Team Values

May 8th, 2020 Posted by 0 thoughts on “Team Values”
Leadership Coaching Wellington

 

Project Details

Client: Professional Client
Service: Team facilitation
Duration: Half day workshop

Objective
Facilitate a team workshop to develop a clear set of team values

Consultants

Cillín Hearns

The Issue

The team for which this workshop was designed largely worked well together but because of their function within the organisation they tended to work separately from one another. Each team member had their own team which unintentionally caused siloed behaviour. There was also one team member who consciously split herself away from the team and this was causing conflict within the team. The goal of this session was to help the team to understand each other more and to come together and align on how they plan to work together.

The Importance of Values

Our personal values tell us what’s important. They are inherent in every decision we make, they set the standards by which we live our lives, and we use our values to evaluate the decisions we’ve made. Therefore, a team without a clear set of values is a team that lacks the foundation for making decisions. If the vision of an organisation or team talks to the WHY, its values talk to the HOW. Both are essential for a team to become successful because they guide decisions, set the standards, and influence the right behaviours.

The Approach

After introductions the team performed a simple exercise to help them understand the importance of values. Engaging in a short reflection exercise helped them to get more in touch with themselves and their personal values. Using post-it notes the team was presented with a simple question to help them identify their own values. Each team member identified their top five personal values. Next the team was guided to create their personal hierarchy with the most important at the top. By determining each team members’ values first they began to recognise how their own values have influenced their own lives. It also provided an insight for other team members as to why others in their team make decisions differently.

We then developed the team values in a similar manner. We identified those things that were important to each team member individually when working as part of a team, which were then group together. These were then discussed as a group and voted on in terms of importance. Helping the team understand the hierarchy of their values is essential because it provides guidance whenever there is a values conflict.

Leadership Coaching Wellington

 

Once we determined the core values, the team articulated what each value meant to them.

 

Lastly, the team determined the behaviours they would ‘see’ and what they would ‘not see’ with regard to each of the values. Each team member gave permission to the others to hold them to account; this ensures everyone adheres to the spirit of their new team values.

Leadership Coaching Wellington

The team was then challenged to come up with ways to bring their new values to life.

The Outcome

At the end of the half day workshop the team was fully bought into their values and are now clear on what their values are, what they mean to them, and what standards of behaviour is expected.

The workshop was fun, yet insightful, somewhat provocative but all based on tried and true methods. Our team enjoyed every minute and walked away with new approaches to working together and a self-awareness on how to work together. Cillín was able to ensure all the voices of the team were heard, bring those voices together to help us develop our own values. We now have team values we all can work to and make sense for us.

 

If you’d like know more about how your team can develop its own set of values, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.

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Overcoming Phobia

May 5th, 2020 Posted by 0 thoughts on “Overcoming Phobia”
Leadership Coaching Wellington

 

Project Details

Client: Professional Client
Service: Professional Coaching
Duration: 1 Coaching Session

Objective
– To overcome a dental phobia

Consultants

Cillín Hearns

The Issue

Sarah (not her real name) came to me requesting to deal with a traumatic experience she experienced when she was a child because it was causing her to avoid any situation that triggered that original experience. For Sarah, it was a fear of going to the dentist. This fear manifested itself in the form of a debilitating panic attack which prevented her from even organising an appointment with the dentist. This came to a head when she developed a serious infection in her tooth, the surrounding gum and the nerve. Because this occurred during the COVID-19 period general anaesthetics were not permitted. Sarah was in a lot of pain and saw no way out other than dealing with this phobia head on.

She recalled a time when she was 6 years old were she had to attend a pre-dental clinic visiting her school. She was so terrified that a nurse climbed on top of her, held her legs down with her knees and used the rest of her body weight to keep her arms and body down on the chair. As you can imagine, this was quite a traumatic experience and has stuck with her ever since.

Trauma Demystified

A trauma is a very rapid learning experience, something that the mind does not want to forget and wants to avoid experiencing ever again. Of course, what a lot of people don’t realise, is that if it can learned very rapidly it can be unlearned very rapidly and a new learning can take its place. What ties a person’s traumatic episodes together is the emotion experienced; this acts as the glue between events. Therefore, by removing the emotion and “recoding” a person’s experience, the trauma disappears. The memories still exist but the intensity of the emotion is gone enabling the person to progress through life without a heightened emotional response to whatever triggered the phobia.

The Solution

To help Sarah create a new view of the experience I asked her what’s known as the miracle question. “Imagine you went to sleep at night and, while you were sleeping, a miracle occurred. Now, imagine waking up unaware that this miracle happened. What would you be doing differently?” I guided Sarah through her morning activities, her thoughts, the things she’d be noticing, and so on, all the way up to and beyond her dental appointment. The overall response was one of calm; it was just a normal day like any other. The purpose of this exercise was to reframe the experience ‘as if’ going to the dentist was not an issue and “loosened” her phobic response a little.

Next, through a gentle trance, I asked Sarah to remember the first time she experienced the fear of the dentist. Her answer surprised her when she said she was 2 years old. Regressing to that time all those years ago, but fully dissociated (outside looking in), she imagined herself way above the event looking down on top of it. I asked Sarah to imagine a time after that experience when she was safe and comfortable. We placed that image on a cinema screen in black and white and she imagined herself sitting in the audience looking up at the screen. Here I asked her to imagine floating up out of her body in the seat into the projection booth. This causes a double dissociation which will allow her to re-experience the event without experiencing the emotional intensity. From here Sarah went to a time before the incident and, from the safety of projection room looking down on herself in the audience watching the screen, ran through the whole experience in black and white. Next I asked her to white out the image and bring it back in full colour, to imagine floating back down into her body in the audience and then into the colour image. Now I asked Sarah to rewind the whole experience (while she was in it and in full colour) from the end to the beginning in about 2 seconds. We repeated that exercise a couple of times which ended up recoding how her brain accessed this experience.

