Jan 15, 2021
Introduction: Jennifer Britton is a coach,
author, award winning program designer and most recently a
podcaster. Her podcast remote pathways is co-hosted with Michelle
Mullins a coach in the US. Jennifer works with groups, teams and
organisations in the areas of Leadership, teamwork and business
success. Her own success has been borne out of the many books she
has authored on Group and Team Coaching. The focus for this podcast
centred on her book Effective Virtual Conversations
Podcast episode summary: In this episode
Jennifer shared her background and her connection with remote
working long before the idea of remote working was even popular.
She talked about how teams need to connect and how very important
this is in the digital space. Jennifer illuminated for us how much
of what we experience in the physical space is replicated online
and often magnified. There are distinctions working remotely.
Context shapes what is needed and how a team might need to adapt.
Jennifer is a question mongrel she filled this episode with some
tantalising questions about what teams might need to consider if
they are to be called a team. The nature of remote is not going
away if anything with climate change and invisible immigration it
is harder to move around the world and yet our teams are global.
Enter Team Coaching Online.
Points made through the episode:
- Working remotely has been an anchor for Jennifer Britton almost
throughout her entire career.
- Worked in humanitarian realm for the UN where the mode of
communication with teams in the field was a long -range radio.
- A few experiences shaped Jennifer’s view on teams and helped
her wonder about the interplay between experience, the needed pause
to reflect and retool
- The Pause today is as important especially in our VUCA
- Most people are pressurised in so many ways. How can we crate
micro moments for teams to reflect and redeploy effectively?
- Her book Effective Virtual Conversations fuses the different
modalities available to coaches to effectively support a team;
Facilitation, Training, Coaching and Teaching.
- Reality of our context shapes what we do & what is
- What does it take for a team to thrive and leverage that
knowing with technology?
- How do you work across boundaries, often disciplines and
cultures to bring people together to serve a common cause? Trust
and Connection paramount
- Foundations for all teams still the same. Go back to work of
Katzenback or Richard Hackman to surface what all teams
- The remote pathway for teams means a Team Leader needs to more
readily move into a role of influence and coaching.
- In the remote space a team needs to be proactive. They do not
enjoy the same luxury moments teams that occupy the same space
do-such as water cooler conversations
- Instil shared practices and shared agreements so people get
comfortable with the medium of online coaching
- Team Culture becomes even more real in an online setting. Who
are we? Relationships are key. Remote does not and should not mean
- Create a team identity. Infuse team practices with short bursts
of intense dialogue.
- Jennifer often starts a team intervention with a team
diagnostic. The data helps the team identify the pathway they may
need to go down.
- The team looks at its fundamentals and from the data chose what
- Questions surface about the identity of the team, the team
culture, shared agreements and shared norms-much as you would in a
- Tricky moments occur and the team coach uses one of its tenets
to know that what is needed shows up and the team is resourceful
and whole and will resource a resolution
- As team coaches we are with our own assumptions and beliefs. We
need to have a toolbox to deal with the myriad of situations and
contexts in which we find our client teams.
- Keep it simple is one mantra Jennifer opines
- Another is be visual.
- Jennifer shared a team story where she was unable to see the
team, but they could see her and with the use of one single visual
and two questions she was able to help the team have conversations
with each other.
- Trust what shows up. What is happening is what is needed to
- Lean back into the basics of team effectiveness. Are you a team
or a group?
- Do you have a shared purpose? how are you interdependent? How
is your work measured? How are you operating? Should you be a team
or a group?
- The role of a team coach will be oriented in the direction that
best serves the entity a team or a group. Her book one to many
illuminates and clarifies these questions .
- Trust is one of the most important areas we want to put focus
on to have meaningful dialogue. Without trust we are engaging in
surface type conversations. Trust and trust based relations is a
very dynamic area.
- Trust is behavioural so what are the behaviours we want on this
team? What are our expectations of each other to honour the
individual and their difference but also to honour the needs of the
- What does trust mean to us across the entire team?
- What part of the culture is getting activated on this team if
trust is an issue?
- Jennifer closed by speaking to her own podcast. Remote
- In our connected always on world where climate change is asking
different questions of us in terms of mobility the idea of remote
working is gaining increasing currency.
Resources: the following include the resources
we alluded to over the course of our conversation
- Jennifer Britton: From One to Many
- Jennifer Britton: Effective Group Coaching
- Jennifer Britton: Effective Virtual Conversations
- Katzenbach and Smith: The discipline of teams
- Richard Hackman: Leading Teams & Collective Intelligence
Jennifer Britton & Michelle Mullins