Various surveys and reports suggest that team coaching is on the rise which I am delighted to hear. It seems that more and more businesses are understanding why team coaching is a way to get more for their money and a greater impact from coaching.
Some organisations recognise that developing leaders in cohorts of individuals rarely delivers a good ROI because of the difficulty of applying the learning back at work. Instead they are beginning to use team coaching as a way of developing leaders so that they can hold each other accountable for sustaining changed behaviours in real situations.
So why is there a better return from team coaching?
Like individuals, teams have a variety of potential or real barriers that prevent them achieving their performance potential such as social loafing, poor prioritisation of goals, failings in leadership and collective self-limiting beliefs. The ‘interference’ that Gallwey describes as getting in the way of individual performance is multiplied in a team and a coach can help to reduce that interference and help the team to achieve more. Some teams even develop collective norms which can undermine quality of thinking and reduce creativity and experimentation.
Team coaching is also strongly recommended for teams going through a significant change process – including adapting to a new CEO or Director. I recently coached a new Finance Director and his team when he discovered that the team lacked direction, objectives, accountability, trust and team-work. I used Lencioni’s model for high-performing teams to help the leader and his team to understand the characteristics of effective teams. Insights psychometric profiling was used to raise each person’s self-awareness and understanding of their impact on others. Within a few months positive feedback was received from other parts of the business on the improved effectiveness and collaboration from the finance team.
Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team Model
For a team to be high-performing, it must overcome The Five Dysfunctions listed below.
More clients are signing-up for a sustained team coaching intervention, often lasting between six and twelve months. In my experience, successful teams engage in both individual and team coaching in order to address issues specific to individuals and broader team issues such as managing conflict, improving productivity or customer service.
Team coaching is also very effective when teams are forming. Particularly when a project team is strategically or economically important for the organization as it can speed up the process of transition through forming, storming, norming and performing. Most of us recognise that when a group or team of people have identified the need for change and are involved in creating change, they are more likely to implement it. One of my most satisfying experiences was when I coached a programme manager and his team through a significant change programme, winning an award for best change programme.
I would love to hear from others – why would they choose team coaching, or not?