PODCAST SHOW NOTES - PHILLIP SANDAHLEpisode #024: Team Coaching That Delivers Measurable Results
Phillip Sandahl, Master Certified Coach, Certified Professional Co-Active Coaching and the Co-Founder of Team Coaching International (TCI)
#024: Team Coaching That Delivers Measurable Results
Join Dr. Krister Lowe and leading organizational coach and early pioneer in the field of team coaching, Phillip Sandhal, for this week’s episode of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast. Phil is a Master Certified Coach, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and the Co-Founder of Team Coaching International (TCI). Phil is an internationally recognized consultant, coach, trainer, and author. He was an early pioneer in the field of team coaching and has worked with teams in North America, Europe and Asia that include Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Cisco, Cap Gemini, ING Bank, TransCanada, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Navy.
He is a sought-after speaker on team performance, team leadership, and team trends. He has presented at conferences in Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Australia, and of course the U.S. He is co-author of the leading textbook on coaching: Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, with more than 100,000 copies in print and in 10 languages. Phil is a former senior faculty member for The Coaches Training Institute and has been training coaches worldwide since 1998. As principal trainer for Team Coaching International, Phil has trained more than 1,000 team coaches from 43 countries. That training also certifies coaches in the use of the Team Diagnostic suite of team and team leader assessment tools. The Team Diagnostic has been used with thousands of teams worldwide and is in 22 languages.
In this episode of the podcast Phil shares his journey from a career in journalism to discovering the field of coaching where he became a senior faculty member of the Coaches Training Institute and where he trained coaches around the world and also co-authored the well-known text on co-active coaching. He then shares the journey into team coaching and to co-founding Team Coaching International in 2004. In the episode Phil shares stories of hits and misses from his own practice coaching teams and also insights from training team coaches. Some themes covered in the episode include: the Team Diagnostic; appreciative inquiry in team coaching; productivity and positivity – two essential dimensions in teams; a 3 phase approach to team coaching; the eclectic mixture of skills a team coach uses during ongoing team coaching sessions; the role of metrics in team coaching; coaching multi-cultural teams; training team coaches and more.
This episode is another opportunity for both new and experienced team coaches to gain lessons learned, tips and wisdom from one of the early pioneers in the field of team coaching. It’s surely an episode you will not want to miss!
RESOURCES RECOMMENDED ON THE SHOW
- Team Coaching International: Team coaching certification training programs; Team Diagnostic assessments; case studies on team coaching
- Kimsey-House, H., Kimsey-House, K., Sandhal, P., & Whitworth, L. (2011). Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives.
- Strengths Finder Assessment – http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx
- Peter Hawkins: Leadership Team Coaching
- Frederic LaLoux: Reinventing Organizations
Part 1 – Getting to Know the Team Coach: Phillip Sandahl
- Phil is a Master Certified Coach, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and the Co-Founder of Team Coaching International (TCI).
- Phil is an internationally recognized consultant, coach, trainer, and author.
- He was an early pioneer in the field of team coaching and has worked with teams in North America, Europe and Asia that include Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Cisco, Cap Gemini, ING Bank, TransCanada, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Navy.
- He is a sought-after speaker on team performance, team leadership, and team trends.
- He has presented at conferences in Finland, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Australia, and of course the U.S.
- He is co-author of the leading textbook on coaching: Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, with more than 100,000 copies in print and in 10 languages.
- Phil is a former senior faculty member for The Coaches Training Institute and has been training coaches worldwide since 1998.
- As principal trainer for Team Coaching International, Phil has trained more than 1,000 team coaches from 43 countries.
- That training also certifies coaches in the use of the Team Diagnostic suite of team and team leader assessment tools. The Team Diagnostic has been used with thousands of teams worldwide and is in 22 languages.
- Was a professional musician – guitar player; put himself through school this way; also the first place he learned about working in a team; collaborating with others to create music
- Sailor – sailed from Spain to Antigua; cross-Atlantic trip.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism – 16 year career; lots of business to business writing; video script writing; wrote on a range of topics
- Strengths Finder Assessment – is a “maximizer”; seeking roles where you help others succeed
- He then discovered CTI (The Coaches Training Institute) – invited Henry Kimsey-House and Laura Whitworth (founders of CTI) to Minnesota to conduct a training;was in April of 1996. After taking the training he found that “these are my people and I’ve been doing this my whole life.”
