Team coaching has become important in today’s workplaces more than ever before. The business landscape is changing. Competition is fierce. Better outcomes demand better productivity which comes from effective team players.
A strong team can make the company grow and achieve its objectives. Managers may not always be able to build a team that is capable of delivering excellent results. It is important to go one step ahead and prepare the team to handle challenges. Here comes the role of Team Coaching.
When we hear – “Team Coaching”- most of the time the image of sports team coaching comes to our minds. But, this is not only the case. Today workplaces are taking steps to improve their work culture and build great teams. This is the reason why they hire team coaches.
Team coaching coaches the team members to realize their true potential. It helps the team member to become aware of his/her capabilities and perform exceptionally well.
Team coaching is a process in which each individual is analyzed. The strengths and weaknesses of each individual are identified. The main aim of team coaching is to identify how can each of the individuals contribute to the synergy of the team.
Not only this, but team coaching also helps to cope up with challenges. Team coaches are professionals who have deep knowledge about the industry and domain. They are aware of the current market trends in the specific domain of the company. They know what challenges can come from their previous coaching experiences. Through team coaching, such coaches prepare the team in advance to face the hurdles.
If you are here, I am sure that you are interested in team coaching or team coaches.
Do you want to know what skills are required for efficient team coaching?
Do you want to know some strategies for team coaching?
Do you want to learn tips that can help your team perform better?
Great! You are at the right place!
This article will cover all the above and much more. Let’s start by understanding what is team coaching in depth.
What is Team Coaching?
Team coaching helps to unlock a team’s potential and boost collective intelligence.
Any company would need intelligent and skilled team players, right?
Team coaching is the process that builds individuals which in turn builds a strong team.
Team coaching helps companies empower their employees in at least three ways. Let’s have a look at them.
Team Coaching boosts collaboration
Studies of teams suggest two different types of work – Taskwork and Teamwork. Task work is the core technical aspect of what we do individually. Teamwork is how we do work together.
For example, let’s take a cross-functional team.
In the team, a marketing associate, designer, and a salesman will work on individual tasks.
But is there main goal different?
They have the same goal and that is the goal of the company.
So, they need to work together and that’s where teamwork comes into play. With average communication and collaboration, the team will have average outputs.
Team Coaching encourages communication and fruitful collaboration. It helps in creating a supportive climate where ideas can flourish and take shape. In this way, people feel safe in giving suggestions or challenge assumptions. This further helps to make constructive decisions.
Team Coaching creates collective awareness
With projects that involve teams generally one thing is noticed. Initially, when the project is assigned there would a lot of excitement. As things proceed, the process slows down and drift as momentum is lost. As the deadline approaches, the urgency drives the team to meet the finish line.
Do you know why does this happen?
The reason behind this is lack of awareness.
Team players are unaware of the challenges that they may face. Not only this, but they are sometimes also unaware of each other as team players. The project journey teaches them many things about themselves and others.
Team coaching nourishes a healthy culture of collective awareness. From team coaching, existing issues come into the light. Along with this, team players also learn about new issues in advance that will popup.
Team Coaching teaches members to complement each other
Team coaching aims at understanding and appreciating the strengths of different members. Whether it is taskwork or interactive styles. This is impossible to learn through one-to-one coaching.
With great knowledge and clarity team members become team players. This results in larger synergy. The best team is in which members understand the importance of each individual. In such a team, members help each other in realizing and playing to their strengths. The connectedness helps the members to perform better each time.
How is Team Coaching Different From Group Coaching?
Many people consider that group coaching is the same as team coaching. But it is not so. Let’s understand each of the terms better.
A ‘group’ consists of people who have the same interest but not the same goal in mind. For example, people may come in a group to learn marketing but each individual may have their own goals.
Group coaching involves sessions where people learn new skills to improve professionally. The group needs not to have any common goals, unlike teams. But they must have a common interest to learn new skills and achieve individual workplace goals.
Group coaching helps individuals to lead more effectively and develop their performance.
Group coaching often helps individuals to follow up on training activities. In this way, it encourages individuals for the implementation of the skills.
Like group coaching, team coaching also helps individuals to become better leaders. But, it also helps members to achieve their goals as well as collective team goals.
While group coaching helps individuals, team coaching helps teams to reach success.
