Blog

Team coaching. Some final thoughts

By way of summary to my last few posts, let’s round off with a number of ideas that you can put into practice straight away: Devote some time to team development. In any meeting or get together of more than about an hour try to set aside some time or extra time to discuss team development. This does not have to mean fancy management games or self-complete questionnaires. A good, honest exchange of views will bring real progress. Discuss the three stages of development with your team and ask them where they think they’re at. Next, ask them to list

Read More »

A coaching approach to team leadership

In the earlier post, The Qualities of a High Performing Team, we saw that effective leadership need not necessarily come from the nominated team leader. But working on the assumption that you probably are the leader in your team let’s turn our sights on how to combine coaching or team development with other elements of effective leadership. Look for tomorrow’s problems and issues today Good leaders tend to be alert, their antennae are permanently raised and they try to spot problems and opportunities early. Try to deal with problems when they are small. If, for example, team members are falling

Read More »

Communicating in teams

Throughout these recent posts we’ve seen that great communication is a component of the high performing team and that it is the quality of that communication rather than the quantity that counts. There are countless models and theories on team communication and group behaviour to guide you, but I find the categories put forward by Neil Rackham in Behaviour Analysis in Training to be most closely aligned with coaching principles. In his original research Rackham identified 15 separate communication behaviours that distinguished the super-successful managers from the merely successful. We can extend that thought to recognise that all members of

Read More »

Coaching around team Interference

  We’ve already examined one set of interferences, the internal and external interferences that individuals experience and which affect their ability to focus and perform at their best. In team coaching it is also useful to consider another set of interferences that often keep the team anchored at the Assertion stage, unable to move forward. Individual Interferences Evaluation apprehension: This is essentially the fear of being evaluated and judged. Whilst most team members appreciate honest, sensitive, constructive feedback, this is rarely on offer. Instead team leaders fall into the trap of labelling what people are rather than commenting on what

Read More »

Coaching a team through ‘Cooperation’

By now you should have worked through a lot of the pain and have a group of people prepared to align to a common goal. Of course you’ll need to make sure the common goal is simply and clearly articulated and communicated and ensure – as far as is possible in a work environment – that it is in keeping with the team member’s personal goals. These issues can be sorted out in individual and team coaching sessions. By now the team will be ready and wanting to take more responsibility and you can move to a more ‘pure’ coaching

Read More »

Coaching a team through ‘Assertion’

I think it reasonable to suggest that few teams are ever stuck at the Inclusion stage and that either by virtue of a structured induction process or by simple passage of time, inclusion needs are met and we move on. At the Assertion stage people’s energy turns towards other team members and they begin to focus on the nature of team relationships. This will include sizing up rivals for promotion or deciding who to side with in the event of things going wrong. In larger teams of more than say, twelve people, cliques can form. A clique is not useful

Read More »

Coaching a team through ‘Inclusion’

Another list I often ask my training participants to produce, concerns their thoughts and feelings upon joining a new team for the first time. Again the following would be typical: Fearful Lost Nervous Anxious Challenged Excited Isolated Marooned Needing Assurance Needing information Notice that these feelings are introverted and largely negative. At this stage people’s energy is almost entirely inwardly directed and there is little left to spare to think about team or organisational goals or matters of business strategy. It follows that a coaching approach on its own at this stage would not work. Before they are ready to

Read More »

The qualities of a high performing team

  When discussing coaching for team development on our training courses, I will often begin by asking my participants to recall a time when they can remember feeling part of a high performing team, and then to make a list of the qualities that team had. No two lists are ever the same but the following qualities appear time and time again and can thus be considered core. As an aside, it is interesting to note that during this exercise the majority of people draw on experiences outside of work. It seems that there is a long way to go

Read More »

An introduction to coaching in teams

I’m guessing that if you’re reading this post, you’re part of one or more teams in your place of work. You might be in something called a Sales Team or an Admin Team. You might even be in a Senior Management Team. Your team might be temporary or permanent; based in one place or scattered across many sites. You might be the leader of one and a member of others. Work is complex and few tasks can be completed by one person working in isolation. The nature of work compels us to operate as teams to get things done. Why

Read More »

More thoughts on coaching sessions

As I said in an earlier post there is a clear beginning, middle and end to a coaching session. Before you and your coachee can sit down and have a coaching conversation in the way I’ve described in these posts, there are certain things that you’ll need to agree. It will be important to think through the degree of formality you want for coaching in your organisation and that extends to thinking in advance about how long sessions might last and how often you’ll meet. It is wise to think through the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved

Read More »

The power of the coaching follow up

If you’re reading this as a coaching manager rather than an independent coach, you have an advantage. It is much easier for you to follow up and keep in contact with your coachees. This has real advantages when it comes to coaching on say, unhelpful habits because change of this type responds better to a regular series of short sessions than it does to weighty, single sessions. This is obviously easier to achieve when you’re working alongside people day by day. Let’s pick up with Elaine and Curtis. You’ll remember that Elaine was going to meet with Johnston Technologies and

Read More »

Using coaching to examine unhelpful habits

  Prominent amongst any list of internal interference will be the notion of unhelpful habits. We all of us have habits of thought and behaviour; they can be thought of our tendency to respond to things in a certain way. When we describe other people as domineering or shy we are simply indicating that this is the way in which that person habitually responds. Much of this is subtle stuff indeed and it would be true to say that there are more habits than those that have names. In fact naming habits can sometimes be unhelpful as names come with

Read More »

How about some instant coaching skills?

Part of Hodder Education’s Instant Manager series, my book on coaching was first published in 2012 and covers everything from coaching definitions to how to set up and run a coaching session.

For a limited time the publishers and I are making this digital version available FREE to my new and existing subscribers.