Team coaching develops trust, improves communication and increases overall performance.
What is leadership team coaching?
Leadership team coaching is a specialist discipline that draws on the skills of executive coaching and professional facilitation. Peter Hawkins and Nick Smith define team coaching as:
“Enabling a team to function as more than the sum of its parts, by clarifying its mission and improving its external and internal relationships.”
Why use a team coach?
The leaders of an organisation are its role models. Effective teamwork at the top of an organisation sends a powerful message to the whole business. It sets the standard and defines the culture. A high-performing leadership team is a pre-requisite for a high-performing organisation. Team coaching is the intervention used to create high-performing leadership teams.
Each programme is created in response to the unique requirements of the client. At the same time, there are some essential stages in the lifecycle of a leadership team coaching process that are described below. The following example also provides some insight into the kind of content that may be included.
We begin with a discovery phase to get to know you and your team. Ideally, this will involve one-to-one interviews and may incorporate a questionnaire. The intention is to gather important data such as how people perceive their role within the team, how they feel the team is performing, how they would describe the identity of the team and what they feel the team could be doing differently or better. This will form the basis for the design of the team coaching event.
The design phase is also carried out in consultation with you. We work together to plan the leadership team coaching event so that it is tailored exactly to your needs.
Typically, the delivery will start with a 2-day residential programme in a location where the team can focus exclusively on its own development. Key outcomes may include stronger relationships between team members, clarification of team purpose and agreed ways of working for the future.
Mutual awareness and understanding can be enhanced through the use of a psychometric instrument such as MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) or Insights Discovery. Experiential team activities will act as an aid, surfacing interpersonal dynamics and revealing behavioural patterns. The creation of a team charter is invaluable and covers team mandate, the vision of success, team values and ways of working.
Following this, a series of shorter team coaching sessions will take place. For instance, we may meet for half a day once a month for a year or one full day per quarter for 18 months. The frequency and overall duration for team coaching is dependent on the unique needs of the client.
At all stages throughout this process we maintain a close relationship with you, collecting and responding to your feedback. At the end, we meet with you to reflect on and learn from the whole experience. Finally, we will help you assess the effectiveness and outcomes of the team coaching intervention.
Our approach relies on the principles of experiential learning. We ensure an appropriate balance between relevant theory, discussion and activity. Theoretical input is always linked directly to the day-to-day running of the business. We include practical activities which act as a metaphor for business and ensure that the experience shifts out of the intellectual realm, becoming more dynamic and interactive. We might use small team exercises, through which to witness patterns of behaviour and group dynamics. As with all coaching, the process leads to clearly defined and actionable outcomes.
The quality of the relationship is of paramount importance in team coaching. The team coach must be comfortable dealing with strong and challenging personalities who may have conflicting agendas. The coach needs to understand the psychology of group dynamics and the application of leadership theory; they need to be a highly competent executive coach as well as a skilled facilitator. The coach needs to understand the needs of the client’s business and ideally, should have first-hand leadership experience so they can relate to the challenges faced by this team of leaders.
These are just some of the main outcomes of team coaching:
- A strong foundation of trust between team members
- Greater mutual understanding and better professional relationships
- A commitment to mutual support and collaboration
- Identification and clarification of a team purpose and organisational vision
- Agreed ways of working, including red and green card behaviours
- Increased motivation and performance of the whole leadership team
- Powerful messages to communicate to the wider leadership environment
Tom has been developing leaders for nearly two decades. Please call him today for more information and a friendly discussion about your needs on 07720 286 696 or fill in our contact form.
“We have used Tom as a team coach for a number of years. He has earned his place as a trusted advisor to my department”.Alan Kane, Director, Schering Plough