Transformational Coaching For High Performing Teams
Leadership has always been an important and fundamental part of any business. It involves the mobilization of the resources of a business, especially human resources towards the achievement of a certain goal. This underlines the fact that the leadership of any business has a bearing on the long-term sustainability, as well as profitability of the organization. Scholars note that leaders who put into place idealized influence on their followers are rewarded through the confidence, as well as trust that the followers have in them. The followers look up to them as their role model and end up looking up to them, as well as respecting their decisions. Organizations are as strong as the capacity of their leaders or people to mobilize their unique capabilities, skills and talents, as well as work together to the attainment of the overall goal of the company. The financial goals of a company and long-term sustainability can only be achieved if the employees have the capacity to effectively and efficiently pursue them. Researchers note that the most resilient and robust business entities invest in corporate team building and leadership development, in recognition of the fact that this is the only way in which its day-to-day operations will run smoothly and the overall vision will be achieved. On the same note, scholars acknowledge that the most valuable resource or asset for any service organization is the human resource or the employees that it has. Anything that may be accomplished to improve or enhance the efficiency or effectiveness of the human resource would, undoubtedly, have an enormous impact on the staff retention, long-term client relationships, profitability, as well as the overall competitiveness of the firm in the market (Pillai & Williams, 2004). While varied strategies have been identified for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of employees, scholars have underlined the importance of transformational coaching as one of the most effective techniques.
Transformational coaching refers to a technique where an individual gets other people to have a different view of themselves, rather than training them to carry out their duties in a different manner. It revolves going beyond acting in a different manner and thinking in a different manner. This is extremely different from the traditional or conventional models of coaching in firms, which involves the “DO” component where goals are set, new habits created, accountability enhanced and individuals helped to get goals and objectives achieved. Transformational model of coaching departs from the “DO” component or technique and incorporates the “BE” component. It revolves around encouraging and coaching individuals to become better individuals, as well as be inspired. In addition, it revolves around appreciation and resources. Transformational coaching empowers an individual to take up the responsibility for everything that occurs in their lives, as well as their outcomes via increased self-awareness pertaining to where they came from, the individual that they are and the people that they want to be while enhancing their performance and overall quality of life (Pillai & Williams, 2004). It provides training, skill development, education, as well as a space to express emotions that may be blocked in their system. It assists individuals in becoming are as to the manner in which unconscious patterns may have been wired into their brains right from their early childhood years, before they have new pathways “rewired”, allowing for the achievement of enduring awareness and skills, as well as transformation. Transformational coaches act as guides through supporting and challenging people in attaining their organizational and personal performance objectives (Asgarkhani, 2005). In instances where this is accomplished as a trusted and respected learning partner, individuals would feel much assisted both by the process and the coach. The process of transformational coaching becomes the basis for establishing the true feedback-rich, high-performance culture that is supported or propped by feedback flowing all-through to direct reports to the peers and up to the supervisors (Pillai & Williams, 2004). Individuals taking part in transformational coaching courageously engage in respectful, candid conversations that are not restricted by reporting relationships, pertaining to the manner in which they can enhance their collective and individual work performance, as well as working relationships. Individuals learn to value, as well as make use of feedback as a powerful and incredible learning tool to create higher levels of professional development, personal accountability, high-trust working relationships, and continually-enhancing job performance, as well as ever-increasing customer satisfaction. Transformational coaching has been applied in varied organizations experiencing different challenges in their leadership and management structures. These challenges affect the capacities of
JPMorgan Chase & Co., is a multinational financial services and banking holding company located in America. The company is ranked as the largest on in the United States in 2012 by assets, and second largest bank in the entire globe by assets. As one of the oldest corporations in the United States, the company has a hierarchical structure where decisions are made primarily at the top, reverberating all the way to the lower echelons of the organizational pyramid. This means that even the smallest decision must undergo a rigorous process before it is enacted and effected. While these decisions may not necessarily have to go right to the top, employees cannot take the smallest action without the express authority of the managers and heads of their respective departments. Needless to say, this rigid organizational structure weighs down on job satisfaction of the employees. Research carried out in 2006 showed that about 60 percent of individuals dislike their jobs in the company and, therefore, show no enthusiasm in executing their responsibilities as the orders will always have to come from the top. Only a third of employees in the company, supervisors and middle managers have a positive feeling pertaining to their job satisfaction. This has resulted in an enormous staff turnover with a 2007 study showing that about half of the workforce was considering looking for jobs in other places within the last six months, while around an eighth had taken it a step ahead and applied for a job in another company. While factors such as better pay may be significant, the key issues revolve around better career development opportunities, as well as more interesting and challenging roles and environment where they have enhanced control and participation in decision-making. On the same note, employees moving to higher echelons of leadership have issues pertaining to their confidence levels (Pillai & Williams, 2004). This is especially when they have larger projects to tackle in new branches where they need to establish their credibility and efficiency quickly.
