At The Leadership Coaches, we propose that team coaching can help teams improve effectiveness quickly. Not only does team coaching help teams excel, but it helps them sustain relationships and engagement.
In this blog, we examine teams, team coaching and the benefits of team coaching to determine the benefits that team coaching affords to an organisation’s people, process and results.
Reflecting on a somewhat popular T.E.A.M. acronym—together, everyone achieves more, it is striking that its essence has been the subject of ancient philosophy and Gestalt Psychology. This wisdom persists in our times.
As collaboration is increasingly accepted in the culture of organisations, greater responsibility is being placed on teams to excel, even when the collaboration is to enable competition with ‘another’ team.
When considering teams, the whole is more than the sum of its part, with synergy between diverse individual habits, capabilities, energies and interests emanating from this unity. This leads us to ask the question, “how can team coaching help deliver the results expected of leaders and their teams?”.
Warren Strugatch listed eight characteristics of great teams in sport and business.
Furthermore, in a Mckinsey report, Natasha Bergeron, Aaron de Smet and Liesje Meijknecht identified 22 behaviours that they broadly condensed into four characteristics of effective teams.
Shared focus, excellent organisation, and learning are common on both lists.
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.
Team coaching is coaching a team. The team as a unit is coached, just as a top sports team as a whole is coached and accompanied on the journey to success. The aim is to get the individuals to work well, whether they are together in the same space or apart, on individual tasks and projects.
This is different from group coaching, which is coaching individuals in a group setting. Others in the group develop from observing an interaction between one of the groups and the coach.
Other authors, such as Hackman & Wageman, wrote in 2005 that “Team coaching is direct interaction with a team intended to help members make coordinated and task appropriate use of their collective resources in accomplishing the team’s work.”
David Clutterback defined team coaching as “helping the team improve and the processes by which performance is achieved, through performance and dialogue.” Hawkins & Smith described it as “enabling a team to function as more than the sum of its parts, by clarifying its mission and its external and internal relationships”.
Peter Hawkins highlighted a focus on external stakeholders in his definition of systemic team coaching. “Systemic team coaching is a process by which a team coach works with a whole team, both when together and when they are apart, to help them improves both their collective performance and how they work together, and also how they develop their collective leadership to more effectively engage with all their stakeholder groups to jointly transform the wider business.”
The Benefits of Team Coaching
If excellent and effective teams are focused, well organised and continue to learn, team coaching is uniquely placed to support teams as they strive to achieve high effectiveness. This is because the Team coach stays the course with the team to bring about transformation in the following ways.
· Realism in development, as the team coach observes first-hand the process of the team’s dynamics, culture and delivery. Team dynamics is how team members work and ‘play’ with one another. The team coach can be the mirror for the team to see how it operates internally and with stakeholders in the business and outside. Transformation within the team can be felt and draws a response that usually impacts the organisation’s culture.
· Well-being of individuals is a valuable benefit of team coaching as the team members increasingly rely on each member’s availability, commitment, and engagement. The team coach acts as an additional pair of curious eyes to draw the team’s attention to its well-being. The current pandemic is highlighting the importance of well-being to leaders and businesses.
· Accountability on the job in a non-judgemental supportive way, as the team coach remains curious, challenging and unattached to specific outcomes. Knowing that a conversation about team behaviour and results would be had in a safe space encourages the team to make commitments and take actions that deliver results.
· Team spirit drawn from the unity of purpose generates the confidence to take risks in knowing that there is backing from the team. In working through its mandate, purpose, remit and resources, the team coach helps the team build a good foundation for the unity of purpose and action.
· Team learning and knowledge management emanate from the reflection process of team coaching. A habit of learning lessons in the team generates a transfer of knowledge, especially where such learning is documented and available to the team. When teams enable individuals to fully play to their strengths whilst managing their weaknesses, alongside other team member’s strengths, the team becomes a place where experimentation is safer.
Learning occurs as results are delivered. Knowledge sharing also becomes safer.
Finally, for the many businesses that hope to understand the benefits of team coaching, the Engage Team report is available to benchmark a team’s state before and after a coaching intervention. This report is an empirically validated measurement to demonstrate the levels of return on investment to verify the benefits of team coaching.
Contact Us Today
The Leadership Coaches excel at Team Coaching with many of our team qualified in various team coaching techniques and backed up with real-world experience and credible results; call on us for your next success.
To find out more, visit our website here, or call us today for a no-obligation consultation on 0800 345 7727.
Written by experienced team leadership coach Joseph Ogbonna.
Clutterback, D. (2007) Coaching the Team at Work. Nicholas Brealey London.
Hackman, J R and Wageman, R (2005) A theory of Team Coaching, Academy of Management Review, 30 (2) pp 269-287
Hawkins P (2014) Leadership Team Coaching: developing collective transformational leadership, 2 nd Ed. Kogan Page.
Hawkins, P & Smith, N (2006), Coaching Mentoring and organisational consultancy: supervision and development. Open University Press,/McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead.