When strategizing with a client about upcoming team-building training, I asked him to describe his group.
I see our team as being in a fog. I hate to put it this way but for a company that’s doing pretty well, we look like a bunch of zombies walking around the office. It’s changed from how we were in the past and I’m not sure how to put my finger on it.
This response triggered a few more questions and a discussion about my client’s leadership and his team’s ability to break through the fog.
The goal: Transforming his team from mediocre to spectacular – a team even better than they were in the past.
As the discussion progressed, I realized a common coaching yet critical conversation needed to occur with my client. Accountability and self-focus.
Leadership = Energy Management:
Before we executed a team-building process, I asked my client to look at how he manages his energy and how others perceive him.
- Was he in a fog?
- Have others commented on a change in his leadership style, personality and motivation?
- Has he felt his own leadership capabilities diminish over time?
As the discussion progressed, my client stated and all too common response in coaching conversations, “I’m just exhausted. I’ve done this for a long time… I’m tired of trying to motivate them”.
I asked him: “Are there steps you can take to regain your passion and model greater energy and enthusiasm for the team? After all, how can a team leave the fog when their leader chooses to stay”?
Before executing the team building, we agreed to focus on his leadership style for a few coaching sessions.
During our conversations, I brought up a poem by David Whyte – Sweet Darkness – that I felt was timely for my client:
“If your eyes are tired, the world is tired also. When your vision has gone, no part of the world can find you…“
Coaching my client on his leadership and energy management, created significant shift in his energy and how he approached his team. We looked at de-energizing beliefs that impacted his behaviors and actions towards himself and others.
Within that time period, more conversations and energetic discussions began to occur with his team.
As we entered the teambuilding process, his self-focus and awareness became a model for personal responsibility within a team.
As we concluded a successful training with his team, I asked him what had changed. His response: “My eyes are no longer tired…”
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