Issues pertaining to employee satisfaction have always been crucial to human resource managers. This is especially considering that employees are the foundation and driving force of the enterprise. It is, therefore, no wonder that volumes of literature have been dedicated to solving employee satisfaction conundrum (Asgarkhani, 2005). Dissatisfaction in work may be associated with the hierarchical or bureaucratic organizational structure. This structure is associated with speed, precision and unambiguity, where strict subordination is emphasized. These structures have reduced friction, as well as lower material and personal costs, with the costs being raised to the maximized or optimum level. While bureaucratic structures may be imperative for large and complex organizations such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, it introduces an element of rigidity and workers dissatisfaction. This is also the reason for the reduced confidence levels for the employees moving to higher levels of management especially considering that the employees have never had an opportunity to make enormous decisions on their own, rather they are always under the shadow of the management. It is worth noting that the significant lack of exposure and flexibility works against the morale of the workers, as well as their satisfaction. On the same note, it has a negative effect on their capacity to take up responsibilities that they consider larger than their current undertakings (Asgarkhani, 2005). Solving this conundrum requires that the management undertake a paradigm shift on the organizational or management structures. It is imperative that it incorporates the post-bureaucratic organization structure where, while bureaucratic decision-making is still at play, decisions are made based on consensus and dialogue rather than command and authority (Hawkins & Smith, 2007).
Transformational coaching recommends that in instances where an organization aims at introducing any change, it is imperative that the human side is addressed systematically. Scholars note that any considerable transformation comes with people issues with new leaders being asked to step up, new capabilities and skills being developed, jobs and responsibilities being changed and employees being resistant and uncertain (Galpin, 1996). It is imperative that these issues are not dealt with in a reactive, case-by-case basis as this would put morale, results and speed at risk. On the same note, it is imperative that change is not imposed on the workers rather it involve the participation of the workers. Scholars note that expressions such as “changing attitudes” and “mindset change” must be expunged in change management as they are often an indication of a tendency to enforce or impose change (theory x). It tends to imply that the corporation or organization has the belief that the employees have the “wrong” mindset, a fact that may not the always be true (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). Changes involving new policies, structure, acquisitions, relocations, disposals and targets come with entirely new systems and environments, which have to be explained to individuals in the earliest opportunity possible so that the involvement of people in refining and validating changes themselves may be attained. It is imperative that full, open and early communication, involvement and participation are attained to enhance the success of the transition.
In addition, decentralized decision-making should be introduced in the organizational structure. This is a situation where the decisions do not have to come from the top, rather the divisional managers, as well as the team members themselves will have the capacity to make decisions pertaining to the operation within their jurisdiction without waiting for orders from higher management levels. On the same note, it is imperative that the employees and team members are involved in making decisions. This ensures that they own the process and participate fully in the varied operations. Scholars note that the increased involvement of employees in decision-making enhances their motivation, morale and job satisfaction, thereby enhancing their productivity and reducing job turnover.
Case study 2
This case involves the IT team in one of the divisions of Johnson and Johnson Company. Johnson and Johnson Company is a multinational company that undertakes the manufacture of consumer packaged goods, medical devices, as well as pharmaceutical items. The company is located in America and has been touted as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the United States. As part of the technique and process of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations, it established an IT department led by the Chief Technical Officer named Kelly. However, Kelly was taken ill, in which case one of the senior IT managers named Marsha was asked to take up his roles and stand in for her. However, she soon realized that there tended to exist a bullying culture across the company, which emanated from the leadership team level. In most cases, new ideas would be disparaged and scorned off, while shortfalls in the level or service would be derided. The performance expectations were way beyond those of other people in the organization, which made it a bit difficult to achieve. This resulted in low morale among the workers as they feared introducing new ideas to the IT department, no matter how good the ideas seemed, as they were unsure of the response that they would invite from the management or leadership. This organizational culture had a negative impact on the job satisfaction of the team members and their capacity to pursue self-actualization in the organization. In most cases, employees concentrated on seeking strategies that would allow them to survive in the short-term, as well as deal with the bullying rather than channeling their efforts to enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency in service provision and customer satisfaction.
