Elevating the Learning of MAP Teams with Leadership Coaching in MO 625

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Sanger News

In the dynamic and interconnected world of business, coaches play a pivotal role in enhancing team success through strong and effective leadership. Leadership is a skill that coaches help cultivate and nurture within teams by fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

In the Michigan Ross course MO 625: Leadership Coaching Practicum, facilitated by Dr. Lindy Greer and Jeff Domagala of the Sanger Leadership Center, students do just that. The course is designed to provide MBA2s with knowledge and experience in leadership coaching, culminating in serving as team coaches to MBA1 MAP teams. MAP, or the Multidisciplinary Action Project, is a cornerstone of the Michigan Ross experience, where students work together in self-managed teams to consult for a business around the globe over the course of a 6-week timeframe. MAP aims to help students hone their analytical, project management, and leadership skills.

“MAP is a unique opportunity for students to simulate working in a realistic professional post-MBA environment which includes navigating the complexities of tackling challenging professional tasks with people who have diverse styles and backgrounds. Practicing this balance will serve students extremely well in any industry/function they choose to pursue.” – Priya Gupta, MBA2 Coach

In order for these teams to be successful, their ability to manage their internal team dynamics is key. This is where the MBA2 coaches in MO 625 come in. They first learn and practice key evidence-based approaches to coaching, coaching both individuals and teams as a whole. Students then spend significant time coaching MBA1 MAP teams during five touchpoints. The coaches hold a MAP kickoff for their team, a mid-way check-in to hold space for feedback, final reflection for learning and takeaways, and two 1:1 coaching sessions with each MBA1 MAP student to hold them accountable for their learning goals. 

In the course, students develop their own coaching philosophy to understand how their personal styles influence their unique leadership styles. Moreover, embracing new experiences with a learning mindset is crucial for leadership development. MO 625 provides a platform for students to take risks, experiment with new behaviors, and adapt coaching strategies in real time.

“Through the MAP coaching experience, I have been able to strengthen my role as an active listener, one who can uncover team-based issues that tend to hide underneath the surface. In coaching, I need to ask questions that seek to understand (rather than attempting to solve problems immediately), and then have my team members take an active role in devising how they can solve individual problems they are facing. In doing so, I have been able to approach problem-solving in teams more holistically and effectively. We are able to unearth the root cause of issues, use good questioning to understand everyone’s perspective of the issue, and I then can steer my team to devise ways of solving problems that suit their needs best rather than imposing ways a leader may think works best for everyone.” – Alexis Cooper, MBA2 Coach

“Research shows that the highest performing teams are those that create systematic processes for working together,” said Jeff Domagala, managing director of the Sanger Leadership Center. “Our student coaches have the opportunity to combine their own experiences with strategies and tools to help MBA1s navigate their MAP projects.”

MO 625 is a unique course that provides a transformative journey towards unlocking leadership potential. By embracing hands-on learning, students not only hone their leadership skills, but also cultivate a deeper understanding of team dynamics and collaboration. Students emerge from the course equipped with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to lead teams towards excellence in the ever-changing business landscape.

Learn more about coaching at Sanger.