Anna Pell, Change Management Consultant and Organisational Development Specialist tells her story about her decision to re-train as an Executive Team Coach

I love my work and meeting people from every walk of life, business sector and industry ranging from global corporate businesses, to medium sized local and national charities, to small start-ups and family owned businesses. Often the role I undertake is more akin to coaching and certainly the team dynamics and culture change inherent in any change programme is complex, multi-layered and at times can be exceptionally challenging work!

As a change management consultant and organisational development specialist, over the last 25+ years of my career I noticed three clear, unifying strands in the projects and interim roles I have been involved in;

  • the leadership teams are seeking organisational change expertise, guidance and greater clarity on how to articulate and drive forward the change they are leading;
  • their people are often too busy, change weary, or simply unclear of the future vision and goal – and how they might personally play an active and positive part in the organisations’ future; and
  • the more I lead and drive the change myself, the less the leadership team own and actively lead the behavioural and culture change underway. This third area has a direct impact on my ability to stay well and healthy in working environments that are often unhealthy for their people as well as the interim specialists they bring in.

After taking six months off work to recoup my energy after completing a particularly tough and rewarding assignment, I was trying to find a way to take aspects of my work that I enjoy, and to effect change in a completely different way. After all, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I wanted to let go of the lead responsibility for change in an organisation in order to make the shift from content ‘expert’ in organisational change: moving towards becoming the facilitator and catalyst of change. This is where the concept of team coaching started to emerge as a professional career option for me.

I noticed my interest grow as I started researching team coaching and was spurred on by the growth of the team coaching market in comparison to the market for 121 coaching. Enthused to find out more I listened to podcasts and webinars most of which were led by Georgina Woudstra, a leading expert on Team Coaching as well as an experienced team coach and Principal of Executive Coach Studio. Georgina regularly presents about the role of a team coach and how to become a team coach along with other team coaching subjects. I also started reading Georgina’s regular articles in ‘Coaching at Work’ along with research from the International Coach Federation (ICF) (who accredits the team coaching courses run by the Executive Coach Studio).

“Yesterday I was clever, so wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi

I phoned Georgina to discuss qualifications and options to train more formally as a Team Coach, as well as the different skills and models of team coaching available for study in the UK. I wanted a course that was accredited by the ICF and I was particularly drawn to Executive Coach Studio’s experiential learning style. I knew this style of learning can be powerful when tailored to the individual as a transformative experience, both on an intellectual and emotional level.
After researching course options and a lot of thought, I decided to study with the Executive Coach Studio on the ECS Certificate in Team Coaching (which also counts to Module 1 of the full 4-module Diploma) as my first formal step into the professional team coaching world, bringing with me my years of experience as a change specialist. I was drawn to the option of the 3-day Certificate knowing that I could progress my learning on the full Diploma once I had a taste of the style and content.

I am now about to commence my learning journey with Executive Coach Studio, eager to turn the page in the next chapter of my professional life. In my next article I will share with you my experience of studying the ECS Certificate in Team Coaching. To be continued…..

Anna Pell