Edward Konings, always in search for doing something together. Whether it’s a heavy crossfit workout, playing board games or coaching teams. He is always up for a social gathering. That’s because he believes strongly that we, humans need each other to excel. Edward recently earned his WeQ Master Coach certification, and we are honored that he took the time to do this interview with us.
Hi Edward, can you briefly introduce yourself to our audience?
My name is Edward Konings, born in 1969 in Tilburg. I’m married and we have one daughter. I’m a teamplayer and even in my spare time I like to play board games with friends and family. To stay fit, I do Crossfit in a group of 8 people. It’s great, it is not only a good workout for all your muscles but because you do this in a group it creates a great team feeling.
In 2017 and 2018 I completed trainings on various workshop techniques. Currently, I am a WeQ Certified Master Coach, a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator, and a certified GameStorm Trooper at the Gamification Academy. All these workshops contain innovative and playful techniques that can be used perfectly in team development processes.
“When you focus on the possibilities, a lot of steps towards success come within reach”
Why did you become a coach?
Twenty years ago, I started working in the IT business and during that time I’ve worked in many different teams, in all kinds of industries such as insurance companies, banks, and universities. Because of my experience, I started to notice people coming to me for advice. I always tried to help them by asking certain questions, guiding them through the process and letting them figure out new solutions to their problems. I didn't want to solve their problems - I wanted to give them the feeling of ownership, and give them the right ‘ nudge’ to solve it. I realized that I’ve naturally grown into being a coach for the teams I've worked with. That’s what made me decide, 5 years ago, to make a career switch and become a coach.
What drives you most as a coach?
The part that drives me most has to do with the strong belief that every team can be successful, and every team member can contribute to that success.
I worked with many teams over the years, and 9 out of 10 times I saw people that, by themselves, were good at their job, and willing to help-out others, but struggled with all kinds of dynamics in and outside the team.
Helping teams gain insight into what is helping and hindering them is the added value that a coach can contribute. And that is something I love doing. Changing team behavior and the way of working is not easy, but I notice that when you focus on the possibilities, a lot of steps towards success come within reach.
What kind of coach are you?
I am generally calm, but straight to the point. At first I want to connect with the team. See the team dynamic. Mirror them. Talk on their level. I use a simple assessment where teams can actually see where they stand (You can actually try it!), which becomes a starting point of taking actions towards improvement. Then I put the focus on what needs to be done in the group, and I dive right into it. No long discussions, just straight to action.
What wisdom did you learn from your experience?
When I first came in contact with the Agile methodology, 2011, I discovered that it was possible to get successful results in complex and extensive change programs. During that period of Agile transitions at companies, I read the 2009 book “Drive”, by Daniel Pink. His new vision on workplace motivation, which he described as “Motivation 3.0”, gave me so much insight into what drives people today in becoming successful as a person and as a team.
The intrinsic motivation Pink talks about in his book is exactly the area where a coach operates, to get teams and team members into taking ownership. The 3 key components of intrinsic motivation that Pink addresses are components that I personally can relate to:
Autonomy is the need to direct your own life and work. The career path that I have taken up until now has been formed multiple times by choices that I made because I wanted it, or I needed it. I took opportunities to explore new things and figure out what worked well for me and what did not.
Mastery is the desire to improve. I see mastery as a catalyst for my development. Therefore, I am more likely to succeed in my goal because I am not afraid to learn from my mistakes since I know they contribute to improving myself. This doesn’t mean that improving or learning from mistakes is always easy, but it is much more rewarding than the alternative of learning nothing.
Purpose has to do with focus on the ‘greater good’ or ‘the bigger picture’. I am here on earth not just for myself but for the people and the things around me. For me contributing to those elements is much more satisfying than focusing on myself most of the time.
Why did you become a WeQ Certified Master Coach?
I think it was because the WeQ game mechanics weave intrinsic and extrinsic motivations into a whole memorable experience, and that’s the most powerful way to help us to reach our goals. Some years ago, I read a quote from Benjamin Franklin that captures my motivation to use gaming elements in workshops. He said:
Most people I work with like games, to a greater or lesser extent, and game mechanics are an easy way to get people involved, which therefore lets them learn. Another aspect of WeQ that interests me is the feedback process. In Agile teams this is one of the fundamentals to becoming successful. And in the WeQ workshop, becoming better in giving and receiving feedback is very well incorporated.
WeQ involves the whole group playing together, so they learn how to share feedback in a mature way. I am very curious to know what drives your team. How well are they doing in giving and receiving feedback? Are you curious as well? Try the simple self assessment and find out!
Thank you Edward!
Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a WeQ Coach like Edward? Learn more about the WeQ certification training course.