And how does team coaching make efficient teams?
Team coaching helps individuals to achieve common workplace goals. Team Coaching help teams that are:
- Newly created
- Experiencing a change in leadership
- Interested in performing better
What Skills Are Required for Team Coaching?
Do you want to know what skills an individual needs for effective team coaching?
Are you an aspiring team coach who would like to learn team coaching skills?
Great, let’s have a look at some of the major team coaching skills.
Creating a strong sense of team identity
One of the most important team coaching skills is to create and maintain a team identity. A team’s identity is vital to boost the team’s spirit. It lets the team believe that the team matters more than individuals. It makes members realize that the team’s success determines their individual success.
Along with creating an identity, maintaining it is equally important. This minimizes the loss of a person when he/she leaves and ensures that the new member integrates well in the team.
Feedback plays a very important role in the team coaching process. The right feedback is important to help the team member to improve. Feedback is the only way in which one can realize his/her strength and weakness. So, each member must receive continuous feedback.
Giving constructive feedback is important. Not everyone can do that. The team coach should have the skills to provide feedback in the right manner. If the coach provides feedback in a bossy or rude tone, it can break the morale of the players. There should be a balance of strictness and politeness while giving feedback. One should take care of the language, tone, and choice of words while giving feedback.
Managing and preventing conflicts
While working in teams, there is a huge probability that conflicts will happen. Conflicts happen because not all team members are the same. They differ in their personalities, behaviors, and ways of working. Managing each team member and prevent conflicts requires skills.
Minor conflicts over opinions and solutions are good. At times, these are constructive too but major ones should be avoided. Early intervention before the issue escalates is important. The coach must have conflict management skills to prevent conflicts.
Clarity of performance and development
Clarity is an important factor. There must be clarity about performance and development. If the team coach isn’t clear, the team caching process will lose its meaning. This will lead to unclear directions and the team will lose its sense of purpose.
Comfortability with ambiguity
The team coaching process gradually evolves. No one fixed method will work every time. With different kinds of members and changes in situations, new challenges come up. This also brings in ambiguity. Coaches should be comfortable with unpredictability and ambiguity. They should not focus on driving the team. Instead, they should learn how the team is willing to work and then coach accordingly.
Ability to understand and manage boundaries
A coach should be able to manage the boundaries well within the team. Team coaching will need the coach to manage many relationships. The coach will have to work with individual members, managers, and the company. Managing boundaries is an important skill for making the team coaching process successful.
Coaches must be aware of the company’s domain. They must know the company-dynamics in which the team operates. This perspective will help members to understand the context of the team’s performance.
Asking powerful questions
Asking powerful coaching questions is important to understand the situations and challenges. The team coaching process is successful when each individual is coached in the right way. This is possible only by asking the right questions to understand each individual.
Questions help the team members realize their true potential. In the process, they discover their hidden strengths and weakness. By analyzing the past experiences during the question hour they get insights on what they did and how it could have been done better. This increases the chances of better performance of the team altogether.
Effective Strategies for Team Coaching
Let’s have a look at some of the most effective team coaching strategies.
Know the employees
Knowing the employees is the first and most important step. Team coaches must know each employee well. They must know what are the strengths and weaknesses of the employees. What encourages and discourages them. What they fight motivating and what challenges them.
Also, employees must complete regular self-evaluation. This will help the coach to confirm that each employee’s potential is utilized in the most effective way.
Create clear objectives and goals
Clearly defining goals is impossible without strategic planning. Team coaches must start by describing the big-picture to the employees. They should encourage brainstorming and creativity of the members.
Coaches should develop timelines and benchmarks to keep the team members accountable.
Listen more than you speak
You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion. Take time to listen to the employees. This will help you to understand their true motivations, spirits, and challenges.
Encourage the employees
Professionals need two major things – growth and recognition. Ask the employees to aim high. Team coaching should focus on “Why” along with “How”. This will give the employees a way to create their tactics.
Fostering transparency helps in building trust and relationships. It ensures that everyone is on the same page. This boosts a company’s culture of open communication. Ask the following questions to encourage transparency in the workplace.
- How often do the managers open up to the employees?
- Are the motives and values clear amongst the team members?
- Are the managers clear and consistent about their choices and decisions?