Scholars define bullying as repeated practices and acts that are directed to workers. The acts are unwanted by the victims and may unconsciously and deliberately cause distress, offense, and humiliation on the part of the victim. On the same note, it interferes with the job performance of the victim and creates an unpleasant work environment that results in a reduction of job satisfaction. This affects the effectiveness and efficiency of the team in executing its mandates. While there are varied perspectives to this vice in the company, bullying in the workplace is a leadership issue (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). They have recognized increasing the work pressure on a group or individual to perform at a level beyond the expected levels for other people in the organization as a form of workplace bullying. They note that bullying emanates from deficiencies pertaining to leadership behavior where there is inadequate supervision or where managers are not sufficiently trained on the manner in which they should address bullying behavior. In addition, they are not well versed on exactly what inappropriate behavior with subordinates or peers is, as well as the potential or likely consequences pertaining to the bullying behavior. Three recommendations to managers have been made in an effort to eliminate bullying. First, confirmed bullies should be held accountable so as to discourage others from participating in the vice. This should involve crafting laws that defines and discourages bullying (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). Second, per bullies should be caught and corrected in a dignified manner. This involves intervention in instances where a colleague is stumbled upon berating a worker. Dignity is maintained by tugging at them and dealing with the issue behind closed doors. Third, managers must examine themselves and determine whether they are the bully (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). This self-examination involves asking fundamental questions such as response when one puts ideas, turnover rate in the unit, and trends in available talent among others. In case one realizes they are the problem, they should turn to the staff and enquire on how they can change to eliminate the problem (Galpin, 1996).
Transformational coaching would, however, focus on the Marsha and identify her working style, which would most likely be subservient and reactive to other people’s actions. On the same note, it would identify her strengths such as competence in her work, as well as high levels of expertise in IT and new technology that would enhance efficiency in the company. it would be recommended that she change into a proactive style of working, which would come in handy in enhancing her profile in the leadership team, as well as enhance her assertiveness. This would mean that she takes power back from other people, acknowledge her weaknesses and recognize the changes that she needs to make in her style of working (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). This would increase her morale and motivation in her work, which would undoubtedly result in enhanced job satisfaction and improve her performance both in the long-term and short-term. However, this should also be supported with disciplinary actions taken against the bullies. It is imperative that a training workshop is held to sensitize the workers about the definition and negative effects of bullying on performance and overall productivity of the company.
Case study 3
This case involves an American medical technology corporation named Becton Dickinson and Company (BD). This company undertakes the manufacture and sale of medical devices, reagents and instrument systems. With an employee base of close to 30000 people in over 50 countries all over the world, the company ranks as one of the largest medical technology companies in the continent and the world at large. Needless to say, the operations of the company are undertaken by varied teams in different divisions. This is essentially an incredible way of enhancing productivity and delegation of duties. While the productivity of the company has been commendable, the leadership structures have been less than efficient. This is especially considering that the independence of teams in all the branches is restricted. While the conditions in different regions may vary, the teams are expected to align themselves to the established standards in the regional offices no matter how impractical they are. On the same note, team members note that in instances where they come up with an idea, they have to wait for long before they can get an opportunity to present the ideas to the managers, leave alone getting the ideas approved. Even when they get the opportunity, they state that they are often bombarded with questions that seem to underline the notion that the management is not interested in implementing the ideas. This is especially when the managers dwell on the question as to what interest an individual has on the project or rather whether he or she hopes to gain in a particular way. They never seem to be convinced as to the fact that the individual may be merely interested in driving the sales of the company and enhancing its long-term and short-term sustainability and profitability. This, therefore, discourages the individuals from bringing any creative ideas that they may have to the fore as they insinuate that they never get the full cooperation of the management.
As much as these may seem like trivial issues, they have the capacity to cripple the operations of the company and limit its capacity to drive sales. Needless to say, there are problems pertaining to the communication skills of both the employees and the management. As much as the management may have to be concerned about the efficacy of the ideas, the manner in which they communicate their fears is entirely flawed. It is evident that there are interpersonal barriers to communication, especially considering that the employees find the task of airing their views futile and doomed (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). This results in a reduction of motivation with employees having no enthusiasm in coming up with creative and new ways of doing things (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). It goes without saying that their job satisfaction is also reduced in the long-term especially when the management gives no clear explanation for the dismissal of a seemingly incredible idea. In most cases, the demotivation results from the fact that the presentation of their ideas amounts to crucification of their personality as the management turns the discussion from the idea to their personality. This results in frustration among workers, reduced job satisfaction and increased turnover, especially considering that they know that there are better and more efficient ways of doing things (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). In essence, they move to corporations where there is little or no bureaucracy or rather organizations that provide a more conducive and pleasant environment for them.
