Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Tag Archives: Team Coaching

Habit Number 2: Begin with the end in mind

Being with the end in mind

Being with the end in mind

The other week I was talking about stories, and that lovely opener, Once upon a time…..

It entices you in, opens the door to a parallel world of who-knows-what and whisks you away from the here and now into the not-quite-possible and the make-believe.

And contrary to Julie Andrews, starting at the beginning is not always “a very good place to start”. Sometimes, we need to start at the end – to begin with the end in mind.

Why are you doing what you are doing?

In my coaching work with individuals and teams, this is probably the most common and the most important question I ask.

Often we can become embroiled in what we are doing – the day-to-day, the nitty-gritty, the treadmill of get-this-done-so-I-can-get-onto-the-next-thing. Beginning with the end in mind gives us the chance to stop – get off the treadmill, open the cage door and look up at the sky.

To ask ourselves, WHY am I doing what I am doing? What are the underlying values, priorities and vision to what I am doing?

With teams, this is the central piece. Taking some time together to clarify the purpose, role and vision of the team is the key. It not only expands the mind, but revitalises enthusiasm and passion, restores hope and optimism and opens up the way new possibilities.

If we were to be really successful, how would …… be different?”

The blank is filled in with what is most relevant for the team in question Рour company, our community, our country. There is no limit to how big this question can get, and at first, people are usually somewhat floored by it. But creative cogs start to whirl, ideas emerge, inspiration bounces around as each person fires off the other. And lo and behold, a stunning vision is created of what success would look like Рthe end from which we begin to then work backwards to ask, based on that vision, what therefore are the top priorities and how are we going to achieve them.

How to begin with the end in mind on an individual basis?

Imagine your own funeral.

Not when you are a ripe old age, but in a few years. Now imagine that a friend, a colleague, a family member, and someone from where you serve/volunteer/worship all stand up and talk about you.

What would you want them to say?

Perhaps more significantly, what would you not want them to say?

Spend a little time clearly creating a picture in your own mind of the person you would like to be described as by those you live, socialise, work and serve with and you will create a vision for the kind of life you want to live. This is what it means to begin with the end in mind, according to Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Imagine that you want to be known as someone who is calm, outward looking, and has integrity – always follows through on promises. That is the outline of your ‘end’, your starting point. Work backwards from that, and how does that affect your behaviour today?¬† What does it mean today, in the relationships you have to be someone who is known for being calm?

This follows on from Habit Number 1Be proactive. And it fits perfectly with coaching. Coaching is about moving from where you are to where you want to be.

Habit Number 2 is about taking the time to work out where and who you want to be. We have power to choose our own behaviour, and to live according to our value system, and not in reaction to other people’s agendas or expectations of or for us.

It helps to regularly remind ourselves of our vision and value system – those foundational principles by which we live. The ability to live with change is only possible if we have a changeless sense of who we are at our core, and are rooted in what we are about and what we value.

When we find ourselves back on that never-ceasing treadmill of WHAT needs to be done, perhaps take a little time and look up and think, WHY am I doing this? How does this fit with what is most important to me, and the vision I have for the person I want to be?

The simplest way I have come across to apply this is in the words of a Jesuit priest –

Who am I becoming in this decision?”

Am I becoming more or less like that person I want to be described as at my funeral?

Begin with the end in mind – what is your end?

How did I end up here? More on Team coaching

How might your team benefit from team coaching?

How might your team benefit from team coaching?

It’s a funny old thing, this being in a new line of work. (Although nearly four years have passed since my physiotherapy days came to an end).

Sometimes I catch myself on thinking, how did I end up here?

What do I have to offer?

What right do I have to think anyone will want my services or believe that I am any good at this?

But what struck me forcibly during a recent team coaching session was that many of the skills and strengths I am using as a life coach have been honed and developed and grown over years as a physio.

It now surprises me that this surprises me!

Along with many physios, I have much experience working with groups and teams, have done a lot of teaching and communicating, and am motivated by encouraging others to take personal responsibility for their own situation and effect their own positive change.

Even so, it is still hugely reassuring and encouraging – and a lot of fun – to get to use skills and experience from one part of my life in another. Nothing is wasted – change is an opportunity to see what is worth keeping and what was only for that time. To be rooted in who we know ourselves to be, and what we know to be important and not tied to a specific role that we believe defines our identity.

Internal confidence, not external security.

