We come to work as individuals.
But, we're also required to produce our best work as an interdependent member of a team, or sometimes several teams.
The teams we work in influence and impact us; they either bring out the best in us, or reduce our capacity for excellence.
The challenge is: We work with Others and Others work with Us.
Before embarking on ‘team coaching’, let us have a look at the definition of a team, so it is clearly differentiated from a group: "[a] team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, knowledge and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal”
This approach shifts the focus from the individuals in the team to the interpersonal; the team dynamic. This team coaching approach enables team development through empowerment and up-skilling to harness that systemic relationship dynamic to consistently improve the team’s capacity to deliver high-performance.
All organisations that are seeking to get ahead are looking for the secret to success.
Some say it is a defining vision or a focused strategic plan. Others offer the need to hit and maintain financial targets, or customer satisfaction metrics. Process improvement gurus suggest it is streamlined operations and efficiency. And yet, the core of any successful organisation, or unsuccessful organisation, for that matter, in this knowledge age, is its people.
“In organisations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” Margaret Wheatley
Team coaching is most effective when using a systems perspective.
A systems approach focuses on the fundamental forces in the team. How the team works.
The forces that either promote or impede the interactions and results of the team being coached.
Systemic, Relationship Focused Team coaching is an essential investment. It enables and equips teams to regulate themselves effectively through the volatile, uncertain and pressured times we all are called to be effective in.
The quality of the web of relationships in a team shapes the forces within the team.
Team coaching enables the team to consciously and intentionally influence the quality of this relationship web and these forces, which in turn enriches the team with a source of resilience, innovation, collaboration.
Team coaching works with the whole team, vs only with the team leader. It empowers the unit to overcome its challenges by building capacity for effective engagements and open communication.
The team coaching process helps individuals and the team to develop their Emotional Intelligence and improve their Social Intelligence.
In fact, I just wrote an eBook about why both these elements are not enough to build high-performance teams.
In addition, working as a system, the team develops Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI). RSI is the enabler to intentionally shape the relationship dynamic in teams, establishing a deep sense of unity while at the same time building appreciation for the diversity in the team and of each team member.
What are the considerations when reviewing the cost of team coaching?
“The prevailing view among researchers is that teamwork is a major contributor to improved team performance, productivity and quality of decision making. It has been argued that, in many circumstances, teams are more effective than individuals because team members can share workloads, monitor their colleagues’ behaviours and co-ordinate different areas of expertise (Mathieu et al., 2000).
Effective teams are the source of organisational excellence.
We can hire excellent and intelligent people, but when they come together to do the work, there is no guarantee that you will have an intelligent team.
Entire organisations are slowed down, remain stuck, or die a slow death because the ‘forces’ in the relationship dynamic are toxic, full of unresolved conflict, power play or lacking effective communication.
With that being said, there cannot be a better investment than enabling teams to become effective in skillfully creating the right ‘forces’ in the team to enable high performing individuals in a high performing teams.
Essential is that organisations need to be sure that what they wish to gain from the coaching is aligned to what the coach is offering.
What is the cost of the pain:
There must be clarity on what the current challenge is costing the organisation.
Without this being really clear, there is going to be reservation about making the appropriate financial investment into the solution.
What is the impact of an ineffective relationship dynamic on the organisation’s ability to function optimally?
Poor decision making
Slow or poor problem solving
Lack of innovation
Poor and toxic communication
“Us & Them” dynamic between staff and management
Lack of ownership
Economies of scale:
An immediate, important and obvious advantage for team coaching vs individual coaching is the cost per participant which will be favourable in a team setting.
When team coaching is in place for the leadership team, this also has an impact on the entire organisation.
Team coaching should of course not prevent individual coaching. In many instances individual coaching in the team (especially the leader) will benefit the team.
There are options for mixed approaches:
What is in the box:
Not all proposals for team coaching are the same. Ensure that you are not getting a couple of team building sessions, or team facilitation sessions. The difference needs to be made clear.
The assessment phase is critical to gain insights from a systemic perspective, and will contribute to ensuring an effective long term outcome.
It is a journey, not an isolated intervention:
Systemic, relationship focused team coaching offers a substantial paradigm shift away from the usual task focused, process driven top down leadership approach.
For this reason your team coaching approach must include some aspect of training (learning new skills and tools) in addition to the coaching which supports visceral learning and integration through application.
Don’t compromise here! The focus should be on shifting the quality of the interpersonal dynamic, the forces that positively influence team effectiveness.
Make sure that the team coaching is focussed on dealing with the specific challenges that pertain to the team being coached. The agenda comes from the team, not from the coach.
Instead of getting a standard modular approach, your teams will be working on strengthening their muscles in those areas that are holding them back as a unit.
The team needs to cross its own edges into the desired and more effective way of working. The team will learn to self direct the very specific, unique, creative and generative identity it owns.
So how much should you expect to pay?
There unfortunately cannot be one answer to how all coaches work should be priced.
The above should, however, help ensure you and your coach have an in-depth discussion about the coaching journey, as well as taking time to set up your partnership for the change that is intended to be made through the coaching skills.
An agreed lump sum for a six to eight-month Plan
Agreement on payment per stages of the coaching journey
Agreement to a number of coaching hours by Day/Week
Performance Based Pricing
The quality of the partnership between coach and client is of paramount importance, and needs to ensure that there is a win-win outcome for both, which must consider cost/pricing.
Are you looking for more insights into the benefits of team coaching?
Click here, I would love to chat.