Dec 15, 2020
Janet M. Harvey, MCC, is a visionary, writer, speaker and
coach. She is an early adopter of a coach centred approach in
the workplace. Janet works with global
organisations and teams of Leaders to establish a generative,
resilient and high performing culture. Janet Harvey brings her
executive and entrepreneurial experience as CEO of InviteChange,
Leaders in sustainable excellence through a signature generative
coaching and learning process, The Generative Wholeness Way. As an
ICF Master Certified Coach, Certified Mentor Coach, Accredited
Coach Supervisor and ICF Global past president customers and
audiences around the globe speak of Janet as a bold curious,
provocative and compassionate Leader.
*Exclusively for listeners, you can download a sample chapter of
Janet's new book, Invite Change, from the Game of Teams
Podcast episode summary: In this episode
Janet illuminates the potency of Team Coaching for teams. She
shares her wisdom in creating the groundwork for teams to deepen
the learning with each other before they dive into action. Often
teams and organisations get seduced by the task of things
& the reactive nature of daily requests but forget to
focus on the day to day experience of teaming, understanding the
work they have been authored to do and take responsibility for and
of being together. Team agreements are an essential component of a
team’s success. By missing this vital consideration teams
often fall into politics and drama and get stuck. In addition
,Janet discusses the role of a team coach, the role of a sponsor
with their team and the work it takes to help teams become
self-sustaining. Every sentence Janet speaks is loaded with
juicy questions and thought-provoking ideas. As a Leader or Coach,
I dare you not to listen.
Points made through the episode:
- Coaching and Team Coaching is not a “job” for Janet but an
opportunity to live her bliss everyday
- In her early career working with a large financial institution
Charles Schwab Janet first experienced what it meant to team across
a whole organisation
- She impresses that we often lose sight of the brilliance of our
team colleagues -we must see our team members as more than the
moment we are in and ask instead how is the climate that has been
created contributing to the inability for a team member to show
- Creating the climate for people to shine is the Leaders
- Important to figure out what is in the “collective field” of a
team, perhaps keeping its team members from full authorship
- Team members are rarely asked or get to declare how they wish
to contribute and what their value is to the team’s endeavour.
- There are several important steps in a team engagement. In fact
a number of steps that in Janet’s words comprise the anatomy of a
- Consider the Sponsor relationship – as a coach ask what the
meaningful work is that the team is here to accomplish?
- Dialogue with the Sponsor about their role, what they have
granted authority to the team. Understand what they are examining
is the evidence that the team is performing. Consider too how the
team is being resourced and supported.
- Then there is the important same engagement with each member of
the team to understand their understanding of their remit. How do
the team members negotiate for their work with the sponsor and the
system for what they need?
- Important for coach to not over work but to allow the team to
reveal itself to itself
- Janet employs a process at InviteChange when working with teams
that she calls Team Sovereignty -It ask 4 seemingly simple
- What brought you here?
- What is the team expected to deliver?
- What agreements are necessary for you to accept
- How would you like to approach delivering the expectation while
honouring the agreements made between us?
- Janet explored an experience I had with a team around the first
question and suggested as a coach I had missed the opportunity to
coach a team member. I could have asked in the vignette
- What makes being on this team important to you?
- What is it you want your team members to know about you that is
satisfying to you about your contribution?
- What are you really frustrated about in terms of what you know
you can bring to this team, why you are here that if the team knew
would bring you satisfaction ?
- Janet encourages us as Leaders and Coaches to find compassion
for the behaviour we are witnessing. How we have been together and
the conversations we have missed is revealed in how a person shows
- Team members often enter a team in full protection mode. It is
palpable when you enter a team or group of people. Anxiety is high.
Important for us as team coaches not to solidify this protection
and amp anxiety by the creation of “ground rules” but rather we
need to work to create team agreements.
- We can unwittingly fall into Parent-Child dynamics when what is
required are courageous conversations about how we will work
together to accomplish what is often complex, challenging and
- Janet employs metaphors a lot on teams to help distance the
often emotional tension that can exist with this work.
- Team agreements when worked through in a reasonable fashion,
conscious of the body of work a team has to do can build confidence
between team members for the times when things get tricky.
- Every member of the team is account-able for the team
- The work of a coach is to monitor the collective field of
interactions on a team when you are present.
- Leaders need to be clear. Have they been clear about the level
of authority they have granted the team? Of their role? Of the
- Leaders can often fall foul of the Request/Promise distinction
and collapse the beauty of a request with the idea of delegation.
Often information is missing.
- We have to vigilant of the assumptions we are making on
- Important to ask if the sponsor has skin in the game and
similarly does the team have skin in the game for this work?
- Clarity is important -what are the organisational outcomes
expected of this team, what are the conditions of satisfaction by
which this team will be measured, how has the team been authored to
complete its mission, how has the team been set up? What is the
productivity and positivity you are evidencing on the team? Where
are the team agreements?
- Janet reminds us that too often organisational life is about
revering, competence, analytics and objectives by being great
stewards of resources all of which requires astute acumen but what
we forget is our consciousness and humanness in our endeavour.
- We forget to ask how we are experiencing the system of which we
are a part and we fall prey to politics and drama.
- To conclude Janet shares her own experience of team with her
team at Invite Change and how she radically altered the nature of
questions she asks team members to get at their commitment.
Resources: the following include the resources
we alluded to over the course of our conversation
- Professional Coaching Principles and Practice edited by Susan
English, Janet Sabatine & Philippe Brownell.
- The fearless organisation by Amy Edmondson
- Generative Team Coaching, InviteChange