Research on organizational development indicates that only one in five teams is high-performing. As such, it’s not surprising that as coaches, we often get called in to support teams to be more effective, as coaching teams can be a different ball game altogether as compared to coaching groups.
We need to appreciate that knowing how to coach teams to high performance can be challenging because the field of team coaching is relatively new and unstandardized, and the quality and impact of team-coaching approaches can vary greatly. Researchers have found that poorly timed or uninformed team coaching can do more harm than good.
Over the years, we have discovered that in the absence of complete value alignment between the individual ("client") and the sponsoring organization ("employer"), the client develops certain values that may be in direct conflict with values systems of the employer and may seek more comfortable pastures. This inevitably results in attrition and unhappiness.
To avoid this, we recommend that organizations coach individuals within similar interest groups. A larger team objective for the group enables team alignment and organizational alignment with the individual. In addition, team coaching costs less to the sponsor.
We have worked with groups of 6 to 10, over a journey of 12 sessions, alternating between individual and team sessions. Typically team sessions last 3 to 4 hours. Organizations set teams with either project goals or functional goals. Teams can be functional or cross functional.
In all organizational coaching, whether at the individual or team level, ICON ensures the involvement of stakeholders in the organization with the individual through feedback and feed forward sessions. We use psychometric tests, to help both the coach and client identify areas of focus.
How Corporate Coaching Works?
During one-to-one coaching assignment, we worked with a senior executive at the Chief Operating Officer ("COO") level being considered for promotion to Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"). Board members found the operating skills of the COO are excellent, but wanted him to work on his people management skills. While the company's HR professionals diagnosed the problem as aggressive behavior for which he needs to be trained on, the coaching process revealed the underlying issues to be based on insecurity, and a need to prove himself. With required support from different stakeholders in the company, the COO demonstrably improved in his people management skills.
A highly talented, ambitious business manager of a sizable profit center developed problems with her new team. Team members accused her of emotional outbursts and over expectations, while the manager looked at the team as unwilling to cooperate and work. Herein, we blended 3 sessions with the manager along with her team, and six sessions individually. The manager now operates successfully with a team dedicated to co-created goals. That’s the beauty of coaching!