestly, individually, they’re the strongest people. They’re just amazing. So why the hell can’t they work together?

Lyssa

It’s the interdependence.

Georgina

Uh, other people, or us, can facilitate a workshop on values, but that’s not so much where they’re struggling, right? They’re struggling in the interdependent. The we the way.

Lyssa

Well, and you shared your story earlier about how you evolved as a human being a bit, and sort of the different experiences that you went through. Human beings are designed to be self protective. I mean, it’s a survival skill. Right. So, very few people, when you think about it, don’t have some of these things that have happened in their life. Even if they were the most popular kid in school. There was something going on that generated this need for self protection, and it showed up in different ways, like being super friendly and getting along with every single human being they ever met or whatever. But I think that’s the other thing to consider, as we’re looking at the integration and interdependence of a team, is that every single one of these unique, uh, individuals bring their same history with them. Right? Or that habit of armoring up versus being shamed or judged or found, uh, wanting in some way is alive for most people. Not 100% of people, but most people have some of that. And the recognition of that, I think, is really important as a reminder that you’re dealing with unique individuals who are also needing to learn how to work together because they’re all the best at what they do.

Georgina

Yeah. So another important, um, point for team coaches is oftentimes one to one coaches who come into team coaching, um, actually work with a team a little bit like group coaching. So trying to build that intimate depth of relationship with each team member, um, so that each person feels included, each person feels safe, each person’s needs are met. The operating philosophy probably out of awareness, but the operating philosophy is I plus I plus I plus I plus I equals team adjective mhm. Um, so it’s not the team is more than the sum of the parts. It’s the team is the sum of the parts, if we look at the team is more than sum of parts. And it’s saying together, the alchemy of us together takes us beyond what any one of us could achieve. Um, then we need to coach the we in the system. And that’s a challenging thing to learn, because when we do look we do a lot of simulations and practice in our courses and naturally, our coaches are geared towards, um, in a way trying to keep each person happy, each team member happy. Um, but teams don’t and can’t, like a family, keep each person happy. Or we hear coaches saying, um, um, I’d love to know what brings you joy? Would you be comfortable answering that? Well, no, they might not be comfortable or they might be, but the quest of a coach isn’t about comfort here. Teams are not comfortable.

Lyssa

This is really an important distinction between group and individual and team coaching, number one. And number two, I think it is the journey of the coach. Right. How do you, as a coach, i, as a coach, recognize the things that cause me discomfort and then do my own work so that I can set that aside so that I can be useful to whatever this is, group, individual, or team that I’m working with. Because I don’t even think in one on one coaching, our job is to take care of people. I think it is to challenge them with compassion. But still, it’s not about the coach taking care of the clients emotional needs. And even as a recovering therapist, it wasn’t my job to take care of the clients emotional needs. But that happened more. But that’s a hard arc to go, oh, I need to turn right now, or left, right and not go down that path anymore. Exactly like that. Because that goes back to what you were saying earlier, of, uh, trust that their whole capable, resourceful, creative trust that process. Trust that they’re going to be able to self organize if given the team.

Georgina

Is yeah, at that we level. Mhm, um, because sometimes the coach wants to guide the team to make decisions that include everything that every member has said. Uh, consensus is the operating preference, decision making preference that many coaches bring in. But that may not be how their system works. It may not be most effective in their system. It’s not up for us to notice, uh, it’s not for us to prescribe.

Lyssa

Right.

Georgina

Uh, but we can draw their awareness to it and say, I’m wondering how helpful that is for you. How is this working? So we try to keep it at the we level and keep the dialogue between team members. So instead of asking a question, um, what would you like from the session today? Look at each person, hear the response from each person. I might say, team, um, I’d like you to have a conversation with each other for the next few minutes on what you want out of the session today. I’m just going to sit back here, get myself out of policing, being a traffic cop for the conversation. And then if I got myself in the traffic cop situation, I then go, oh, um, Sharon, I haven’t heard from you. I’d love to hear from you. Then sharon is telling me as the coach, right.

Lyssa

So you become sort of the belly button and everybody with the coach instead.

Georgina

Of trying to get out of that.

