Learning Reflections

Victoria Smith-Murphy on how her learning has influenced her practice

One of the joys of learning is that you never really know how new knowledge is going to impact your life and work, until it has.

I originally completed the three-day Certificate in Team Coaching back in July 2019, and wrote about my experience at that time which can be read here. For this follow-on blog, I’d planned to explore how I would transfer my experience as a 1-2-1 coach, over to working with teams. But as I sit down to write this, I notice that what I really want to share is how the Certificate has influenced my coaching practice on a wider scale.

Since July 2019, my practice has changed significantly. Previously, 90% of my work was individual coaching; today, I have a mix of private clients, leadership coaching, corporate workshops and an online group coaching course that has just completed its first cohort. I am working much more with the mind-body system and intuition, and have a much deeper confidence in the value of my work than ever before.

There are three main ways of ‘being’ that have really stuck with me from the Team Coaching Certificate, and that have enriched all the different parts of my business:

Creating safety

Right from the start of the Certificate, Georgina and Bob prioritised creating psychological safety within a group (and eventually within a team). We really paid attention to the experience of individuals AND of the group as a whole, with both having equal importance. We explored the creation of a team alliance, and the power of surfacing what is not being said within a team setting, so that safety can be maintained. I’ve taken this with me to the workshops and group programmes I’ve created; whilst not strictly team settings, the dynamics of creating safety between more than one person was new to me, and the Certificate gave me a model to do this.

Sitting with uncertainty and trusting the process

The role-play exercises on the Certificate training were invaluable in noticing how different it can feel to sit with uncertainty / conflict within a group or team, vs with an individual. I want people to like me, and so being a focal point within a group where emotions are running high is extremely uncomfortable for me – my tendency is to want resolution. I recalled my experience on the Certificate recently as I sat in a newly-formed group of leaders exploring the topic of ‘awakened leadership’. Georgina and Bob’s approach to allowing conflict to exist and staying with the ‘sticky stuff’, was super helpful here.

Strong opinions, weakly held

Throughout the Certificate programme, Georgina and Bob offered models and techniques to explore team coaching, but without a sense of ‘ego’ attached. There was a clear confidence in their own abilities and in the value of the materials, but also an invitation to find our own way with the topic – ‘take what works, leave what doesn’t’. This has really stayed with me, and has been really effective as I’ve started working with larger groups and more senior leaders. It is possible to believe passionately in your perspective, AND know that there is always another way (and that one doesn’t negate the other). The embodied experience of this way of relating to people that I had on the Certificate, has increased my own capacity to let go of my ego.

As I’ve stepped back into the corporate world with executive coaching and workshops, I am continually struck by how scared people are of judgment and failure in the workplace. Offering an intervention like team coaching which is grounded in non-judgment, acceptance and wholeness, is revolutionary, and I hope to add it to my evolving business very soon!

Victoria has her own a practice supporting intelligent, wholehearted professionals to live and work from a place of self-connection, purpose and flow. You can connect with her on Instagram

The Team Coaching Studio Certificate of Team Coaching is the foundation module of a suite of workshops that make up The Diploma of Team Coaching and are designed to build team coaching capability.  This 3-day workshop is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  For more information go to https://teamcoachingstudio.com/programmes/

 

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