Coaching The Team, To Deliver The Success.

Team coaching, focused on enhancing the performance, productivity, or effectiveness of a team, differs from individual or “normal” business coaching in several key ways:

  1. Focus on the Team: Team coaching centers on the collective performance and dynamics of the team as a whole, rather than individual development. While individual coaching may address personal goals, team coaching emphasizes how the team functions together.
  2. Group Dynamics: Team coaching involves understanding and working with group dynamics, such as communication patterns, conflict resolution, decision-making processes, and collaboration. In contrast, business coaching for individuals typically focuses on personal growth, leadership skills, and career development.
  3. Shared Goals: In team coaching, the coach helps the team align around shared goals, clarify roles and responsibilities, and establish common objectives. Individual coaching may involve setting personal goals that align with broader organizational objectives but is more centered on individual aspirations and growth.
  4. Interpersonal Relationships: Team coaching often addresses interpersonal relationships and how they impact team performance. This can include improving trust, fostering constructive feedback, enhancing empathy, and resolving conflicts among team members. Individual coaching may touch on interpersonal skills, but the focus is primarily on the coachee’s personal interactions rather than group dynamics.
  5. Systems Thinking: Team coaching often involves a systemic approach, considering how the team fits within the broader organizational context. Coaches may examine organizational structures, processes, and cultures that influence team dynamics and performance. Business coaching for individuals may focus more narrowly on the individual’s role and immediate work environment.
  6. Collaborative Problem-Solving: Team coaching encourages collaborative problem-solving and decision-making within the team. Coaches facilitate discussions, encourage diverse perspectives, and help the team develop effective strategies collectively. Individual coaching, while it may involve problem-solving, tends to be more focused on the individual’s specific challenges and opportunities.
  7. Accountability and Ownership: In team coaching, accountability and ownership extend to the team collectively rather than solely to individuals. The coach helps foster a sense of collective responsibility for outcomes and encourages the team to hold each other accountable. In contrast, individual coaching emphasizes personal accountability and ownership over one’s actions and development.

Overall, while both team coaching and individual/business coaching aim to enhance performance and effectiveness, team coaching takes a more holistic approach, considering the dynamics and interactions within the team as a whole. It focuses on aligning the team towards shared goals, improving collaboration and communication, and optimizing collective performance.

I am familiar with team coaching due to my role as a Project /Change Manager + 4 x GB Gold Medalist. I frequently collaborate with various teams, including client teams, supplier teams, change teams, and potentially teams from other organizations. All of these teams combine to form a larger team for the overall project.

Coaching teams in this context can differ from one-on-one coaching, and one must recognize that a team of teams has a complex arrangement of goals, ambitions, and measures for performance and success. For example, a client team may aim to minimize costs, while the supplier team may seek to maximize income opportunities. The sales team may prioritize speed, while the compliance team may prioritize diligence and caution. Being a coach in these circumstances requires understanding the individuals, teams, and organizations they represent, as well as common goals, interests, dependencies, and interdependencies.

It is easier to illustrate this concept with high-performance rowing teams, where each member may have different perceptions, body types, ambitions, and abilities. The challenge lies in placing the right people in the right seats to maximize the boat’s performance and the outcome for everyone, with a focus on what makes the boat go faster rather than individual contributions.

If you aim to improve your organization’s performance, coaching can make a significant difference. However, if you seek to transform your organization, team coaching is the way to go.

Tim HJ Rogers
Consult | CoCreate | Deliver

I support people and teams to grow, perform and succeed unlocking potential as a partner Consultant, Coach, Project and Change Manager. Together we can deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people I work with.

ICF Trained Coach | MBA Management Consultant | PRINCE2 Project Manager, Agile Scrum Master | AMPG Change Practitioner | Mediation Practitioner | BeTheBusiness Mentor | 4 x GB Gold Medalist | First Aid for Mental Health | Certificate in Applied Therapeutic Skills