Podcast #078 - Coaching Dream Teams: The Journey to Creating Better Leaders and Teams


Is the goal of team coaching just about developing better performing teams? Can team coaching also help create better leaders in organizations and the world? How can team coaches balance the roles of coach, facilitator, trainer and consultant in team coaching? Tune in to this week’s episode of the Team Coaching Zone Podcast where host Dr. Krister Lowe interviews Serhan Kuseyrioğlu–a Founder and Managing Partner at Elemental V based in Istanbul Turkey–to reveal the answer to these and other important questions.

In the episode Serhan shares her compelling story from studying dentistry to becoming a corporate executive in the pharmaceutical industry to discovering coaching and then to founding Elemental V. Themes explored in the episode include: –

Serhan’s approach to creating Dream Teams

-Using team assessments in team coaching

-Kickoff workshops

-Frequency of team coaching sessions

-Embedding skills training in team coaching

-Team coaching as a vehicle for leadership development

-Pitching team coaching engagements to clients

-Co-team coaching

-A story of coaching a challenging team to becoming a Dream Team

-And more

Serhan models in an effortless way how coaching helps us to live more consciously and boldly. And she demonstrates how it also has the power to transform both our individual lives and businesses. This is an episode that all team coaches will surely not want to miss!

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Episode #078: Serhan Kuseyrioğlu: Coaching Dream Teams: Creating Better Teams and Leaders

Part 1 – Getting to Know the Team Coach

  • Founder, Executive Board Member and Managing Partner
  • Founder and Managing Partner of Elemental
  • Based in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Graduate of Istanbul University School of Dentistry; post graduate studies at Columbia University in Orthodontics; New York Institute of Technology MBA program
  • Past professional career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Leader, Director, and Manager. Has supervised and led more than 500 people, oversaw budgets exceeding 100 million Euros for more than 10 years; sales and marketing exec; led teams
  • Professional CTI Co-Active Coach
  • Certifications in NLP, Gestalt, ORSC, Certified in Leadership Circle profile for leadership and Culture, Counsel Guide for the Ehama Institute; Immunity to Change
  • CTI leader in Turkey and Spain delivering coach training programs
  • Has made some courageous shifts throughout her career: DentistàCorporateàFounder of Own Business
  • Was a consumer of coaching which helped her begin making conscious choices and then going for it which is what we do in coaching
  • 2004 while National Sales Manager overseeing 160 people. Need to learn how to manage her direct reports—all who were male. Decided to get coaching. Let to her trying to be a “coach-like manager”
  • Started taking coaching training through CTI in 2005
  • Promotions went on for 5 years and teams got bigger and she kept attending workshops and started to develop programs to help managers develop coaching skills
  • Took CTI’s leadership program
  • Decided she wanted to focus on developing people’s potential and igniting their performance
  • Partnered with some colleagues and in 2010 founded Elemental and started consulting to companies in Istanbul: assessments + coaching
  • Dynamic community of coaches in Turkey
  • About Elemental:
    • Leadership development company: specialists, boards, etc…
    • Measure and then Grow and Develop
    • Assessment & Development centers (e.g. 150 sales reps to local CFO who will be appointed to a regional role
    • Represent 2 companies from UK and India
    • Represents CTI in Turkey
    • Individual Executive Coaching
    • Team Coaching and Development Programs
    • Leadership Development Programs for Managers
  • Approach to coaching is to focus on the whole person (mind, body, spirit, etc…)
  • Importance of educating the client about experiential learning methods

