A fundamental question for your team

When coaching leaders, one of the most frequent issues they want to work on is to improve the relationship with their team. Going deeper, here are several specific topics that are identified as part of the issue:

  • The team is not aligned with the leader’s vision
  • The team seems to have a recurring internal struggle with communicating
  • The team is not motivated and is lacking the energy to pursue team goals
  • The delegated tasks are not executed as agreed
  • The leader needs to constantly check in on the progress of delegated tasks

Leaders who care about their team are investing lots of time and money in trying to ‘fix’ the team, to offer them more training, more tools, more rewards, team building events, etc. only to discover that something is not working properly, something is still missing.

Surprisingly, the solution to the issue declared by the leader can often be addressed by looking somewhere else.

More often than not, the team has everything in place needed to perform, but it just doesn’t. When we discuss with the leader to identify the areas we can address with team coaching, there is one question that usually causes not an answer, but silence: Does the team know what its purpose is? And sometimes a couple of follow-up questions for deeper reflection: Who does this team serve? Who are the beneficiaries of this team’s results? 

After briefly reflecting on the question, the leader offers a variation of the following answers: I guess so; I hope they do know, they’re supposed to; We actually didn’t have this discussion with the team. A small minority answer a definite “Yes, they do know.”

What we do in the majority of cases is to expand the exploration of this question by the team by offering them the opportunity to formulate their perspective and perception on other connected questions through the Team Coherence Index survey. To be sure that every team member is fully and openly expressing their opinion, the survey is anonymized and delivered via a highly secure, enterprise-grade encrypted link.

By allowing the team to self-assess and offer their own answers on all the major areas that make a great team, great, amazing insights are revealed. These collective insights serve as a foundation for starting to address what the team wants and needs to do to become better.

The issue perceived by the leader is often resolved by simply doing that: hearing the concerted voice of the team. Sometimes, more is needed: training, team coaching on team dynamics, team building, etc.

To offer your team the opportunity to express their view on what they need to improve for becoming a high-performing team, check out the Team Coherence Index.

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