Jun 1, 2021
Introduction Peter Bluckert is the founder of
Courage & Spark, pioneers & thought leaders in the Gestalt
approach to Leadership Development. He is also the founder and has
led and grown four successful coaching & Leadership Development
consultancies. Peter is a prolific writer. He is the author of
several books & articles including; Psychological Dimensions of
Executive Coaching, Gestalt Coaching-Right Here Right Now and
Gestalt Coaching: Distinctive Features. He also co-founded the
European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC). Peter’s other
passion is music and for this episode, he asked the acoustic
musician Ed Boyd, band member of Lunasa and Flook to compose an
outro to simulate team coaching. I sincerely hope you enjoy both
the conversation and this music piece.
Podcast Episode Summary
This episode illuminates what is involved in a transformational
team development journey. Peter explores the role of a Team Coach
and shares some important distinctions & capacities that Team
Coaches need to possess to support team development. The episode is
littered with gems, words of wisdom and stories that bring to life
Peter’s approach and the value of his offer. I particularly enjoyed
his football story at the end of this episode where Peter
demonstrates his skill in genuinely helping a team
Points made over the episode
- The reason for entitling this episode as The Amazing Journey is
- Peter Bluckert’s model and approach often takes anywhere
between 18 months to 4 years with a team.
- It is not uncommon that a team will approach this work with
some order of anxiety and trepidation even resistance.
- Team Coaches can have influence and impact with a
team. They can
improve the quality of conversation, help the team offer deep
levels of sharing, disrupt dysfunctional patterns, improve team
mood, spirit and belief & accelerate personal and leadership
- Important that a team coach has the ability to create
conditions of deep trust and psychological safety.
- Openness, Trust and Safety are critical success factors in team
- Often Team Coaches meet their own anxiety by over structuring
events and relying too heavily on content.
- Our role is to create enough space for the Team to do their
- Team Coaches need to possess a holding presence, they need to
grade their experiments and not go too fast. They need to invite
team members to stand in the metaphorical swimming pool and take a
- Context is such that we have to manage our own anxiety and help
the team see that slowing things down is the work to reflect, to
notice self to notice self in relation to others -all requires a
- As Team Coaches we have to hold the tension and not react to a
client by giving them an approximation of their world.
- Process versus Content is an important distinction Peter learnt
early on in his career. Most of us have only a partial awareness of
this important distinction.
- By being overly focused on content we miss each other, we miss
communication issues, we miss team dynamics and relationship
issues. We miss a lot.
- Peter shares how he introduces a team to group process
- He then described his model and approach to team development.
He shared it is a combination of individual work and team work as
well as a focus on the Leader.
- He invites the team to declare their current reality and to
determine what it needs to learn and change to deliver its stated
mission. He determines if the team has a clear and compelling
Purpose, Values and Team Behaviours as well as Group Norms that
team members will buy into.
- In addition he will afford the team skill development as well
as teaching moments, including the ability to self -reflect, build
awareness, take personal responsibility & regulate emotions. He
works to uncover team dynamics and finally he supports a team
consider their immunity to change using the work of Kegan &
- The work Peter does with a team could be described as Truth
- He helps the team develop their capacity to dialogue, to notice
their own patterns, bias’s and habits.
- Team Coaching is complex and as an external intervener we
never know all that is going on in a system. We can get lost,
blind- sided by a team and in those moments we have to be patient
to allow the fog to clear and gently see what might be figural. We
have to be careful how we share and put into the team. It is wise
to offer stuff
lightly with humility.
- Working with teams Peter will check for the kind of support
that is available for team coaching and the level of real
commitment for the work
- Peter closed the episode by sharing a piece of pivotal work he
did with a football team in Ireland that was in danger of being
relegated. In this we hear his approach and success with the
- Finally Peter shared the reason for the change in outro that
listeners will experience by listening to the end of the
- The Outro has been composed by Ed Boyd an Irish acoustic
musician who play for two bands Lunasa and Flook. This piece was
created to approximate team life. A beautiful
- Bluckert P. Psychological Dimensions of Executive Coaching,
2006, Open University Press
- Bluckert P. Gestalt Coaching; Right Here, Right Now. 2015, Open
- Bluckert P. Gestalt Coaching-Distinctive Features, 2021,
- Ed Boyd, member of the Lunasa band, a traditional Irish Music
Group named after Lughnasadh an ancient harvest festival, provided
the Outro music to this episode.