Learning from the Lionesses: England Women’s football team

Learning from the Lionesses: England Women’s football team

Coaching for Leadership - Creating a winning team

Coaching for Leadership – Creating a winning team

As the Lionesses powered to victory in the UEFA Women’s Euro final on 31 July, it is their coach Sarina Wiegman who is widely credited with their success. So, how does she do it? And how can you develop your skills to achieve the same success, as an executive coach?

Firstly, she prioritises connecting with and knowing people as individuals. In an interview when she first got the job as England manager she said, “We will start working together, where do we need to connect? First I have to see the players, I have to get to know them.”

When her previous team, The Netherlands, lost to Norway in the 2017 World Cup semi-finals, she visited players in their hometowns, took them to dinner and talked about what happened. Initially the players found it odd, what was she doing there, and then moved into animated dialogue, it was good to talk and think together.

However, once she knows individuals, her focus is on the team.  She deflects questions about individual performances, believing that individual success only occurs because of what is happening in the whole team.

Taking this team focus she emphasises the importance of vision, expectations, and role, “together with the staff I must, bring the group together, get connected, be very clear about what the tasks are in different roles…. expected behaviours on the pitch and off it, know who we want to be.”

She also has something to say about culture, the importance of enjoying what you are doing.  She knows that “you perform better when you can be yourself and when you’re in an environment where you’re safe, doing something that you love, where you will not be judged. Because when you’re on the pitch you’re being judged all the time and that’s uncomfortable and unsafe.”

The wider context of the Lionesses victory has also received much commentary. Wiegman aged six, cut her hair to pass as a boy in her brother’s football team. For many, the Lionesses victory must be the beginning not the end, demanding a shift in the inequity surrounding football. They want to challenge the dominance of the male game and all the attitudes, structures and processes that maintain that dominance.

Wiegman’s approach translates directly into the executive suites of other organisations, multinational corporates, public services and the not-for-profit sector.

We cannot promise you will be the next Sarina Wiegman, however, by participating in the Certificate in Coaching for Leadership – Psychodynamic Approaches you will increase your performance as a coach.

The course takes a holistic view of individuals – it encourages you to always think systemically, beyond the individual. It explores unconscious processes, how to identify and work with these to build safe creative spaces. It pays attention to boundaries, power and authority, role, purpose and task, always within the wider political context.

Join us for the training to get in shape for the work that make a difference.

If you would like to speak to one of the programme directors, contact Meg. For more information, consult the brochure.

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