In an age when change is the only constant, the ability to adapt is more important than ever. How can teams and organizations hold onto their sense of direction when everything around them seems to be in flux? For ORSC™-certified coach and trainer Yvet Beckers, the answer is to find the underlying purpose that unites teams with a sense of pride.
Teams in every organization and every industry are now under constant pressure to adapt to changes. Often when an organization sets out on a path to change, they have very good intentions. Perhaps they want to make their teams more diverse or introduce new, agile ways of working. In other cases, they may want to offer their customers a better experience. And sometimes, they may simply be trying to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Whatever the reason for a change, what matters most is that companies never lose sight of the human factor. If you don’t find what really motivates your team, then all you have is an “empty” driver. This may achieve results in the short-term. But lasting, sustainable change always has to be rooted in people’s true feelings. So, how can people identify with the change process, so they are intrinsically motivated to make positive changes happen? To become true masters of change, teams need to find what really makes them proud to be doing what they’re doing. Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) gives me the tools to help them in that process.
The ORSC principle of the “third entity” is an ideal place to start helping teams take pride in their work again. It’s about seeing teams as living organisms with their own collective wisdom that is far greater than the wisdom of each individual team member. One way I reconnect people with that wisdom is an activity called “Bringing down the Vision.”
I once used this technique with a team of sales managers. They had reached out to me to help them make some much-needed changes in the way they were working. Even though they were hitting their targets and “performing” well as a team, they felt an overwhelming sense of emptiness in their work. They had lost sight of their purpose.
When I got to know the team, I realized that they had devoted all their attention to the rational, logical side of their work. By focusing only on quantitative factors, they had neglected to identify what made them proud to be working together. I knew that “Bringing down the Vision” would help them get in touch with their feelings as a group.
In this exercise, I lead the team on a guided visualization and ask them to draw pictures as I lead them through various scenarios. I might ask them to think of their team as an animal and to describe its behavior, for example. After leading that team of sales managers through the exercise, something suddenly clicked. It was as if a lightbulb came on. That same day, some of the team members were ready to start formulating their team’s purpose. I could see the pride sparkling in their eyes again. One of them was so pleasantly surprised. “Wow! This is like magic!” he said. I definitely agree: when we work with different channels, like drawing, we add new information to tap from. It creates a sense of purpose, which feels like magic. Anything is possible.
Of course, every coach knows that workshops don’t always end in a magical “Ah-ha!” moment like this. Sometimes your job as a coach is not to make a sweeping change take place overnight. It’s to put things in motion. You give your clients the insights and ideas that will set them on their own course to change.
I like to compare it to another great passion and source of pride for me: sailing. I am an avid sailor, and, a few years ago, my husband and I even navigated across the Atlantic Ocean and back in a sailboat. When you’re out on the open seas, the only thing you have to guide you is the course you’re on. If I adjust our course by just two degrees, then over time, this would lead us to an entirely different destination than we had originally planned. Even small changes have a big impact in the long term. I hope that teams will remember this when the task ahead seems so immense that they can’t even see to the other side. Make space for your team’s inner wisdom, and you’ll find the strength to achieve things you never knew were possible.
Yvet Beckers helps organizations to create a safe atmosphere, where people and teams dare to stand out and take their responsibility to leave the beaten tracks. Where they build upon each other and challenge each other to show their best to the world. She is a team coach and executive coach, and a faculty member of CRR Global.Find out more about ORSC™