Part 2 – Approach to Team Coaching

  • Product called “The Dream Team”
  • Once you have the right methodology you can help any team to become great
  • The end result in team coaching is not just a better team but also individuals become better leaders, parents, etc…
  • Hidden agenda: becoming better individual leaders
  • Phases:
    • Assessment: Uses Team Diagnostic assessment by Team Coaching International (both quantitative as well as qualitative feedback on the team as a whole).
    • Two day workshop, often offsite with overnight where the team can interact in a different way: explore the survey results, where they want to go, and a strategy for getting there; then working on the skills to get there;
    • Start meeting with the team once per month for a half day for 4 to 6 sessions over 6+ months; once a month seems most feasible for the teams Serhan works with (often times dispersed geographically and brings them together in person). With teams there tend to be less topics to coach around than individuals.
    • Conduct a post-test of the Team Diagnostic assessment to see how the team has changed and also to explore how the team can be self-sustaining after the coaches have exited
    • Also focus on the individual leadership styles, preferences, feedback session
    • Likes to include games, nature, etc…into the approach
    • Sessions also include some type of training module: small bits of information that open up windows, raise awareness about behaviors, etc…
    • Blending learning and performance
    • Pre and post test measures: scores in Turkey are aligned with TCI’s database. Once you increase the Positivity factors (i.e. “Being”) increases the Productivity factors (i.e. “Doing”)
    • One company, largest in their industry sector: started with hardest team; 13 to 23% change on various sub-dimensions on the TCI Team Diagnostic
  • Pitching team coaching to clients: get buy in of the team leader; have the team leader announce the process to the team rather than HR or other 3rd party; spend some time with the team leader to understand the process and value; HR can send the message about the logistics and as a sponsor; ensure anonymity (team and coaches only will be involved); some agreement and alignment with HR (HR can ask the team how it is going with the team but not ask the coaches to disclose); draws a line about not doing less than 4 sessions with the team; showing data of pre and post test on assessment can be helpful; argues that millions of dollars are spent on picnics, holidays, etc…so invest in this and get something permanent in terms of change
  • Team coaching as a vehicle for developing leadership:
    • Lack of trust often the major issue in teams
    • Works with lots of multi-national teams
    • Lack of communication and lack of leadership at the root of lack of trust
    • Lot of major skills missing in leaders
    • Once you develop the basic skills of leadership it impacts the team and shows up
    • Leaders need tools to use in their teams and in their families and communities
    • Skills: listening; asking questions à basic coaching skills; acting aggressive vs. assertive or passive-aggressive; “life skills” that show up as leadership skills; how saboteurs show up; what are people’s needs and values that are driving their behavior in the team
    • The team provides an immediate context for the practice of skills
  • Dream Team as a “product”
  • Stories of Dream Teams program:
    • Lots of teams that started not feeling or believing they are teams especially senior ones
    • Case Example – A team that was the best in their sector around the world; 19 people in a Regional HQ in Istanbul
      • Very diverse group
      • Said “we aren’t a team” at the beginning
      • Company has the goal to go over $2 billion in 5 years for a certain group of products: new CEO announced this; team was skeptical about this $2 billion goal
      • People were flying in from all over the world with high expectations
      • Not only changed the target from $2 to $2.8 billion but they created a project where they would grow olives from the grounds of factory and make olive oil and give it to the workers, the team and the coaches; showed how they appreciated the process
      • Co-team coaching; importance of modeling

Part 3 – Closing / Parting Advice / Words of Wisdom

  • Passionate right now about resilience and building resilient organizations: change agility + resilience to increase productivity; looking at ways to do this and measure it as well as tools and products; climate and culture of resilience
  • Likes the Immunity to Change – one of the best weeks of training in her life; focuses more on individual change and that creating change in the system rather than measuring it; likes to measure things; what you can measure you can manage; how to measure agility and resilience even with focus groups and small sessions; comes from a medical background and so likes using diagnostic tools
  • elemental-v.com
  • serhan@elemental-v.com
  • V = value
  • People Value and Valued People
  • Organized CTI coach training courses starting every 2 months
  • As team coaches we need to be flexible: “what team coaches do after lunch is re-design the afternoon”
  • Don’t be too harsh in not bringing your training and consulting identities; sometimes in teams they need us to be facilitators; be more flexible in the way you show up

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