People Leadership & Team Coaching Case Study

Opportunity: A communications team at a large municipality recently hired a new Director of Communications. She quickly identified that while the team members were talented and meeting their potential, they were overly focused on the internal team dynamics. The new leader opted to support for the team and demonstrate her confidence in their capability by hiring an outside resource to empower the team to amplify their performance.

Solution: Build a rapport with the individuals on the team to understand the obstacles to performance and help overcome them. I created a customized training program to introduce new processes designed to allow everyone to perform at their best.

The team of ten communication professionals came from different backgrounds and had different experience levels, which is not uncommon. However, team politics arose when senior members were seen as being passed over for promotions. As a result, there was resistance in onboarding new junior members to the team.

The phrase “that’s not how we do that here” became the standard response, and information sharing was limited. Junior team members were left to figure it out or go to their superiors. When other departments and leaders noticed the communications team members were not communicating with one another, Team Performance Coaching was an obvious solution. 

The individual intake meetings gave each team member an opportunity to air their frustrations with a supportive resource who could influence change. Once the floodgates of information opened, the solutions were easy to identify. Like most situations in life, feeling heard was crucial. Once we identified a need to validate feelings of frustrations, the team began to move forward.

Outcome: By understanding each team member’s professional career goals, I could create plans to move each of them in the right direction. The solution was to formally identify the senior team members as experts. Acknowledging their experience and value in front of their colleagues was an important step in building bridges. As experts, they also had the understanding of why things were done in a certain way, and, if it wasn’t logical, they were empowered to change it.

Rather than accepting “that’s the way we do it here” as an answer, the more junior staff were required to ask and understand why things were done a certain way. If the junior team members had a better idea, they were encouraged to openly suggest alternatives for the experts to consider to ensure the team was delivering at their best based on today’s circumstances.

During a group coaching session focused on supporting their leadership team, the team became visibly re-energized. They became excited about their careers and recognized they had more autonomy to perform, step up and deliver. Once politics were removed, a new mentoring and collaborative dynamic emerged that allowed everyone to learn, grow and deliver better results.

It is normal in the course of business for teams to change as new positions are filled. Sometimes, the uncertainty of change causes others to hang on tightly to “the way we do things here”, which can hold everyone back. Trusting an experienced coach to focus on performance and inspire everyone to live up to their capabilities can be a game changer for your team.

The comments from the participants speak for themselves: 

“Crystal’s training always relates to personal experiences and it is clear she knows what she is talking about - it's not just textbook training, she makes it real.”

“I loved my training with Crystal, she was very engaging and very well versed in on the content. Sharing real life examples helped a lot to conceptualize it.” 

“There was a lot of information covered in the training,  but it didn't feel like too much, it was all relevant to our roles and it didn't feel like you were talking AT us, you were sharing knowledge in a relatable way. Our team had really great discussions as a result.”

“I loved Crystal’s casual and approachable nature. She was engaging and kept it interesting. Also, super nice and confident.”

“Today's session was a valuable experience for the vast range of experience we have on our team.  Crystal was personable and relatable and provided current examples of the techniques she was teaching, which reaffirms the methods are current.” 

“This training planted a seed to get our entire team thinking about the value we add and built our confidence as experts in our field, we definitely were not giving ourselves enough credit.” 

Ready to leave the politics behind and re-energize your team? Contact Propel Leadership Coaching for a free consult.