And so too with teams. Such energy and drive come from a team reaching a shared passion and purpose, and then creating their own priorities and crafting their own actions. I facilitate, direct proceedings, shake things up a bit, bringing things back on track when required….using the persistence, strategy, juggling multiple things at once learned in my previous career.

The other thing that strikes me is that there is very little that is new under the sun. I have crafted team sessions using a lot of material from various sources. I attended a webinar by Nick Wright that gave me the initial model for the structure. I have been inspired by reading both The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey, and Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. His TED talk of the same name is a great summary of this oh-so-sensible teaching and perspective.

And I have taken it all, stirred it around, used the bits that fit and added a lot of ideas of my own. Most importantly, are the elements and priorities that the team themselves come up with.

How does Team Coaching work?

The session itself is a combination of things. I do some talking, with a little theory depending on the needs and expectations of the team. I try not to do too much of that – the session is about you not me. I do ask lots of questions that are answered in different ways with different approaches depending on those present. Many post-it notes and writing on bits of paper is involved. And there are some practical exercises that could almost be considered to be games, but in a non-cheesy way. The energy grows as the session progresses, and individuals get the hang of what is going on, and that – hopefully – it is neither ‘boring or samey’.

So, if you work as part of a small team, ask yourself:

How would your team benefit from:

  • having some time to step back together in a bonding and encouraging sort of way (team song and hug not part of the process!)
  • think together about your vision and purpose
  • gain clarity on key priorities and goals
  • consider what the strengths are of the team and it’s individual members, and your training and development needs
  • look at communication and how to improve it
  • have time together to deal with whatever specific issues are pertinent to YOUR team
  • collectively come up with lots of action points to implement immediately.

If this is something that your team would benefit from get in touch to find out more. You can also find out more here, and feedback from some recent teams I have worked with.

Email me on catriona@equipforlifecoaching.com

or phone me on 07713 974138

Introducing Team Coaching

Team coaching - what could your team achieve?

Team coaching – what could your team achieve?

I love how honest people are. I asked recently for some feedback and the folk in question, well….. they gave me some feedback. A couple of comments made me laugh out loud, and I so appreciated their candour and freedom to be that brutally honest. More in a mo, but let me fill in some back story first.

Team coaching.

About the most fun I have had with a group of people since I started this new venture of mine. Working with people who are committed to and passionate about what they are doing, and who are seeking to improve and grow in their effectiveness is such a joy.

Dynamic… inspiring… tons of creative energy… stimulating… mentally stretching.

And most definitely keeping me on my toes as I try to mentally marshal the comments, responses and views of up to 15 people all at once into some kind of coherent summary that will be of use to them as a team.

What is team coaching, I hear you ask? This is a good and valid question, and quite hard to answer in advance of the session, as the recent teams I have worked with can testify:

Usually these things are boring and samey. This was much better – it felt like five friends having coffee.” Martin, Just Trading Scotland.

More than met my expectations as I didn’t know what I was coming to.” Sharon, SSPCA Vet Dept.

The session was better than expected – I was dreading this but found it very useful and positive.” Laura, SSPCA Vet Dept.

I love that what I offer with team coaching is neither ‘boring and samey’ nor something that is potentially dread-filled. These were the comments that made me smile – it was such a privilege to work with these folk and to get to know them and to see them flourish within the team coaching session. Each of them felt listened to, involved, and inspired to be a participant – as much by the team themselves as by me. I was mostly facilitating – the team members were doing all the work and coming up with all the ideas and solutions.

To try and explain how this works involves using the very simple model that is the framework for sessions that I run.

WHY are we doing what we are doing (what is our vision), WHAT therefore are our top priorities, HOW are we going to achieve them and WHO do we need to do what.

But from this starting point, I tailored the sessions to fit the needs and expectations of the teams, with exercises and practical work that allowed everyone to contribute in a proactive way that worked for the size of the team.

I am hugely indebted to Nick Wright, psychological coach, trainer and organisation development consultant for this model, which I use with his generous permission, along with a lot of other wise writings on his site.

For me, it always comes back to that central question – WHY are you doing what you are doing? For a team, having shared ownership of and commitment to this vision is key to success. Only then can WHAT the team do, and HOW they do it grow from that passion and motivation.

So – are you part of a small team? Interested in team coaching for your team? Find out more here, and more to come next week.

 

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