Lyssa

Which is the problem anyway. Right. They need to learn how to communicate and function together and in a safe environment of an experiment of come together for the next five minutes and decide together what’s most important for today. It’s a very low, problematic sort of experiment to just see how it works and then how did it work becomes the next. Right. Like what did you guys learn from that experiment?

Georgina

Exactly?

Lyssa

Yeah that’s just brilliant. Um I have just absolutely adored this. I knew I was going to be super excited with the conversation with you around teams. I’m um going to go back to you as a coach though, just for a bit, as we’re kind of looking at the um rest of this conversation for you. This self awareness that you discovered as you were diving into what your vision was going to be. How do you see that manifesting itself as you moved from ACCP MCC on this arc of coaching? And as an MCC, how do you continue with your own journey? What are your thoughts on that? Weird question? Sorry.

Georgina

Yeah, well on the first question of how does this link back to where I was working on my vision and um what I was originally drawn to? Uh I don’t think I was that aware of it at the time, but really I was looking for and needed to make changes in myself. How I related or how I blocked relating mhm and blocked vulnerability to be in relationship, to be an intimate relationship. Um I couldn’t have said that clearly at the time but that was um really my learning set was working on me more than learning the grow model or whatever. Um but it’s only by engaging with sort of the competencies and tools and things like that that we start to see ourselves as long as we do the reflective practice. And I’ve been very committed to that. To mentor, coaching, supervision, ongoing learning in experiential forums, over theoretical forums. Um, I’ve learnt that just filling my head up with a load more uh science and models and ideas around how humans and teams function for me often gets in the way of me being fully present because I’m diagnosing, I’m deciding it’s coming into my questions. So one of the things I learned in mentoring because I think it’s important was the competency. I struggled most to understand when I was um going for MCC was present. Now no longer sadly, in the ICS model, I feel a loss for it because uh it disappeared really into embodies a coaching mindset. Um having it as a separate competency made it much more figure, much more to the four. And I really learnt that my presence, my way of being is an intervention mhm and has an impact more than any tool I use. And there’s a coach that’s primary tool. Another little quote from one of Ottasharma’s books. I don’t know why he’s coming up to me today. I think it was Bill Hanover who was the chief executive of an insurance company. He, um, said that the success of any intervention depends on the interior conditions of the intervener. So I had to learn to manage my interior conditions, uh, to be vulnerable by not managing risks, not trying to perform, but being in the moment. Allowing what is to happen.

Lyssa

Yeah, really allowing what is to happen, I think, and to recognize that everybody’s okay, I survived it. It was not as horrible as my mind had invented it to be, and what else is possible. And in a way, it’s doing the same little experiments with ourselves that we’re asking the team to do. To discover something about how the process works, right? Like, how does the team work together, doing little experiments with ourselves that allow us to explore how we are being and what our being, um, and how we want to be in our being with others. And he mentioned mentor coaching, you also mentioned supervision. Uh, and I mean, I am a very, I believe very deeply in both of those processes as a way of continued growth. And there’s something I’m also feeling very aligned with, which is I think this is my personal opinion, that we continue to get trainings and different sorts of things. We want tools, we want a tool we can use to make it just sort of like the magic pill that will make it all just work perfectly. And as in most things, we are the equation. Right. That is a part of it. And so that work on ourself actually is the work that is important so that we can to what you just shared our interior being is what will allow us to be in the space and share more deeply that capacity with others. It’s beautiful. If somebody were thinking they wanted to not necessarily be a team coach, but really move towards MCC and their coaching, even if they never got an MCC, is there any thought that you have for them on this process or this journey that you’ve learned on your own journey that would be useful to them?

Georgina

Yeah, I’ve done a fair bit of MCC mentoring over the years. Um, and so I bring with it my own phone reference color. By my own experience, I don’t know that I’m able to separate those, um, as a sort of universal guideline. It’s more my own experience. Um, but give it time. I would say. I had, um, I took ten years from PCC to MCC for lots of reasons, not least resistant to authority, which is another one of my things.

Lyssa

I appreciate that.

