"It never helps to sweep things under the rug. Never, never, never." - Direct quote from Katie, a leader who has been around the block.

The energy you're spending on stress and worry over your team dynamics can be better spent accomplishing team goals (obviously).

Imagine how much more you can get done when you actually work together instead of pretending and fake smiling.

How would it feel to know your team is with you instead of wondering if they're plotting against (or just fake smiling at) you?

I make those difficult conversations happen. Once that conversation happens, things are never the same (in a good way).

For packages starting at $2000 (get an estimate for your situation here) I can facilitate the team conversation that deals with the things you really need to deal with (feel that tension in your back/neck/shoulder/jaw/sleepless under-eye bags? You do, really, need to deal with it).

Luckily:

  • I'm not actually on your team - I'm not on a side, I don't come in with a pre-conceived outcome or something to prove.

  • For the past 20 years I've been helping teams quickly get to the meat of their collective struggle and talk about it like humans

  • That difficult messy topic can be addressed. You don't think so? Try me.

But what does this "difficult conversation facilitation/team intervention" look like in real life?

Case study #1:

In 2015 I had been volunteering with a youth sports team when the league boss came to me and asked if I'd talk with the adult All-Star team. She told me the beloved team coach had recently died after a tragic illness and the team was a train wreck of emotions because they were headed to the world championship tournament in 2 weeks. The team got together and we talked - I facilitated a structured conversation. It wasn't always pretty, and it wasn't always comfortable and it definitely wasn't one of those stoic dry eye affairs but we had a meaningful conversation and everyone participated. Teammates were able to share what was true for them. They asked for what they needed from their team and offered the help and support their teammates needed. No one left the meeting skipping and smiling but they left with their heads up because they had a plan for how to get through the tournament together. 

Two weeks later, 1500 miles from home, the team upset the five-time reigning champions who hadn't lost a game in 3 years and took home the world championship trophy. I watched the tournament feed and was stoked for them, and went on with my life. A few days later I was walking to get a burger when a car pulled up to the curb next to me and one of the teammates rolled down her window and called out, "Thanks so much for what you did with the team. You were there with us on the track. We couldn't have done it without you." 

Case study #2:

A usually very competitive team was on a losing streak unheard of in the team history. A new leader had just stepped into that role and told me she felt like she was floundering. An hour before practice one evening I got together with the team to facilitate a conversation to try and make sense of the mess they were in. I had the team recall their previous successes and the common bonds that made them strong. There was a lot of perspective and emotion shared. Our time was up and it was time for practice to begin when a teammate told everyone, "this is more important than going to practice right now" So we dug in deeper. There was frustration and fear and anger and hope. Two hours of intentional, structured, conversation later the team was at a place where everyone had said what they needed to say and they were ready to move forward - together. You could feel the relief in the air as they left the meeting. 

Does this sound like something your team could use?

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Three Ways to Combat a Toxic Culture from the Inside
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WSL Leadership Coaching is based in Portland, Oregon USA 

Serving clients around the globe.

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