In the world of Works Councils, we still use the term ‘Works Council training’, but that term hasn’t been accurate for a long time. The members of the Works Council already possess most of the required knowledge. It is increasingly a matter of using and applying that knowledge.
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Works Council training or Works Council coaching?
This year marks the 15th anniversary of my work as an independent coach for Works Councils. And where it started out as providing training, the focus has since shifted to coaching. I have noticed that that is what most Works Councils need.
In recent years, I have noticed that most Works Council members already have a lot of knowledge and experience. As a Works Council member, you know how to conduct a meeting. You understand the group’s processes, you know how to collaborate, (usually) you already work in a team.
You probably learned all these things in college or from courses/training at work. And if not, you can always download a whitepaper that will tell you how to do things better or differently. In most cases, I have (almost) nothing more to add to that.
The bigger question is how you use and apply all that knowledge and experience within the Works Council group. Coaching is the best form to improve together. This helps the Works Council become a working team. And that is something I can help and support them with. That is also when the Works Council makes the most significant progress.
Works Council training
The training is demand-driven and goal-oriented. At the start, the group and the trainer determine a goal that has to be achieved.
Training is not so much about knowledge, but more about skills (although sometimes that requires specific knowledge). The trainer will provide these skills, and during the training, they will teach you how to apply them to practical situations. In doing so, you will practically acquire the skills.
Works Council coaching
During a coaching session, the coach will work with you to discover how to get the best out of you and your fellow Works Council members. The coach has several methods and procedures for this.
Before you start, you discuss what you want to achieve as Works Council members and as a group. The coach also asks the group specific probing questions. Your desires also include your obstacles. The coach will get to know the group members and then know better which techniques to use so that you can achieve your goal.
As soon as the desires or goals are clear, the coach will continue to search with the group. He does this by facilitating conversations and asking investigative questions.
The coach provides only a small amount of knowledge/information. You recount what is going on, to the coach and yourself at the same time. By asking the right questions, the coach changes your thought patterns. In the end, you will discover the answers you need to achieve your desires or goals. There is actually a ‘one-way street’: you already possess the knowledge and experience to share. In cooperation with the coach and the other Works Council members, that knowledge emerges so that you can start applying it.
Throughout this process, the coach is only responsible for the process of bringing you to your goal. You, and the other members of the Works Council, are responsible for the content.
Works Council training is now called Works Council coaching
Works council training is now such an established term that it is difficult to stop using it. I use it myself to explain what I do. But 15 years of experience as a Works Council coach have taught me that Works Council coaching is a better term than Works Council training because it better suits the content of the concept.
off-site team days for the Works Council, including coaching
There is an even better expression though. I prefer Works Council off-site team days, since there is not a lot of difference between what the Works Council does and what the management team does during its off-site team days. On off-site team days, the group uses the knowledge and expertise of the group to answer the following questions:
- where are we?
- where are we coming from?
- where do we want to go?
Answering that last question begins by investigating the next steps, the action plan or the approach, to arrive at that desired destination.
A (Works Council) coach can help you, as a group of individuals, to refine these three questions and develop the next steps.
For me, as a Works Council coach, this is the most exciting and challenging part. You never know beforehand precisely what the actual results or steps are going to be. We are going on a journey, and the Works Council makes decisions, decides on actions, has ideas, defines roles, etc. As a coach, I am responsible for an optimal (coaching) process; as a Works Council member, you know most about the content. Together, we can achieve unprecedented results. At least, that has always been my personal experience with Works Council coaching.
whatever we call it, an optimal result is the goal
But let us agree that whatever we call it, it is about coaching the Works Council to enable it to achieve its best and most optimal potential. And I am happy to contribute to that.
This article is originally part of a series of articles about the 15th anniversary of CT². This is the only article from that series that we have translated because we think this information may also be of interest to English speaking works councils. We translate many of our articles that are important to the English-speaking Works Council into English.
If you want to read the other (Dutch-language) articles in this series, you can find them here:
- “ik ben een bedrijf” (I am a company)
- marketing voor de coach: verkoop ‘mooie gaten’ (marketing for the coach: selling ‘beautiful gaps’)
- “mijn bedrijf: een team zodat ik kan coachen” (my company: a team that enables me to coach)
- zelfstandig ondernemer: het verschil tussen ‘persoon’, ‘bedrijf’ en ‘product’ (independent entrepreneur: the difference between ‘person’, ‘company’ and ‘product’)
- zelfstandig ondernemer: omgaan met ‘persoon’, ‘bedrijf’ en ‘product’ (self-employed: dealing with ‘person’, ‘company’ and ‘product’)
- bedriegerssyndroom: “Wat ik doe is toch niet bijzonder? Dat kan toch iedereen?” (imposter syndrome: ‘What do I do isn’t special, right? Anyone can do that?’)
- Works Council training or Works Council coaching: is there a difference? – just read
- de Ruimte: mijn eigen trainingslocatie (de Ruimte: my personal training location)
Note: Please note that we are a Dutch organisation and that all our information is originally composed in Dutch. For the benefit of our English-speaking customers we have translated some of our online information. We are still in the process of translating even more of our information. It could therefore be that you will come across Dutch pages on CT2.nl. Please contact us if you would like more information.