What Is Team Coaching?
The purpose of team coaching is to drive the team towards accomplishing a goal, whether it be completing a particular project, starting a new business unit, or meeting sales efforts. Team coaching involves one outside coach and a team of people in an organization. Team coaches are brought in to work with teams to help accelerate their performance.
The normal progression consists of four stages, starting with forming – where teammates are introduced, rules are established, and objectives are decided upon. Next, the team moves to storming – where personalities clash, and disagreements occur. This is a completely normal part of team progression, although some teams have a higher degree of storming than others.
After storming comes norming – where the conflicts have been settled, and teammates learn how to work together efficiently and effectively, the final stage performs. Teams start producing results and accomplishing the objectives they started to achieve.
Sometimes teams get stuck in the storming stage or never really move past norming into performing. Or sometimes, a team may be performing then slip back into a storming phase if a conflict arises. Every time the team adds or loses a new member, it must start again at the forming stage.
Benefits of Leadership Coaching
Team coaching can provide multiple benefits to the individual, the team, and the organization. Depending on your team coaching environment’s set-up and your organization’s needs and goals, many benefits could be realized.
Benefits to the individual
- Learn about other team members in a safe environment
- Share perspectives in a safe environment
- Be part of a winning team.
- Be more engaged at work.
Benefits to the team
- Establish a team charter
- Create an action plan
- Maintain accountability
- Showcase individual strengths within the team
- Resolve conflicts effectively
- Collaborate towards a common goal
Benefits to the organization
- Less expensive than one-on-one coaching
- Experience effective teams that meet their goals
- Move the company forward.
- Increase employee retention
How Does Team Coaching Work?
A team coaching scenario is typically comprised of a team working on a goal and a coach from outside of the team. The coach can be an internal (inside the organization) or external coach (see: “How do I find the right team coach?” below).
The purpose of having a team coach from outside of the team ensures that the coach is neutral and detached from a position or way of doing things within the team. The coach is focused primarily on the team’s success and effectiveness, rather than whose suggestion they use.
What is the Difference Between Team Coaching and Team Building?
Team building is an important tool to create and foster interpersonal relationships within the team. Some popular team-building activities are off-site activities or exercises that encourage members to trust and work together. They are often fun and usually take place outside of the regular office environment or meeting room. A team-building activity could be as complex as an off-site ropes course activity or resort vacation or could be as simple as having a potluck lunch in the office one day or taking the team out to lunch. A team-building activity focuses on getting people in the team to know each other better and create a bond.
Team coaching involves an experienced coach working with a team to achieve a goal. Team coaching can happen in a classroom setting or virtually via phone or video calls. Team-building is typically a one-time event, whereas team coaching happens over a period of time until the goal is reached. Team coaching can also benefit from creating a stronger bond between team members because they are working together to achieve a specific objective.
How Do I Know I Need a Team Coach?
If your company has a culture of in-fighting, people working in silos, poor communication, or high turnover, team coaching can help. Many types of teams can benefit from a team coaching process.
Leadership team coaching
A team coach can work with leaders to reach a project goal effectively and efficiently. For example, a senior leadership team realizes the need to update the company’s long-term objectives. They decide to use a team coach to ensure that everyone contributes equally, make certain that their meetings are worthwhile, ensure that they complete deliverables between meetings, and ensure the goal is achieved on time.
The added benefit is that when leaders are coached, they experience the positive effects of coaching and can actively apply coaching skills within their organization. Studies have proven that organizations whose leaders have effective coaching skills have a culture that is 36% more collaborative, 18% more likely to have an improved revenue and a 32% lower turnover rate than companies who don’t have leader coaches.
Department team coaching
A coach can assist a department in reaching an important milestone or completing a critical project. For example, a company decides to move away from the traditional annual performance review and utilize a monthly coaching check-in. The HR department sets a goal to make the transition in six months and hires a team coach to ensure they are looking at all the consequences that will result from this change, create an action plan to implement the new program rollout, and hold team members accountable for their deliverable items. A skilled team coach asks questions that allow for a diversity of thought and keeps the team moving toward its goal.
Project team coaching
A team doesn’t have to happen inside a company. A team could exist from a group of people coming together to create a common goal, whether in a church, a school, or a community. For example, a non-profit organization decides to create a new event in the community to increase awareness of their organization and raise money. A coach can help this project team create a timeline, ensure they meet deadlines, ask questions that lead to further insight, and help the team meet their goals.