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Team Coaching & Facilitation

Although 1-2-1 coaching has been around in the workplace now since the 1990s, Team Coaching is a much newer phenomenon. The transfer of coaching ideas, models and tools from the individual to the team are not straightforward. The number of books on team coaching can be counted on one hand, compared to the many hundreds now written on 1-2-1 coaching over the last 15 years. There was no publicly available team coaching training before 2010. So in this new field, it is understandable that there has been some confusion about what team coaching is and what it is for.

Although a handful of writers have suggested varying definitions of team coaching, the following one will serve our purpose for the type of team coaching that this programme will deliver:

‘Team coaching is coaching a team to achieve a common goal, paying attention both to individual performance and to group collaboration and performance.’
–  Thornton, C. (2010). Group and team coaching : the essential guide. London ; New York, Routledge

So Team Coaching has these three aspects:

1. Improving team performance.
2. Improving team collaboration or team-work (both inside and outside the team) in order to improve performance and enjoyment.
3. Improved individual performance and engagement toward the team’s goals.

It’s useful too to sit this definition next to other activities associated with working with teams & groups, and see where the overlaps & differences are:

1. Group Coaching

This is a group activity, similar to action learning sets, where an individual has coaching in a group context. It can be done in a variety of formats, one of which resembles action learning sets, where each individual takes a turn to be coached by the rest of the group.

2. Team Bonding

This involves activities, usually with a social or fun element, to help team members get to know one another and build good working relationships. It could also involve outward bound activities, with team challenges. Research has shown very little evidence of these type of activities having any significant impact on team performance.

3. Team Building

This is work done with a new team. In my experience people have different understandings of what it means. For some it is about the team bonding activities mentioned above, which may have limited benefit. For others it involves a more effective activity helping a new team to clarify its purpose and goals and to build good working relationships.

4. Group or Team Facilitation

This is where a facilitator, often an external one, manages the group process for a group/team, while the team focuses on the task. (eg a project review, a team debrief after an ‘incident’, a staff conference, a strategy event with multiple stakeholders, a review of partnership working with a key stakeholder, etc. ) If working with a team, the facilitator will usually confine their work to the group process during the session, and keep away from voicing thoughts, feelings or ideas on the team’s task or performance.

5. Team Development

This is where team members engage in a process to increase their ability to work well together on the team’s ‘task’. Particularly with new teams it may involve clarifying the team purpose; defining expectations of stakeholders; setting required standards around the team’s task/service; clarifying individual roles; developing the team processes required for the team to deliver on its task. It may involve on-going work to build strong relationships in the team, and enhance the team’s general effectiveness. This could be done with or without external assistance.

So Team Coaching will tend to combine elements of team facilitation and team development. With new teams it may also include some of the more effective elements of team-building. It will involve focusing both on the team’s task and its process. It may also focus on the individual contributions and performance of each team member. It will help a team to do useful individual and collective learning.

It involves helping a team to do some or all of the following:

  Clarify the purpose of the team and what it wants to achieve and why.
  Work with stakeholders to precisely define its desired outcomes and measures of success.
  Define the team activities and functions that will deliver successful outcomes.
  Develop the structure of the team to be fit for purpose.
  Ensure the right mix of people, knowledge skills, and mindset for the team to succeed
  Define what the team does not do.
  Increase the team awareness of individual strengths in the team
  Clarify individual roles in the team
  Define the kind of behaviours in the team that will contribute to its success.
  Develop effective team communication processes internally and externally.
  Build strong relationships in the team, and beyond
  Developing effective processes to get decisions taken, solve problems and manage conflict.
  Monitor its progress on its task and its team-working, internally and externally.
  Ensure full contribution and fulfilment of each team member by playing to individual strengths.
  Build a strengths-focused culture in the team that celebrates the team’s successes and strengths, and uses the resulting energy to fix any important weaknesses, as well as to build further strength.
  Ensure that the team continually learns from what it does in order to improve its ability to deliver on task and enjoy its work.

We can design a team coaching programme to meet your unique needs.

Facilitation

We have designed and facilitated numerous team and organisational events.

With our Solutions Focus philosophy and method, we create events that achieving their goals, but are also fun, and motivational.

The starting point for creating a successful team or organisational event is a consultation discussion. We will find out, with you, what a successful outcome for the event would be, and then explore with you the options for getting there.

The content of the session can be a mixture of business and pleasure. On the pleasure side we have created treasure trails, song competitions, outward bound activities and more. We suit the style of the event to your needs.

In the last few years we have designed and facilitated team events for:

Wrigley, Abbvie, MotherCare, Constant Solutions Ltd, Herts Partnership Foundation Trust, ,Connexions, Birmingham City Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Mind, Turning Point, Harrow SSD, Southwark SSD, Enfield SSD, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, Government Offices, Help The Aged, Outlook Care, Herts University, and many others.

For an informal discussion of how we can help your team or organisation:
Contact Us

Services

1-2-1 Executive Coaching

Strengths Focused Team Development

Team Coaching & Facilitation

Leadership & Management Training

Event Design & Facilitation

Consultancy

The Solutions Focus

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