My Experience with Team Coaching

by | May 29, 2023

When ICF announced the Team Coaching certification, my curiosity about team coaching grew. As a certified coach (specializing in one-on-one coaching), I have always believed that team coaching is the future, especially in the corporate world where it has been lacking. In the corporate environment, we have all experienced team training, facilitation, and various team interventions but not team ‘coaching’ specifically. Through my journey of team coaching certification, I would like to share some insights and information that helped me understand team coaching better and some of my reflections and learnings about team coaching. Through this journey, I also learned the difference between team coaching and individual coaching and I hope to capture that in this article.

Teams are crucial to the growth and overall development of an organization. However, team functioning is not always smooth. Do you know of any team that has not faced challenges on the way to achieving its goals? I haven’t found one yet. However, it’s not about creating teams that do not face challenges but what’s important is to create teams that are agile – ready to problem solve together towards a common consensus. And this is where team coaching can contribute immensely.  As per my understanding, Team Coaching is a process in which a trained coach works with a team to enhance their overall performance, collaboration, and effectiveness. 

  • It involves facilitating and guiding the team members toward achieving their goals.
  • Team Coaching is a powerful way to improve communication, empower team members to resolve conflicts, and 
  • collectively build a positive team culture. 

Now, we have established what team coaching is. Let’s dive deeper.

Techniques and Methodologies Used in Team Coaching

A team coach utilizes various coaching techniques and methodologies to support the team’s growth and development. These may include individual and group coaching sessions, workshops, assessments, feedback sessions, and action planning. While using these techniques it’s also important for a coach to encourage open dialogue, active participation, and collaboration among team members. What do you think could be visible shifts within teams because of this? In my experience, it fosters trust, engagement, and alignment.

Difference between Team Coaching & Individual Coaching

Team coaching typically focuses on developing the collective capabilities of the team, rather than focusing solely on individual performance. The coach helps the team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and how they can work together more effectively. They also assist in identifying and addressing any issues or challenges that may be hindering the team’s progress.

Invisible Member of the Team

How many members do you think a team has? You’ll find it interesting to know that it is always ‘n+1.’ Wondering what the plus one is?  It’s the team itself that is considered an entity that is separate from the individual team members. Team coaching recognizes that a team is more than just a collection of individuals and acknowledges the unique dynamics, interactions, and characteristics that emerge when individuals come together to work collaboratively.

Role of a Team Coach

  Let’s now understand where the team coach comes in and the role they play in all of this. The coach helps the team members understand and appreciate their roles within the team system and guides them in improving their collective performance and effectiveness. The team as an entity also includes the shared identity, values, and norms that emerge within the team. The coach may work with the team to define their collective identity, establish a shared vision, and align their actions with the team’s values and purpose. This helps create a cohesive and high-performing team. Another differentiating element in Team Coaching is the presence of a co-coach, a second coach who collaborates with the primary coach to support the team’s development and progress. The role of a co-coach can vary depending on the specific context and the needs of the team. Here are some potential roles and responsibilities of a co-coach in team coaching:

  • Assisting in planning and preparation
  • Facilitating team session
  • Lead discussions, guide activities, and encourage participation from team members.
  • Providing observations and feedback
  • Offer alternate perspectives

By having two coaches present, different perspectives and coaching styles can be incorporated, providing a more diverse and comprehensive coaching experience. In a nutshell, team coaching plays a vital role in enhancing team performance, fostering collaboration and communication, improving problem-solving and decision-making, strengthening leadership, resolving conflicts, and promoting continuous learning and development. Its benefits extend beyond individual team members to the overall organizational success. As I close this article, I would like to leave you with a question- Do you think team coaching as a skill can be leveraged by anyone in a leadership role?

Sunil Deshmukh
Sunil Deshmukh

Sunil Deshmukh

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