A team is defined as “a small group of people who are mutually accountable to achieve a common purpose and performance goal through the application of their collective talents using collaborative processes.”
The real work of the team is the foundation of team coaching. It is in the context of real demands, deadlines, and desired future scenarios that team coaches work with leaders and their teams. While team building activities and exercises can help teams and groups ‘get out of the box’ and become ‘new observers’, they are used minimally, if at all, in team coaching.
- Observe the team in action.
- Provide feedback with permission.
- Help the leader and the team become aware of how it is functioning and performing in the moment.
- Utilize a variety of tools shared and applied in real-time to help the team resolve real work issues.
- Work in ‘real time’ and utilize the underlying human dynamics of thinking, feeling, and behaviours in their work with teams.
- Utilize organizational dynamics to help the leader and team members lead transformative change.
Team coaching strives to increase the performance level of a team as it works toward a specific outcome. It promotes the growth of individuals with the intention of creating capacity within the team for sustaining quality, as well as correcting based on double-loop learning, and generating excellence.
To benefit from Team Coaching, three critical success factors must be in place.
- Leaders must be engaged in a coaching relationship with the coach prior to entering into the team coaching arrangement.
- Leaders must be personally committed to the process and willing to experiment and learn from what they notice and experience as a leader of a team.
- Leaders and their teams require a framework that guides them and helps them make observations about their individual and collective responses to situations.
The commitment comes from the leader and the team members, while the structure for the work comes from the team coach.