Georgina

Um, and I had a lot of mentoring from one to one, and group mentoring. Um, and it was so helpful um, I think the other thing is you were talking about tools and that made me think of, uh, something I had not thought about at that time when I was PCC level, was this whole distinction between vertical development and horizontal development. And the vertical development is a lot more to do with knowledge and skills and acquisition of tools. This assessment, that exercise, that toolkit in a box, or even the competencies, ticking them off at checklist level, uh, it’s all really about skills and doing and it’s essential, I think, once we’re at PTC level, we want to have those coaching competency skills in the bone. Because until that moment, we’re in any kind of assessment, really, our mind is going on to, like with driving, how am I driving? Looking in the mirror, what am I doing? We want that to be automatic because MCC level, we’re looking for coaches, uh, own individuality, their presence, their way of being, to become the tool, the interior of the intervener, not the exterior theory model at all. Mhm so that fluidity is there, the authenticity is there. And that means the learning journey is vertical, into the coach, into who they are, and almost like sweeping out dusty corners. Mhm which kind of represents the areas where we get triggered into performing, triggered into doing, triggered into trying to add value, like you were saying, while you’re on, by bringing something clever or smart. Um, because to work the MCC level is really about being utterly present to the client or the team’s case, the team’s process, to what’s emerging, working more deeply into the landscape of feelings, into the view of sensing, of noticing being present to. Um, and if we can’t do that for ourselves, we’re going to probably find it quite difficult to do it with others. Mhm I imagine, certainly I struggled with that. Yeah.

Lyssa

I’m sure there’s somebody who can fake it very well, but, uh, for most of us, if you’re being authentic, if you haven’t done the work, it’s very difficult to hold the space of the work.

Georgina

Yeah, because the noise is on inside our heads, on how am I doing here?

Lyssa

I said, do they think I’m awesome? Um.

Georgina

I’m the best coach ever.

Lyssa

I am. Please, somebody confirmed that for me.

Georgina

We will be in there.

Lyssa

Georgina, as we come into our final question here. Um, if you were to write your autobiography today, um, what would you title it for yourself?

Georgina

Oh, wow, what a question. Well, something around celebrating interdependence celebrating the we.

Lyssa

Yes, celebrating the we. I have so very much appreciated spending time with you today. Thank you so much for being on the coaching studio.

Georgina

Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for really tuning in and listening and, uh, engaging with what I’ve been sharing and bringing your own thoughts to the table. It’s been a really rich dialogue and one of the things, many things, but one of the things I’m carrying away with me is this you of the team. And, um, I’m going to draw that after our call. And I think that’s a powerful representation of the space between input and output. You’ve really given me a gift today with your ideas. Thank you.

Lyssa

Well, and I am so appreciative that you brought theory you back and that Sharma kept showing up in our conversation today because I think it’s such an important concept to begin playing with as a human being, as a coach, as a team coach. And so just wonderful. Thank you again so very much. Much.

I hope you enjoy these lively conversations.

If you do, please hit that subscribe button below for notifications of upcoming episodes. I plan to roll them out regularly, so thank you again for being here, and I look forward to “seeing” you on the next episode.

Please share with the people you think may enjoy meeting real coaches and experts, making an impact in the world, getting to know them on their journey, and discovering what wisdom they would offer you about being a better coach!

Other Podcast Episodes

To discover more about this podcast, check out what we are about.

Are you a coach making a difference in the world of coaching? Are you interested in being on the show? Click here for more information about becoming a guest.

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Host

Lyssa deHart ditched her therapy practice to become a Leadership Confidence Coach. Along the way she discovered a passion for professional coaching and wanted to find ways to share that passion with the world. Come join her in discovering and meeting some of the most amazing professional coaches on the planet. Her goal is to inspire coaches. Lyssa is the author of StoryJacking: Change Your Dialogue, Transform Your Life , and The Reflective Coach. Lyssa is an ICF PCC Assessor, Certified Mentor Coach, and budding Coach SuperVisor. Lyssa uses her understanding of the ICF Core Competencies, combined with her knowledge of Neuroscience, to work with people to become extraordinary professional coaches. Let's Go!

Lyssa deHart Coaching participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates affiliate program. The hope is to earn commissions by linking to Amazon and help support the website and the podcast. This means that whenever you purchase from a link on this website you will be taken to Amazon, and we receive a tiny percentage of the purchase price. We thank you for supporting us in this way. Our Privacy Policy.

You can also support Lyssa in the production of the podcast and her YouTube Videos by buying her a coffee. Every little bit helps, and Lyssa loves her coffee!