- “Lots of people who have come to coaching were drawn to it or were called to it. Nobody did a middle school career notebook on becoming a coach some day. We followed a particular string and that’s how we ended up here.”
- Became a faculty member at CTI and co-wrote the Co-Active Coaching book.
- How Phil got into Team Coaching:
- Was working for CTI in Japan training coaches
- Moved back to US in 2004 to San Francisco
- Met Alexis Phillips, coach and now business partners, created Team Coaching International
- Alexis was working on assessment tool for teams
- Organizations love metrics and she knew that she would need an assessment tool for teams
- When Phil saw the tool “it was like a light came on… I thought here is an opportunity to take one-on-one coaching and actually leverage it with a whole group of people at one time…imagine the possibility of that.”
- Started working together in 2005 and got the assessment online working and working with teams.
- Started training team coaches in 2006: first one in San Francisco and then next one in Brussels after an international coaching conference
- TCI was international from the start as Phil was already working internationally and known internationally; was presenting at conferences
- About the Team Diagnostic:
- Built on the premise that a team is a living system that has a past, present and future
- There are unwritten rules, behavioral norms that are unspoken
- Assessment framed from the team level and not the individual level
- Shifts the way team members see the team when doing the assessment
- About “who we are as a team”
- Coaching report is created that shows 5 graphic levels that drill down into increasingly specific areas
- Data is important but the tool is about providing a coaching tool that “reveals the system”
- Helps a team see itself interacting and how the individuals are interdependent with each other
- Designed for team coaching
- Two Key Dimensions: Productivity and Positivity:
- Does an activity in a workshop based on appreciative inquiry where he asks team members to recollect a story of working on great team that stands out. This helps people “feel” what is was like to be on the team and then also identify the attributes of great teams.
- The qualities that emerge tend to align with two categories: proactive, task-oriented aspects that get the job done. Another set of qualities have to do with the culture and relationships of the team and trust.
- Two key aspects of teams: productivity and positivity
- Some teams don’t like the language of “positivity” so he replaces the word “engagement”
- Productivity: 7 factors on the Team Diagnostic
- Positivity: 7 factors on the Team Diagnostic
- Results can be mapped into four quadrants (high-low positivity and high-low productivity)
- Lines up with “Co-Active:” wasn’t intentional; was more serendipity
- Three Phase Team Coaching Approach:
- Coaching approach
- Change takes place over time
- Phase 1 – Discovery and Assessment: leading to an action plan
- Phase 2 – Ongoing Coaching: typically 6 months, face-to-face and/or virtual
- Phase 3 – Completion and Next Steps: harvest the learning, celebrating and looking at where we want to go next
- Work happens in the discovery phase with the team leader to get them on board
- During the discovery phase there is some work with the team to help build rapport with you as a team coach and to build some safety and trust with the process
- Does a 1 to 2 day workshop in Phase 1 to do a kickoff that leads to an action plan
- Typically 6 coaching sessions for 2 to 3 hours that often includes follow up and sometimes training (e.g. decision making process/skills); sometimes scheduled when the team has monthly meetings; varies according to teams availability and budget
- Action-learning coaching: get them talking about a relevant current conversation that they normally would; role of the team coach is to hold up the mirror of what is happening in the team to reveal the inter-dynamics of the team
- Uses the Team Diagnostic to create a baseline and then administers again to see after 6 months where they have come to: creates measurable results that organizations like
- Average improvement in teams is 20% on the positivity and 20% on the productivity factors after 6 months of coaching
- Team Diagnostic a differentiating feature of TCI’s approach: measurable results focus is key; organizations invest a lot and want to see what they are getting for their investment.
- For most team coaches they have anecdotes or relationships; TCI made a commitment early on to demonstrate measurable results
- On TCI’s website they have 15 case studies of team coaching demonstrating measurable results.
- Additional metrics can be added in addition to team metrics
- In discovery phase discusses with teams what they want to measure at the tend of the coaching engagement.