- Do the managers tell the employees about failures or faults in their steps/decisions?
Include a purpose in coaching strategies
Team coaching strategies must include a purpose. Employees should be clear about their purpose as a team. This will help them to align their energy and efforts for the achievement of a common goal. Without a clear purpose, the team coaching strategies will lose its worth.
Praise in public and correct in private
Team coaches must schedule one-to-one coaching sessions with the coachees. In these sessions, the coach must discuss the performance and challenges with each member. Sometimes correction in front of the team might demotivate an employee. But, it is good to praise in public to boost up morale.
Set SMART goals
Team coaching must include setting up SMART goals. SMART- Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and time-bound. Team coaches along with the managers must define and document such goals. Make sure that the members can track their progress.
Build mutual trust
Trust builds the foundation of relationships. It helps to build open-door policy, be friendly and non-judgemental. Coaches must encourage managers to take interest in each employee. They must consider each member as valuable and care for him/her.
Success – big or small – must be celebrated. This motivates the employees. They feel good in an atmosphere where their efforts are appreciated and recognized. This increases the zeal in the employees to perform better.
Essential Tools and Techniques for Team Coaching
4 Cs method
4 Cs are – Connect, Communicate, Collaborate, and Create. This is rewarding during team coaching. When members connect and collaborate, it creates new ideas and encourages creativity.
The coaching process can include maintaining a reflection journal. This helps in analyzing the coaching discussions and reflecting on past performance.
Communication tools such as Zoom and Skype play a great role. They are more important for off-workplace meetings or meetings with freelancers/oversees employees. Team Coaches can also use messengers like Facebook messengers instead of emails. The former can be much more direct and personal.
Make core values an anchor
Team discussions around core values and aspirational values create connection and understanding. Knowing personal core values is an anchor or returning point. When any of the team members steps on a personal value it causes conflicts. Misunderstandings cause trust issues. Individual and team discussions around core values make the team bond stronger.
Bias discovery tool
Uncovering bias beliefs is important. If this is not done, it can hamper self-belief and confidence. Upon discovering the biases team members can operate with greater consciousness.
Many team coaches use clarity assessments to tell clients how much fear is driving them. Subconsciousness drives around 95% of our minds. Most of our actions are reactions rather than conscious choices. Team members should know their subconscious minds to change behaviors. This will result in better choices.
Why Should You Start Your Team Coaching Business?
Today the changing business landscape demands effective team players. Building a strong team is not an easy job. This needs proper guidance and a gradual process for productive outcomes. Managers may be unable to handle this on their own. There is a need for a catalyst. This is why many companies are now looking for professional team coaches.
Team coaches on an average charge in the range of $15 – $20 per hour approximately in the USA.
Do you have some business expertise?
Do you think that you can transform existing employees into efficient team players?
Yes? Then kick-starting a team coaching business can help you build a great future. You can not only earn but also pursue your passion.
Workplace Team Coaching is gaining large grounds in the USA coaching industry. Soon more companies will hire team coaches for building strong teams. This is the right time to begin. Don’t let the thought of failure demotivate you. If this is that one dream that doesn’t let you sleep at night, go for it!
How Should You Begin Your Team Coaching Business?
It is very simple. A few steps in mind and you are ready to bang on!
Fix your target audience
The first step is to fix your target audience. Who would you like to coach? Which company domain are you looking for? Are you going to coach new hires or experienced professionals? Figure out your target audience as per your skills and experience.
Create a coaching business plan
Create a coaching business plan. This must include details about your finances, investment strategies, short-term/long-term goals, etc.
Here are some steps that will help you to create an amazing coaching business plan.
Create your coaching philosophy
Create an amazing coaching philosophy that includes your core values, objectives, and approach. It will help you to set a brand and differentiate yourself from others.
Build marketing strategies
You may have great coaching skills but if you are unable to create a buzz how would people know you? Build some great marketing offline and online strategies. Take the help of social media platforms. Explore Facebook marketing and Linkedin marketing. Connect to other coaches in your network. Attend seminars and workshops to improve your knowledge and skills.
Plan your coaching sessions
Analyze and reflect
Keep analyzing and reflecting on your successes and failures. Tweak your coaching approach or style if you feel things can work better. Every coach has a unique journey. Most of your learnings will come as you gradually proceed.