There are numerous definitions of team coaching and three we like are:
A learning intervention designed to increase collective capability and performance of a group or team, through application of the coaching principles of assisted reflection, analysis and motivation for change.
Hackman & Wageman, 2005
In the book ‘Team Players and Teamwork: The New Competitive Business Strategy’, Glenn Parker notes some common issues teams are likely to experience and which team coaching from Iridium can address:
- There is talk but not much communication
- Disagreements are aired in private conversations after team meetings
- Team meetings are formal or tense
- Decisions tend to be made by the team leader with little involvement of team members
- Team members cannot easily describe the team’s mission
- Team members are not open with each other because trust is low
- There is talk but not much accomplishment
- There is confusion or disagreement about roles within the team
- People in other parts of the organisation do not cooperate with the team
- The team doesn’t recognise the strengths and differences of each team member
- The team may have been in existence for some time but never reflects on how it goes about things
I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I have very much enjoyed our sessions. I appreciate how you’ve taken the time to develop relationships with each of our groups. I also admire your listening skills and your thoughtful insight and wisdom. I have enjoyed our sessions and as we get closer to our last session I recognize the wisdom you share in your “coaching endings”. I’ve reflected on that and wonder how often I haven’t intentionally acknowledged endings and just let things drift away.
Deborah Nunnink, Director of Finance & Operations
The Nature Conservancy, Wyoming
What is Team Coaching in organisations?
You may be wondering what exactly team coaching is and whether it’s really just an example of the emperor’s new clothes with pre-existing team interventions such as team building and team development being repackaged as ‘team coaching’ and a new developmental fad for organisations. Whilst there are undoubtedly a number of similarities and activities that could feature equally in other team building or team development initiatives there are a number of key distinguishing characteristics of team coaching that are present in all types, genres and approaches. These are:
- It is a process that takes place over a number of sessions, spread out over a period of time.
- It involves individuals in a team learning together whilst completing a task/carrying out their business.
- It is holistic, focusing on the whole team.
- It involves work that necessitates the use of a coach (ie it is not simply team building).
- It focuses on the health of the team and long-term change.
- It utilises the behaviours and skills of one-to-one coaching.
In team coaching, the coach works with an intact team, one which is newly-created or, more often, one which is already in existence, for example a leadership team, and looking to raise its performance – to move from an ‘average’ or ‘good’ team to a true ‘high performing’ team. By ‘high performing’ we mean a team that others look up to because team members work well together, build on each other’s strengths, complement weaknesses and, crucially, consistently deliver and achieve their goals.
Each team coaching programme is bespoke and tailored to the client’s needs. Team coaching from Iridium is applicable at all levels and is especially valuable for senior management teams, leadership teams and boards. At the heart of our team coaching practice is our PiE Team Coaching Model which provides an accessible way to represent the three phases constituting team coaching: Preparation, Intervention and Evaluation. The accompanying framework presents the key questions that need answering at the preparation stage; the roles adopted, skills and behaviours utilised and knowledge accessed during the intervention phase and the considerations for the team coach at the evaluation phase. The model recognises the universal elements of team coaching as well as the fact that there are many divergences in practice.
Our skilled team coaches, led by Dr Gill Graves who has a Doctorate in Team Coaching, will work with your team in a diverse range of ways – observing, questioning, listening, providing challenge, using an appropriate tool or framework to facilitate learning and imparting knowledge via skill-building sessions.
Sessions can be remote via Zoom or face to face. Our style is practical, challenging and fun.