Research shows that individual performance is far more dependent on the team environment than anything else. One or more high performing individuals in a team do not necessarily lead to high performance overall; sometimes the opposite may be the case.
In recent years team coaching has emerged as a practical way to apply coaching principles to the team as a whole. It enables groups to:
- Develop a climate of psychological safety; they build more profound levels of trust and higher quality of collaboration.
- Gain greater clarity and consistency around priorities.
- Understand and value the contribution of each member.
- Explore the team culture and help it evolve in a changing environment, while still enabling everyone to retain their authenticity.
- Increase the level of creativity and innovation.
- Manage its reputation within and outside the organization.
- Improve the effectiveness of communication.
- Have a stronger sense of shared purpose.
- Become more resilient to setbacks.
- Achieve a better balance between attention to the past, present, near future and long-term future.
Groups that embrace team coaching tend to demonstrate more focused, collective energy. As they learn together, they can use real work issues to put the learning into practice. Typically, co-coaching becomes a routine activity.
Team coaching isn’t always transformational. Nor is it the answer for all team performance issues – if the team is just a bunch of people working together, but have no desire for collective improvement, then the impact may be insufficient. Equally, if the team leader does not accept that change involves him or her as well, team coaching isn’t necessarily a practical approach.
Team coaching is most successful when:
- A new team is being formed and needs to hit the ground running.
- A team is not working as efficiently as it could, and it wants to do better.
- A long-established team has lost its sparkle and desires to regain it.
- A top team wants to become a role model for the rest of the organization.
What team coaching can do in all these cases is to re-energize, refocus and create habits of success.