Have you considered, for any length of time, your motives with your team? What is it that you need and want from them? How are they measuring up to your expectations? And, if they aren’t measuring up, what are you prepared to do about it?

The other day, I was having a chat with an HR Director whose company brought in a coach to work with their leadership team. What I found interesting in the conversation was how the OD manager was the one who (solely) made the decision on the coach and facilitated the ‘agenda’ for the team coaching engagement.

Yes, I said “facilitated the agenda.”

There was no discussion on the goals or desired outcomes for the team as a whole, or even with key leaders. The decision to retain a leadership coach was based on the intention of OD to fix people. Unfortunately, when the rest of the team got wind of this a collective resistance showed up strong.

Hint: When you are seeking to retain an outside consultant, coach or facilitator to enhance or even transform your team and culture, consider the question of purpose. What is the purpose for you and for the team to engage in coaching or any other modality to change?

Our team members are savvy people who can smell a bad idea, or feel the point of a finger well before it is inserted in thy backside.

Honor their intelligence, professionalism and who they are simply as people first by getting ahold of why you want the change to begin with. If you merely want to fix them or the problem as you perceive it to be, start by engaging them in the conversation up front.

For optimal success with any outsider who may come in to facilitate change in your team, show respect to all parties by opening up a dialogue around the perceived problem areas. And, if you can’t do that while suspending judgement of the outcome, then bring in your leadership team coach to facilitate THAT conversation first.

Promote your team forward, not your own agenda, and you may just be surprised at what you get on the other side.

My friend who is the HR Director sent me a message today as a follow up to our conversation. Sadly, the team is not in support of the coach they brought in because of the way it was done. This is a form of sabotage. Which in my world spells ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ for the person initiating the coaching. When you try to fix people – versus promote change – you get exactly what you open yourself up for, and what you would probably name as your number one problem: Rebellion.