Part 2 – Stories of Hits and Misses Coaching Teams
- “Humbling stories from a team coach”
- Story #1: Shift from coaching individuals to coaching a system
- Phil was a good one-to-one coach
- Got in front of a team and tried to coach 10 team members all one-to-one
- It was a dismal failure
- Led to thinking about how do we coach the team as a system
- In TCI training: they have 5 team coaching competencies – one is how to become “System Aware”
- The team is not the people; it is the spaces between the people
- Story #2: Being a Reflective Observer – an Observationist
- Another coaching competency: being a reflective observer
- Being a mirror to help the team see its process
- Teams tend to focus on the content
- As a team coach we are helping the team see below the surface to the underlying dynamics and help them become more aware of that
- Helping the team identify “team voices” – different team members are tuned to different frequencies and often feel alone; learn how to check for allies (e.g. someone being skeptical and has the voice of “skepticism” – check if there are others who share this voice).
- In one case Phil kept highlighting that one team member was holding the voice of the skepticism for the system; at one point she said “if you call me the voice of the system for skepticism one more time I’m going to leave.” Phil realized her point and thereafter knew it was important to recognize the individual as well as how they may be taking up a voice in the system. First recognize the individual then check for allies.
- “There are individuals having a system experience and there are individuals who are having a very individual and personal experience. Both are true.”
- High performing teams value diversity – one of the factors on the Team Diagnostic assessment; want to value all the voices to make us stronger
- Story #3: Additional Cases/Stories
- Great successes team coaching: large health care system that had direct patient satisfaction increased significantly; large national food retailer that increased sales by 10%
- Project teams and ERP system implementations (70% failure rate and 10% are abandoned) are good candidates for team coaching; usually fail because of people problems
- Global manufacturing company: two attempts to do SAP that failed; third attempt using team coaching worked and it delivered on time and within budget
- Team Coaching Across Cultures
- Finds that team coaching approach works in general across cultures; basic approach works across the globe
- 14 Team Diagnostic factors do apply globally; the way they manifest (e.g. trust) looks a bit different; how they manifest is “local”
- Where it gets trickier is that more and more teams are multi-cultural and global: what does “trust” mean on such team
- Did some work in Singapore with a management team and had a lot of national diversity: some of the team conversations were about getting at the assumptions under how they were working together; because it is a coaching model it is really getting at the conversations
- Develop a third culture in multi-cultural teams
Part 3 – Parting Advice/Resources/Recommendations
- Trends in team coaching: organizations under pressure to do more with less; 2009 in the US – lost 4 million jobs, during the same time productivity rose by 6%; shifting the productivity potential to teams; has noticed an assumption that people have been on teams and therefore are good at teaming (that assumption tends to not be true).
- “Our data show that less than 10% of teams are high performing…that means 90% of teams are underperforming…”
- “The need for team coaching is vast…there is a hunger for it…there is a need for it. What I’m seeing worldwide is more and more emphasis on team coaching as a solution…different from teambuilding which is often over-promised and under-delivered in lots of ways…teambuilding can still be a valuable piece of the whole program and it is not a coaching model and doesn’t have sustaining power to it.”
- Parting Advice: get some training; then get in front of a team as soon as possible; the learning happens when you are in front of a team; when you start working with teams with more than 10-12 members do co-team coaching – align with someone who has more experience.
- Team Coaching International Team Coach Training Program:
- has trained over 1000 team coaches around the world; training program
- Team Coaching Intensive – 3 days; getting started; includes orientation to working with a team as a system; and getting certified in all 4 of the Team Diagnostic assessment tools (1. Team Diagnostic; 2. Team Leader View; 3. Team 360 View; Organization View); some online pre-work and post-work.
- Advanced Course – 2 days; how to do co-team coaching; 5 team coaching competencies
- Conducts them all over the world
- Have to go through the training to get access to the Team Diagnostic tools: important to learn how to use the tools as a coach
- Recommends Peter Hawkins book on Leadership Team Coaching
- “We are on the cusp of a wave that team coaching is a part of but the wave is much bigger. It’s about a change, a movement in human consciousness.”
- Ken Wilber, spiral dynamics
- Reinventing Organizations by Frederic LaLoux
- Contact Phil:
- “There is way too much suffering and too much hurt in organizational systems… we have a calling as team coaches to heal and help nurture that change.”