Manager in a French bank for 11 years and internal coach for 1 year, I’ve coached managers for 5 years to enable them to develop their full potential. I can coach in Italian as well as in English than in French, my mother tongue.
Nowadays, companies are operating in an environment full of complexity and uncertainty. As managers, we cannot master and control everything.
The questions faced by each manager are the followings:
- How can I build guidelines for my employees ?
- How can I mobilise them ?
- How can I support them in their professional development?
More generally, the current challenges for each company are to be able to attract the best employees and subsequently retain them. The best employees will be those who will consider the company as a place where they will be able to develop their own potential at best. To remind you about the different levels of human motivations according to Maslow, this potential includes economic motivation and safety, but beyond that, it also includes belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation needs.
Victor Franckel also describes the need for meaning as the first need of all people. It is by focusing on “for what?” or “for who?” that our employees will mobilise and step outside their everyday lives, or even overcome their differences. Depression is the symptom of a lack of meaning, and not the expression of a problem or ill-being. This look towards the future will enable each employee to mobilise and to every player to “cut one’s stone while seeing the cathedral”.
Lastly, the manager’s mode of working with one’s team is mostly “top-down”, even “top down – bottom up”, a situation where he/she must decide and arbitrate. As a result, there are numerous unspokens between the manager and the manager’s employees and between the employees themselves.
How to move from logic of order and obedience to logic of co-responsibility?
How can we turn our employees into entrepreneurs, make them able to work with interdependence and cross-functionally at the same time, so as to bring them into a process of reorganisation and required continuous renewals?
The individual coaching of a manager and team-building actions will focus on making the team move from logic of order and obedience to logic of co-responsibility.
The main objective of team building is to help the team to go through the stage of a collection of individuals who are focused on their own personal expertise and individual success to a united group whose members have integrated their fellow colleagues’ logic and whose energy is focused on collaboration with other members, and finally to the ultimate stage of a high performing team, whose energy is focused on executing a shared vision.
The main condition is confidence; that means:
- Using a language of truth: clearly lay down challenges, so as to make people aware of their responsibilities.
- Making employees aware of the difference between their current level and their potential level. It is important to create a dream in the company’s perspective. Creating the possibility of a room for self-expression opens up rooms for speech and motivation.
- When employees feel they are reminded of their potential, they feel we trust them, we are available for them to help them mobilise their own resources, their motivation; then they give their best.
The manager will be coached to provide a dynamic of creativity, problems solving, communication between individuals, satisfaction with teamwork, the profitability of which is higher than the profitability from methodologies and techniques coming from the top management or other firms.
The coach ensures the manager provides one’s employees with rooms for self-expression: we often believe that employees don’t want it, and they feel that they can’t have it. Building confidence creates a relationship and a room for self-expression that enable the personal will and creation of individuals to emerge.
The attitude highlighted and modelled by the coach: assigning rather than imposing, listening rather than speaking.
This attitude consists of opening freedoms, implementing protections (the proposed idea will be implemented and carried out after examination), confidence placed in potential energy and in the positive part of individuals; it is an attitude where we listen rather than speak, where the manager does what is under one’s responsibilities (managing external relationships, obtaining resources, accompanying, stimulating) and encourages everyone to reach one’s full potential in one’s field.
After carrying a diagnosis of the operating modes of your team, I will propose you some exercices in order to establish the conditions to optimize its performance.
- Exercises of Inclusion to create a sense of recognition and belonging among the actors.
- Exercises of Control to clarify the leadership and the rules among members.
- Exercises of Openness to allow team members to discover themselves and to become more closer to each other, in other words to remove masks. This is the condition that team can address and solve problems with efficiency.
The tool for developing a shared vision was created by Vincent Lenhardt is the perfect example for exercises of control. Thanks to this approach, the coach can help a team of six to ten people to develop a shared vision in less than one day.
The creation of shared visions implies mutual exchanges and a shared pathway allowing to agree on values, business objectives, mutual recognition of each other, sharing of professional experience, shared competences and a common language.
That implies for employees that they must invest time together and provide for an attentive and mutual listening to enter into the subtleties of the frames of references and the personalities of each and every one.