In eliminating these challenges, transformational coaches would undertake an examination of the personal characteristics that limit communication. Transformational coaches note that an individual usually draws attention to himself or herself rather than to the ideas that they are postulating simply because they are unclear and inarticulate when making presentations (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). In essence, rather than blaming the management for being unwelcoming and hard on the ideas that are presented by the employees, it is recommended that the employees work on their body language especially with regard to confidence, clarity and articulation of issues. In most cases, individuals will be immersed in the ideas presented and look beyond the individual or personality presenting them (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). In essence, the workers should enhance their presentation skills. This, however, does not negate the fact that the management has had a hand in the communication breakdown. It is evident that there are interpersonal communication barriers, not to mention barriers from the hierarchy and bureaucracy. These limit the capacity of employees to air their views, in which case they view the organization as a separate entity. It may also reduce their job satisfaction and productivity, especially considering that it limits their participation (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). In essence, it is imperative that the company decentralizes the management and decision-making to the team-level so as to allow for faster decision-making. This would also enhance the participation of employees, as well as their job satisfaction.
This case involves the medical products division of Johnson & Johnson, a multinational corporation that undertakes the production of patient monitoring and medical diagnostic imaging systems. This division is made up of three teams. While these teams are aimed at achieving the same objective, their collaboration has been hampered by the fact that they are competing. This means that sharing certain information that may enhance the chances of another team is frowned upon. Testament to this is the fact that in some instances, the corporation has been unable to get its new products to the market on time. This means that it not only loses out on crucial revenue estimated to be about $13 million dollars, but also compromises its sustainability and competitiveness in the long-term. This also has a bearing on its profitability both in the long-term and the short term.
The challenge for transformational coaches revolves around the identification of the ineffective leadership and management practices that are incorporated in the company and replace them with entirely new strategies that allow for the incorporation of team dynamics, discipline, vision and direction that are necessary for the timely completion of the projects (Hawkins & Smith, 2007).
While varied leadership and management barriers have been underlined, one of the most important ones is poor or ineffective communication. The different teams are unable to share information amongst each other based on the notion that they are in competition with each other to reach their different targets in which case even sharing information that may enhance the capacity of one team to achieve its goal as they opine that that may hinder the other one from doing the same (Hawkins & Smith, 2007). While no physical barriers to communication have been erected, interpersonal barriers have been erected, keeping the teams from reaching out and opening themselves up to others. In most cases, some members have deeply rooted prejudices pertaining to their place in the company, in which case they do not have the capacity to make genuine connections with individuals as they have numerous false perceptions of themselves standing in the way. On the same note, the varied personalities with which the individuals come stand in the way for effective communication. While diversity is encouraged in the workplace, it may also come as an impediment to coming to the same page (Stewart, 2006). The key issue in the competition among these teams is the playing of numerous power games aimed at outlining which one of the teams is superior to the others at the expense of the attainment of the central goal and objective of the corporation. In most cases, however, stalled communication takes place between individuals who may have no specific communication deficiencies rather, their outlooks and personalities place them at odds with each other (Galpin, 1996).
In addition, it is evident that the teams have issues or problems pertaining to the attainment of trust among each other. In most cases, trust is examined with regard to employee-employer relationship. However, many are the times when issues pertaining to trust are more subtle than between manager and employee. For example, there are instances where a team member or leader raises concerns pertaining to the actions of a particular worker that may be an impediment to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the corporation. The member would essentially be insinuating or suggesting that more training be offered so as to eliminate the behavior (Brookes, 2007). However, the manager in question would get the entire concept wrong and ask who the worker is so that a disciplinary action can be taken against him. This would draw frustration from the reporting individual based on the fact that the manager did not get the message in which case the reporter would refuse to disclose. Ultimately, the operations of the corporation would still be jeopardized with the company’s competitiveness, sustainability, efficiency, productivity and profitability in the short-term and long-term being limited. This issue not only underlines the mistrust between the teams but also the ineffective communication between the varied teams that make up the division (Hartley & Allison, 2000). Of course, interpersonal barriers and personality traits are at play here in limiting communication and brewing mistrust among the employees.
