Leadership and Team Development Coaching

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In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer complimentary 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as career, business, team and personal relationships.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.

Kerry Woodcock and Sherry Matheson, both experienced professional coaches, answer our questions about leadership and management coaching:

Sherry MathesonWhat is unique about your approach to Leadership Team Development?

Kerry: Sherry and I are professionally trained and accredited coaches and specialize in CRR Global's Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching. We use a Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI) approach to Leadership Team Development. RSI includes and transcends Emotional Social Intelligence (ESI) pioneered by Daniel Goleman and others. RSI starts with an understanding of oneself (Emotional Intelligence), moves on to include an understanding of others’ emotional experience (Social Intelligence) and culminates with the ability to identify with and collaborate with groups, teams, communities and other social systems (Relationship Systems Intelligence).

Instead of focusing purely on improving the individual performance of each member of the team, we focus on the performance of the collective as well. The latest research in the Collective Intelligence of teams tells us that the team is greater than the sum of its parts, and that merely bringing together the highest performing individuals into one group does not necessarily make a winning team.

What’s your definition of a ‘team’?

Kerry: As systems coaches we see a team as a social system...

Sherry: ...a set of interdependent people, with a common purpose or identity.

Kerry: Members of teams rely on one another to get results and have a sense of belonging that is discrete from those outside the team.

Kerry WoodcockWhat sort of teams do you work with?

Sherry: We work with teams who want to be even better than they currently are; teams who want to be more positive, productive and innovative; teams that are newly forming or going through transitions and want to consciously and intentionally create their relationships faster.

Kerry: We work with a variety of teams, from small business partnerships to corporate teams. What they have in common is that they understand that developing leadership potential and the collective power of the team leads to an increased ability to create a greater impact in the world. They are willing to have challenging conversations, to push creative boundaries and pursue excellence.

How often and how long do you normally work with a leadership team?

Sherry: We prefer to work with teams for 9 months or more and meet with the team once or twice a month.

Kerry: Change happens over time. Working with a team over an extended period allows the team to intentionally integrate their learning; work through the inevitable ups and downs inherent in making any behavioural change stick; and reinforce the changes.

What are the typical outcomes that leadership teams can expect having worked with you?

Kerry: Typical outcomes may include a team that has consciously and intentionally:

  • Created a clearly defined, aligned, and grounded team vision;
  • Managed effective change;
  • Developed a culture of trust;
  • Reduced their use of team toxins so that constructive communication becomes the norm;
  • Developed their ability to have constructive conflict and bridge silos, leading to more rapid resolution, innovation and productive outcomes;
  • Clarified roles and responsibilities, avoiding role confusion, role nausea and poorly occupied roles;
  • Created a culture of appreciation, positivity and meaning, leading to greater team engagement and accountability; and
  • Designed team agreements that allow the team to hold itself as resourceful and correct quickly.

Sherry: In short, a team of people who are aware, intentional and skilled in their relationship with self, others and their collective team.

What’s the best team you’ve ever been on?

Kerry: The best team I've ever belonged to is my family of origin. Whether to celebrate a success or explore a challenge, my father would sit us down together to seek out, understand and act on the thoughts, feelings and perspectives of each and every member of our family, regardless of age. To this day, and despite the death of my father, I feel a deep sense of security knowing that I have the strength and love of a 'winning' family team behind me. Work wise, I've been part of a number of dynamic partnerships—one of which is with Sherry—where I've appreciated greatly how we've worked to each others’ strengths and belonged to the mutual appreciation club!

Sherry: Teams where my strengths are valued and appreciated and there is open and honest communication.

What’s special about your partnership as co-coaches working with teams?

Sherry: We believe in the co-coaching of teams. Co-coaching offers more value for our clients. It provides a choice for our clients in terms of who they may relate to better, since we both have different learning, coaching and communication styles to offer to our clients. As co-coaches working with a team, we also model being in a relationship to our clients.

Kerry: Authentic, fun, energetic, open and dynamic are just some of the words our clients have used to describe us.


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