Team Coaching as a Team Development Catalyst
by Alexander Caillet and Amy Yeager
Each of the five team development modalities is very helpful in achieving certain client outcomes, but not as helpful in achieving others. Problems arise when there’s a disconnect between the outcome the client wants and the modalities being used to achieve it.
Arguably the most challenging type of outcome to achieve is transformative change. True transformation requires that the team does more than acquire useful tools, learn new ideas or skills, or achieve specific short-term results. The team must develop and maintain fundamentally new patterns of behavior and ways of working that produce lasting long-term changes.
A Dramatic Performance by Corentus
at the 2018 INSTITUTE OF COACHING (IOC) Conference
Boston, MA (1:10:18)
Watch Alexander Caillet, Amy Yeager and additional Corentus team members at the most recent IOC (Institute of Coaching) Conference in Boston. We shared with the audience an overview of Corentus Team Coaching. We also had some fun role playing in order for the audience to see team dysfunction and try out their team coaching sensing skills.
Used with permission from the IOC.
Our experience with hundreds of teams has shown that when transformation is the goal, an integrated team development approach that incorporates team coaching offers unmatched potential to guide the team where it needs to go. We have experienced that team coaching is not sufficient on its own; rarely will a team engagement consist purely of this one modality. However, as a core practice—supported by other modalities that provide the basic tools, skills, and methods necessary for teamwork—it serves as an essential driver of the team’s success.
Team coaching acts as a catalyst, helping to spark the transformation of ideas, insights, and intentions into sustainable improvements in team behaviors and outcomes.
The power of team coaching derives from its unique combination of a real work context, real-time interventions, and a consistent drive toward real, meaningful results:
Real work. Team coaching takes place, for the most part, in the context of real meetings and work sessions, rather than in specially scheduled sessions focused on simulations, games, or exercises.
Real time. The coach jumps in with live, real-time interventions. These interventions (called “moves,” as in chess moves) challenge the team and individual team members to notice how they’re operating right at that moment, as well as how these patterns of interaction are affecting their performance. In response, the team makes specific adjustments—again, in real time—to either build on their strengths or improve on areas of weakness.
Real results. The adjustments the team makes are motivated by and directed toward achieving concrete results of importance to the team and the organization. Any behavior or process changes adopted by the team (e.g., decreasing interruptions, improving participatory decision making, or engaging in difficult conversations) are valued for their contribution to the team’s cohesion and effectiveness—and, ultimately, performance and results— rather than being pursued as ends in themselves.
A final defining feature of team coaching is the role of the coach, which is deliberately lower in profile than that of a consultant or facilitator. All meetings and work sessions in which team coaching occurs are fully owned by the team leader and members, not by the coach. This means that the team leader and members are responsible for setting the agenda, running the meeting, and achieving the meeting outcomes. By asking questions and sharing observations and data, the coach acts as a guide, supporting the team to make their own observations and adjustments, as needed. When the team achieves transformation, it’s their victory, and they’re fully empowered to move forward on their own.
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