Yvet on ORSC Fundamentals and ORSC Intermediate
Why are some teams ready to embrace change while others put up such enormous resistance? Yvet Beckers (37), programme manager with SNS REAAL, found this a fascinating question. She went in search of answers in 2012. At the advice of her line manager, she enrolled in the ORSC Fundamentals course. Soon she learned to view teams in an entirely different light.
‘I did not have to decide where to take the course,’ Yvet recalls. ‘Schouten Global is the only institute in the Netherlands which offers the ORSC certification courses. I started with ORSC Fundamentals and then went on to take the more challenging ORSC Intermediate course, which eventually led to my becoming a certified ORSC coach myself. I have since left SNS REAAL to start my own consultancy, TeamTrots.
I now coach business teams in various situations. I advise groups as they undertake change and improvement processes, and I help organizations wishing to set up autonomous teams or resolve conflicts within their existing teams. My ORSC certification has proven extremely useful, as it has given me a clear advantage within today’s market. There is very high demand for team coaches: this is a booming profession!’
Focus on relationships rather than individuals
‘ORSC is a model which focuses on coaching relationships. It is not so much concerned with individuals but more with the interaction between the members of a project group, a department or an entire organization. As an ORSC coach, I am not interested in who says what or who is right. I help the team members to understand the unwritten rules which they impose on each other, often without realizing it. I train them to think and act from the collective perspective rather than from their individual point of view.’
From a distance
‘I can give an example based on a real-life situation. One team had a member – let’s call her Mary – who was often praised for the structure she brought to the team. It was Mary who produced the agenda for team meetings, kept track of the action list and monitored progress. Her colleagues had the implicit expectation that she would continue playing this role. That irked her. ‘I really don’t enjoy doing all this on my own,’ she complained, ‘and I find it very tiresome that no one else is willing to get involved!’
During the subsequent discussion, it was clear that other team members were only just starting to appreciate how important the ‘organizer’ is. This was not Mary’s job, but a role she came to fulfil as time went on. The team members realized that it was a shared responsibility and that everyone played a part in this pattern. Mary kept taking on the extra work and the others let her get on with it. Once they were able to distance themselves and examine the situation objectively, they started to suggest ideas for better ways of working.’
Trainers approach us as a team
‘Within the ORSC approach, everything is about the relationships within the team. It is therefore only logical that ORSC trainers should approach the course participants as a team rather than as individuals. This adds an extra dimension to the learning process. Not only did we learn much about team coaching techniques, we also experienced them as a team. The various interests, characters and baggage of the participants offered plenty of material for the trainers to explore. We were able to experience the effect of ORSC at first hand.’
Listening to the voice of the team
‘Perhaps the most striking insight that the course gave me is that the collective voice of the team will always seek a way to be heard. Sometimes that voice is so strong that it appears to come from the team coach. I remember facilitating a coaching session at which I really felt pressed for time. I then realized that this feeling was an expression of the team voice. I therefore asked the group whether they also had the feeling of being rushed. This proved to be the turning point in the session. The team members were indeed feeling stressed. I had intuitively picked up on this.’
ORSC has changed my perspective
‘I have learned to use my own intuition in order to allow teams to listen to their collective voice. That is one huge benefit of the ORSC course. In fact, it has given me far more than I could have hoped. This was so much more than a course which teaches you tips and tricks to help you become a good team coach. ORSC has changed my perspective, my entire way of looking at things. I now take a very different view of teams, myself and the world at large.’