Don’t Team Build, Team Coach

team working on project with multicolored sticky notes on wall

Let’s face it, working with teams is complicated. I once was part of an exceptionally dysfunctional team, and it was not only painful but costly to the business and the staff. If we had all been able to move in the same direction, we could have emerged as a market leader in our industry space. This is a common story, and I bet most of you can relate to being on a poorly functioning team.

Dysfunctional teams cost companies money, delay projects, and drive good talent away. Team leaders often lack the skills and experience to understand why their teams aren’t working and even more importantly, don’t know how to turn their teams into high-impact, high-performing teams.

Highly Effective Teams

Highly effective teams are a competitive advantage. Yet, high-performing teams are hard to create, sustain and replicate. One of the most effective ways to strengthen teams is through team coaching.

Let’s be clear about what team coaching isn’t. It’s not team building. Away are the days using personality assessments and exercises to better understand one another’s style. While that type of work has a time and a place, its lasting impact on the performance of a team is limited. In fact, research shows that when certain conditions are met within a team, the interpersonal dynamics or drama will go down as a result.

Team Coaching

So, what is Team Coaching? It’s a process that begins with uncovering the answers to some of these questions:

  • What sort of team are you?
  • What sort of team should you be?
  • What sort of team best serves your clients and stakeholders?
  • What does the team need, to step up and to do in the near term?

Team coaching is linked to improving the team’s business performance and its contribution to the performance of the wider organization it serves. It’s not just about helping team members better relate to each other; it’s also about how the team relates to – and achieves for—all its stakeholders in the wider organization.

Team Effectiveness

We measure a team’s effectiveness by the satisfaction of its stakeholders. If they’re not exceptionally pleased with its results, we start by identifying the health of the team’s 6 Conditions, which when in good shape can accelerate the development and performance of the team. A truly effective team:

  1. Becomes increasingly capable over time (not just a one-hit-wonder)
  2. Meets or exceeds the expectations of its clients
  3. Uses its experiences to improve the learning and growth of its members

Culture Innovations uses the Team Diagnostic Survey (TDS) and its well-researched and validated model of team coaching to create a results-driven coaching program. We use a three-step process:

As with any coaching engagement, it has a beginning (setting up the team structure), a middle (team learning, goal progression, group dynamics, etc…), and an end (results). What I like most about team coaching is working with the team leader and the collective group to develop a high-performing team that contributes significant results to the organization. What a rewarding and fulfilling experience – it’s what gets me up in the morning for my favorite café latte! 

Learn more about how we can support your team as they accelerate their results.

Written by Jill Knocke

March 24, 2020

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