“they’re likely missing out on the best 10%”
The other day, someone commented to me that, “Chris, we have in-house coaching and really don’t know how we’d benefit from your services” which triggered a thought. I know many leaders who have fantastic cultures within their organization. Part of the reason for these cultures is that they invest heavily in leadership development to include, in some cases, a team of in-house coaches and trainers. As much as I appreciated their commitment to in-house development, I can’t help but reflect upon they’re likely missing out on the best 10% of ideas and commitment to their vision and mission. Please allow me to explain.
Let’s use an example with the a tool like a SWOT analysis. Great leaders will work with their teams to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to their organization or current strategies. Most of the time, properly facilitated in-house with great leaders and teams, this exercise will prove to be extremely successful. The team will identify 2-3 key initiatives in each area, put together strategies to address, and move the team toward a successful outcome. Sounds great, right?
Well, here is the issue. Generally speaking, you can’t press in hard enough to get to that last 10% which is where normally the “breakthroughs” exist. Even great teams with high level leaders have difficulty being fully candid and transparent with one another. Normally, team members have something significant they are withholding from the team that can and will make a dramatic impact on their performance. This may not be intentional, however, somewhat subconsciously be withheld.
This is where a 3rd party like myself can add value. Through a process like my Team Alignment process, I am able to create a safe environment where team members open up providing “depersonalized” feedback to their team. Once this feedback is out on the table in a “depersonalized” format, the team embraces the “elephant in the room” or “breakthrough” idea. There are some techniques and areas of discernment I must exercise in the process to press in; however, that’s where as a 3rd party am uniquely positioned and equipped to do so.
I anticipate most are relating to what I’m eluding toward today; however, let me give you an example to help bring home the idea. For those of you who our married, you likely at some point get asked the question, “How was your day, today?” Now, as your debriefing your day with your spouse, how many times do you share something relevant to your team or organization that you simply wouldn’t feel comfortable offering up in the manner which you did with your spouse? This may not occur frequently, however, I anticipate you can relate on occasion.
For example, you might share: “You know, The Boss, wasn’t there today and the team was so much more effective in getting things done. It’s times like these that I start to realize how much (The Boss) can smother the team and myself.” Now, this isn’t something ill-willed, likely isn’t something you have felt is a major issue, and sure isn’t something you’re going to bring up to “The Boss”. Yet, do you see the potential breakthrough that lies within this comment? Unfortunately, you’re not going to uncover this type of breakthrough without outside help.
Also, sometimes “The Boss” needs a bit of encouragement that comes easier from a 3rd party. Sticking with the “smothering” example, once this is presented in a depersonalized, non-threatening way, “The Boss” has a choice to make: Will he/she embrace the feedback or not? Often, leaders need a bit of encouragement to embrace feedback and know what steps to take moving forward. As a 3rd party, I can press into these situations a bit harder than internal team members or coaches. This is again an area where it’s because I’ve dealt with so many of these types of situations that I’m able to bring value. Worse case, the feedback isn’t embraced and I find myself no longer serving your team. Yes, that’s happened a few times along the way.
So, what do you say? Would you have interest in learning more about how to uncover that 10% you’re likely missing out? Click on my Team Alignment page and fill out a request for Complementary Confidential Analysis. I’d love to see who we might partner in taking your team to the next level!