The challenges and rewards of team coaching

The challenges and rewards of team coaching

rowing team on the sea

A new EMCC UK Special Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to team coaching launches on 21 September, with guest speakers Chandana Sanyal and Vincent Traynor, who played key roles in developing the EMCC Global Team Coaching Standards. Bob Gibbon, a member of the working group behind the new SIG, introduces the group by considering the challenges and potential of teams and team coaching in organisations today.

‘Almost every organisation is realizing that teams are often the unit of effectiveness more so than any individuals.’ David Peterson, Director of Coaching, Google

As organisational life becomes ever more challenging, complex and dynamic, it is becoming increasingly normal for critical activities to demand extremely high levels of collaborative working to achieve success.

This means that the impact of the hero leader is diminishing on an exponential trajectory. It also means that teamwork, especially across functional and company boundaries, is becoming an absolute foundational requirement of ‘business as usual’. Even more importantly, there is an increasing perception that teamwork is fast becoming one of the biggest competitive advantages in most organisations.

However, it takes energy, compassion and committed intent to build a great team which then becomes continuously challenged with the dynamics of change occurring both within the team and around it. Team members come and go. Products, services, and client expectations change. Skills needs evolve. Government policies shift goalposts. The list is almost endless.

Alas, the constant change can easily upset the often-delicate balance holding harmony and productivity together.

‘We live more and more in a world of multiple stakeholders.’ Mark Khan, HR Director, Investec

Team coaching aims to facilitate learning for the team, encouraging the development of insight and the practice of behaviours that serve the needs and outcomes of the team and its stakeholders.

‘In helping teams understand who they serve and what value they are there to create, team coaching enables us to achieve more as a collective than we can as individuals.’ Lisa Stead, Head of Coaching, Rand Merchant Bank

They say team coaching is like herding cats. While the aim is to help the collective become united through a shared understanding of things such as purpose, vision and values to enable the whole to become significantly greater than the sum of its parts, each individual team member experiences the world differently. They all have their own filters, experiences, values and ambitions, and they all learn and develop in different ways and at different speeds.

Consequently, all teams are different, and they continuously change. All team journeys are different, and they also continuously change. Hence when we seek to improve team performance, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution.

There are of course many interventions that can create some degree of impact, but true transformational development that moves a team to become their very best requires a bespoke approach which invariably follows an emergent rather than pre-determined path. Therefore, frameworks are so useful to steer our actions, support consistency and promote standards. The EMCC team coaching framework covers a wide-ranging set of indicators that help achieve just that.

You can explore the challenges and rewards of team coaching at the EMCC UK Team Coaching SIG where the aim is to bring focus on professional team coaching practice through knowledge share, dialogue and networking.

Our first event on 21 September positions the EMCC Global Team Coaching Standards for us with two of the people who helped create them: Dr Chandana Sanyal and Vincent Traynor. Please come along.

Team Coaching SIG – find out more about the group, which is free to EMCC UK members

Team Coaching launch event on 21 September – find out more and register for this online event

Image: Quino Al on Unsplash