In the meeting we had a couple of weeks ago to redefine how Mirlo should move forward, we had a team coaching session, which is in fact something we do every time all of us manage to gather together in person. Gema Cruz, a member of Genea Consultores, ran the session for us and she’s going to talk to us today about coaching and her experiences as a coach.
Can you tell us exactly what coaching is, as it applies to work teams? Tell us a little about your professional career as a coach.
Coaching is a process that serves to motivate a team so that it can achieve its objectives. A coaching session lays out on the table all the capacities and the potential both of the individual team members and the actual team itself. It liberates synergies and that makes everything easier.
When we had our first team-coaching session back in 2007, I remember being fascinated by it. I never imagined that a tool like that could make things change so much. We’ve had coaching sessions each year since then and afterwards we’ve always seen a major move forward in our trajectory as a team. I decided to train as a coach in 2010 because of this personal exposure to coaching and, based on my own experience, I then began working professionally as a coach.
One thing is clear to me after all these years of work: a single session of coaching always produces changes. That is what coaching is all about: change, momentum, transformation. Positive impact.
How do you prepare for a team-coaching session such as the ones we have in Mirlo?
Before the session begins, I need to know the situation the team is really going through. To find that out the first step is to listen to the team leader to see what point the team is at and what bottlenecks need to be resolved. That way we can establish a series of specific objectives for the session. You always have to keep at the back of your mind that the objective is for the team to gain momentum to enable it to keep moving forward.
The team itself sets the rhythm of the session
Generally speaking, the team leader is well aware of what the team needs, so the objectives that are laid down for the session tend to be the right ones. But that’s not always how it works out. Sometimes it becomes clear that the team needs something else. And that for me is one of the rewards of team sessions. Common ground is found so that the voice of everyone taking part can be heard, the voice of the team. It’s a golden opportunity to co-construct the identity of the team and to gain strength and cohesion.
In general, would you say that positive results are obtained which are then put into practice in teams’ day-to-day work?
Absolutely. After a session of coaching, something always moves. It is the beginning of a transformation and it also acts as a stimulus towards greater team consolidation in the months to come.
When would you recommend team coaching sessions?
To be honest, any team that wants to be more effective should have a coaching session. Although it is true that there are key moments when it can be particularly transformative, for example when a new team has just been set up and lacks cohesion or when a team has run out of steam and needs to reinvent itself.