What does a team mean?
According to Katzenbach and Smith (1999), Team is ‘a small number of people with complementary skills, who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach, for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.’
What does team coaching mean?
According to David Clutterbuck (2009), team coaching means, ‘Helping the team improve performance and the processes by which performance is achieved, through reflection and dialogue.’
Team coaching generally helps the teams to reach their goals, while creating a sustainable environment which leads to long-term excellence and success. It is done by aligning the team to a common purpose, share the vision, define clear roles, make powerful choices and take strong action.
Organizations which are new to team coaching may view it same as team building but there is a difference between the two. According to Schein (1999), team building works on the interpersonal relationship and helps the team members to strengthen collaboration to increase the performance and productivity of team. Whereas, team coaching focuses on skills and processes which are underlying like how the team communicate internally and externally, how they relate to tasks, etc. This usually takes much longer but has a lasting effect on the productivity of the team.
Team coaching helps to create a supportive and safe environment where people can express their ideas openly and expect them to flourish and take shape. When people feel safe, better and constructive decisions are made. Team coaching also helps in making people collectively aware i.e. team members develop the skill to deal with the already existing issues and also to deal with the new issues which will inevitably pop up in the future. Team coaching also enables team members to understand and appreciate each other’s unique strengths. This leads to synergistic results as well as a shared drive to succeed.
Who can benefit from team coaching?
Senior and mid-level management teams, cross-cultural teams, board of directors, human resource teams, educational teams, virtual teams, etc.
How can team coaching benefit the team?
Team coaching helps the team in the following manner:
When there is a cultural and communication gap, team coaching can help in understanding the root cause and help in finding the best solution.
- To develop new strategies when team is facing burnout and distress.
- To re-stabilize the teams during the time of organizational change, growth, merger, downsizing, etc.
- To empower the decision making of the team.
- To make diversity as a powerful tool which will help the team to move forward.
- To solve the perpetual team conflicts.
- To enable the team to reach its performance goals and deadlines.
- To help a successful team to seek its next level growth.
These are some of the areas where team coaching can help to get the team better. Team coaching doesn’t always have immediate results because there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to team dynamics which creates unpredictability. But team coaching does help in creating a long-term view for the team as well as for the organization which ultimately removes the ambiguity and creates a clearer vision for the future of the team.