Consistent, sustained team coaching over time proves far more beneficial than team building, consultancy, facilitation or advice-giving. Here are five reasons to invest in team coaching.
1. Team Coaching Builds Future Capacity and Capability
By asking the questions and guiding a dialogue, the team coach expertly focuses on what is needed for future success and performance. What does the team know about its current and future ability to perform? What questions are the team asking themselves? Are these the right questions?
A core principle of team coaching is equipping the team over time to self-manage and self-coach.
2. Team Coaching Brings Balance to Tasks, Relationships, and Learning
One of the five reasons to invest in team coaching is that leaders often misattribute the cause of poor performance to a lack of motivation by team members when the real reason is a lack of quality relationships and a lack of meaningful, purposeful learning.
The team's focus on tasks, relationships, and learning need to be balanced for peak performance, which drops when anyone dominates. The team coach brings challenge to the strong pull that task completion has to dominate over relationships and learning.
3. Team Coaching Increases Innovation and Creativity
“People are often a lot more creative than they think. They simply get out of the habit of creative thought.” David Clutterbuck (2020).
Team coaching helps re-establish the innovation process by introducing a wide range of techniques to stimulate thinking in a rigorous, frequent and focused way. It is long established that having a more excellent range of options leads to better decision-making. Poor decision-making is often the result of not pressing hard enough for more information.
4. Team Coaching Creates Psychological Safety
Another of the five reasons to invest in team coaching is that team coaches work with the team leader to create high levels of psychological safety.
A psychologically safe team can express ideas and opinions, and speak their minds without fear. In psychologically safe teams, the reward of openness is greater than the threat or embarrassment of transparency. Behaviours such as admitting mistakes, admitting a lack of knowledge, or asking for help greatly benefit performance and learning opportunities but can come with too high risk in some teams.
Working with the team leader, team coaches provide support and challenge that creates empowerment, a coaching culture, a learning culture and quality relationships.
5. Team Coaching Improves Relationships With External Stakeholders
How aligned are you with your stakeholder's interests? Which stakeholders believe they have a right to influence how you operate?
How does your team manage its relationships with stakeholders? And importantly, how much do you and your stakeholders value each other?
Team coaching enables the team to reflect on the psychological contract between the team and stakeholders and determine how to strengthen the value of that relationship.
These are five reasons to invest in team coaching, amongst others, such as managing conflict, aligning purpose and how it is carried out, improving decision-making, reviewing how the team uses its available resources and energy, and creating a team learning environment.
In these ways, team coaching seeks to improve current and future performance.
If you are interested in exploring how team coaching can achieve this for your team and organisation, get in touch and further the conversation with our qualified, accredited and experienced team coaches.
Written by leadership coach Ian.
“Coaching the team at Work 2” David Clutterbuck (2020)
“Leadership Team Coaching in Practice” Hawkins, P (2018)
“The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth” Amy C. Edmondson (1998)