Jul 1, 2019
Introduction: Paul is a significant contributor
in the fields of coaching, supervision, team coaching, systemic
thinking and research. He has written 3 books and numerous articles
and blogs. He lectures on the Masters of Business Coaching Program
at Sydney Business School and presents regularly at conferences,
workshops and webinars. In 2018 he founded the Centre for
Coaching in Organisations. In his spare time Paul writes “rather
gory historical fiction”
Podcast episode summary: This particular
episode with Dr Paul Lawrence illuminates the complexity and
dynamic nature of teams and how teams are part of a nested system.
Paul shared his wisdom and work with teams. He spoke about the
importance of Dialogue and how dialogue is fundamental to change.
Similarly he spoke about structural dynamics and how this thinking
can be taught with teams to help the team see their engrained
patters and importantly their stuck patterns. Team Coaching is
still in its infancy and not to be confused with Team Building,
Team facilitation or Consulting. Team coaches need to be robust
enough and able to contain their own anxiety and help the team
learn from the creative tension that is almost always present. This
show was very honest and real where Paul communicated his passion
and excitement for his work with teams.
Noteworthy points of discussion
- Coaching as a discipline is still nascent and Team Coaching is
in its infancy. Much confusion about around what it entails and how
to distinguish it from Team Building/Team Facilitation and Team
- Dialogue between practitioners is helpful to share what is most
useful for teams
- Dialogue is central to change and is at the heart of
sustainable change. Change requires leaders adopt a mental model
that is curious, respectful and without agenda-that is often
- Dialogue is simple to articulate more difficult to practice
because it asks of Leaders to suspend judgment, be open to
understanding others and to be hugely aware of their own internal
- Dialogue is not just about listening it is also about saying
what needs to be shared in an open, honest and respectful manner
and that is often tougher especially as you go higher up the
organisation where power dynamics are at play.
- Team Coaching is a tough gig. Team coaches need to be robust,
able to hold anxiety and able to look for tension on the team.
Tension is always there and if mined can provide real insight and
- Structural Dynamics is a methodology that can empower the team
to manage its own dynamics and stuck patterns. The 4 player model
is described and demonstrates what is necessary in vital
conversation but what is often missing
- Contracting with the team and the team leader is imperative and
will help understand what the real work is for a team.
Resources: the following include the resources
we alluded to over the course of our conversation
- Lawrence, P. (2014) Leading Change how successful leaders
approach change management. Kogan Page. UK
- Lawrence, P. & Moore, A. (2018). Coaching in three
dimensions. Meeting the challenges of a complex world. Routeledge
- Lawrence, P. Hill, S. Priestland, A. Forrestal, C. Rommerts, F.
Hyslop,L. & Manning,M. (2019), The Tao of Dialogue, Routeledge.
- Lawrence, P. Whyte, A. What do experienced team coaches
- Hawkins,P. Leadership Team Coaching and the five disciplines
- Bohm, D. On Dialogue (1990), Amazon
- Kantor,D. Reading The Room, Amazon