Traumatic experiences shouldn’t prevent us from moving forward in life but should be used as an opportunity to learn from them and tap into our incredible resources that may be lying dormant within us. Therefore, when I asked Sarah what she needed to learn from this early event to enable her to let go of it completely she responded that she was physically bigger now and had a feeling of being more in control and so could communicate any discomfort she was experiencing.

Using these new learnings we moved back along her ‘timeline’ of events clearing up any related emotions caused by similar events wherein she discovered a new lesson; “I will never make another person feel that way”. Lastly we focused on clearing out the kinaesthetic (bodily) feeling (she felt sharp painful feeling in her chest) until she was completely at piece.

The Outcome

When I asked how she was feeling, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “It’s just a thing. I’m at the dentist and I’m in safe hands. If anything goes wrong he’ll have a plan B.”

Many of us has suffered trauma in our pasts, experiences we wouldn’t wish on our worst memories. Experiencing them once is bad enough! Repeating them over and over is just torturing ourselves. By recoding the events it is possible to release the trauma so it never affects us in the same way. This is true for phobias associated with flying, elevators, bees, birds, water, animals, etc.

 

If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.

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Back to high performance

April 29th, 2017 Posted by 0 thoughts on “Back to high performance”

 

Project Details

Client: Anonymous
Service: Performance Coaching
Duration: 14 Weeks

Objectives
– Greater awareness of self and others
– Explore leadership style
– Clarity of purpose
– Influencing and motivational skills
– Improve management skills
– Increase levels of confidence
– Coaching team members
– Communication and listening skills

Consultants

Cillín Hearns

The Issue

Adam was previously seen as a star performer and as the “go-to” guy for advice around technical challenges. Due to the organisations rapid expansion Adam’s line manager felt that Adam had lost his place in the company and was disengaged. The combined impact of this led to a decrease in productivity, damage to his brand as a professional, and a heightened number of situations that ended in unnecessary conflict. Adam felt he had no clear direction for where he wanted to take his career and needed to develop skills to get better outcomes for the teams in which he interacted.

“The turnaround with Adam is the most dramatic I’ve ever seen”
– Human Resources Team Leader

The Solution

Upon determining the key objectives that we would focus on for Adam we agreed on a six-session one-on-one coaching package to be held on a weekly basis. During the first coaching meeting with Adam we discussed the objectives in detail and Adam expressed his interest and openness in “giving the coaching a go”.

Firstly we focused on an exercise to help Adam tap into who he truly is, what his strengths are, and what is most important to him. Each coaching session ended with specific coaching assignments that furthered the coaching process. Adam took to the assignments with interest and enthusiasm which clearly indicated his buy-in to the process and his willingness to overcome anything that might be holding him back.

Once Adam had a deeper understanding of what is most import to him we continued to focus on his objectives. Using psychology as a backdrop for these discussions and drawing on specific examples from Adam’s own experience we analysed habitual thought practices and the concept of ‘why we do the things we do’. Understanding these concepts enabled Adam to analyse his own behaviours and to create ‘in-the-moment’ awareness of triggers that were leading to less than resourceful behaviours.  Now consciously aware of his hot-spots Adam was able to select from a range of options that, collectively, would lead to more positive outcomes.

With the foundation for change in place, we turned our attention to more concrete skills such as being mindful of the language we use, practicing effective listening, building rapport with others, and focusing on generating positive outcomes through gaining clarity and collaboration with all parties involved.

“It’s great to have Adam back to his old self, he’s got that spark back in his eye”
– Work colleague

The Outcomes

As Adam continued to experiment with new approaches to situations he reported more and more positive experiences with each passing week. During the post-coaching debrief it was felt that more observable evidence was needed to ensure Adam had gained all of the benefits of coaching. It was also felt that Adam could be more concrete in his career development plan which was a key coaching objective.

We agreed that an additional eight coaching sessions with a range of new objectives to build on previous successes would be beneficial.  Coaching resumed with Adam and he quickly capitalised on the feedback further enhancing his newly learned skills of communication, influencing, and rebuilding his brand. A key focus for this round of coaching was for Adam to clearly articulate his career development plan and, guided by a template, he quickly determined the areas he would like to focus on and his thoughts on how he might be able to achieve these.

Adam continued to show accelerated progress right through the coaching period and very quickly resumed his position as the “go-to” guy in his technical are of expertise. This was largely accomplished by Adam setting up lunch-time interest groups, proactively attending the project meetings across a range of product teams, and by writing a weekly ’wrap’ to key stakeholders highlighting the technical decisions made across a range of products and the wins he and the teams he was working with achieved.

With a growing interest in leadership we explored several leadership styles that Adam could employ to get better outcomes for himself, the teams he is working with, and for the company. Sharing many examples of overcoming challenging conversations and being able to influence others, to “let go”, and giving others the space to explore their own thinking his colleagues have remarked that “it’s great to have the old Adam back.”

Adam is back to performing at his previously high standard, is much happier in himself, and is now looking for team leadership opportunities within the organisation.

 

If you’d like to know more about how to achieve more in life or business, or if you’d like to explore how coaching can help you become a better leader (of others or yourself!), or even if you’re just generally curious about what professional coaching can offer you, please contact us at any time for a free consultation.

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