On the same note, it is worth noting that there are problems to do with conflict management. This is especially considering that the three teams making up the division are at odds with each other and are engaging in unhealthy competition. Scholars note that conflict and leadership go hand in hand. In fact, leadership is essentially a full contact where leaders would have to address conflicts in a productive and healthy fashion. The fact that the three teams have not resolved the conflicts that they have means that their leaders are always avoiding from conflict resolution (Stewart, 2006). Unfortunately, this is not always possible as conflicts in the workplace are unavoidable. The capacity to recognize conflict, comprehend its intricate nature and have the capacity to undertake a just and swift resolution comes in handy for the leaders while the inability to do this may be the manager’s downfall (Hartley & Allison, 2000). As much as conflict is essentially a normal component of any organizational and social setting, the key challenge pertaining to conflict revolves around the manner in which the leader chooses to deal with it. Avoided, concealed or even ignored, it is likely that conflict will only fester and grow into resentment, result in withdrawal and may even result in factional infighting in the organization (Hartley & Allison, 2000). Unresolved conflict, in most cases, leads to loss of productivity, suppress creativity and innovation, and result in the establishment of barriers to collaboration and cooperation. On the same note, it may result in reduced job satisfaction among the workers, which would consequently lead to increased worker turnover (Hartley & Allison, 2000). Leaders who fail to deal appropriately with conflict eventually watch as their good talent moves out of the workforce in search for a more conducive atmosphere, safer and healthier work environment.
Needless to say, these problems have a bearing on the productivity, profitability and overall sustainability of the company in the short-term and the long-term. They, therefore, call for an effective resolution in the speediest manner possible so as to eliminate the possibility of any disruption. In enhancing communication in the workplace, it is imperative that the various hierarchical gaps in the company are eliminated or bridged (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). In most cases, employees are unable to communicate with other people in other teams simply because they believe that raising their voice would result in being “singled out for likely ridicule”.
On the same note, scholars have underlined the fact that at the root of conflicts between the teams is an inability to communicate, deficiency of information, misinformation or poor information. In essence, resolving conflicts and unfair competition among the teams would primarily revolve around enhancing communication among the members. Timely, accurate, concise and accurate information communication will result in the easing of the number, as well as severity of conflicts in the organizations (Housden, 2006). In addition, it is imperative that the employees are taken through a comprehensive training session where all employees in the division are allowed to discover the manner in which they are wired or connected, as well as their value (Housden, 2006).
In addition, it is imperative that the organization defines acceptable behavior as a positive technique for eliminating conflicts. It is imperative that the managers come up with a framework for decision-making through a published statement of authority delegation, encouraging business practices that are sound in team building, collaboration, talent management and leadership management (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). On the same note, it is imperative that the company comes up with clearly defined job descriptions, as well as a well articulated and laid out chain of command so as to enhance effective communication and consequently assist in eliminating conflicts. In addition, transformational coaches opine that conflicts should be viewed as opportunities for learning about each other, enhancing communication among the parties involved, as well enhancing cohesiveness in the organization (Brookes, 2007). In instances where there are disagreements, there comes an inherent potential for development and growth. In essence, they view divergent opinions as opportunities for stimulating learning and creativity in an incredible way if addressed in the appropriate manner (Stewart, 2006). In this case, the conflicting members would be taught to view diversity as an opportunity to accommodate differing opinions and have a wider pool of ideas from which to choose. Scholars have also noted that the emotions of the team members and the managers may be at play as a barrier to effective communication (Welbourne & Trevor, 2000). Transformational coaches opine that, in most cases, individuals are taught to be afraid of the words emanating from their mouths. While overcoming these emotions may be difficult, its necessity can never be gainsaid. Transformational coaches underline the need for an individual to be confident of the things that they are saying, as well as their qualifications for speaking out. In most cases, individuals pick up on emotions such as insecurity during any communication (Rafferty & Griffin, 2006). However, transformational coaches note that when an individual believes in himself and in the message that they want to pass across, they have enhanced clarity of communication devoid of emotions, which allows for a reduction of conflicts, enhanced collaboration and increased productivity.
Moreover, it is imperative that the teams have enhanced engagement activities where all the team members would take part in the same activity. This would essentially result in enhanced communication, increased interaction, as well as increased workability among the team members (Welbourne & Trevor, 2000). This is a more efficient technique for eliminating the challenges and would