Levels of Coaching & Facilitating with StrongSuits


Levels of Coaching and Facilitation

In their book ‘Systemic Team Coaching‘, John Leary-Joyce and Hilary Lines describe 6 levels that the coach intervenes at. The first 3 levels are:

  • the individual level (via one-to-one coaching)
  • the inter-personal level (via mediation)
  • the team relationships level (via facilitation)

The authors describe a further 3 levels that are externally related to the team’s work, stakeholders and the wider environment.

The levels are depicted in the image above as concentric lenses representing widening or narrowing levels of attention and intervention.

Below are some of the ways that the StrongSuits toolset can be used by coaches, mediators and facilitators to work at these 3 levels:

The individual level
StrongSuits can be used to identify an individual’s strengths as well as where those strengths might turn into limitations when they become overplayed. It can also be used to identify limiting beliefs that might be holding the individual back in their work life and as a team member. As such it is an empowering approach for the individual and can be used in one-to-ones or career coaching.

The inter-personal level
Tensions and conflicts typically arise from the existence of opposite strengths and communication styles between two individuals. StrongSuits is specifically designed to identify opposites as well as overplayed strengths, overplayed communication styles and ‘allergies’ that might be getting in the way of a relationship. The StrongSuits cards further provide for a safe way of giving feedback to each other that is both appreciative and improvement-oriented.

The team relationships level
StrongSuits celebrates the cognitive diversity of a team by illuminating the contributions of all the different strengths and communication styles that exist in the team. By using the StrongSuits Strengths Map™ teams can further shine a light on patterns in team dynamics such as biases for or against certain strengths in the team, or insights into how the team behaves under stress.

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