What do experienced team coaches do? Current practice in Australia and New Zealand

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What do experienced team coaches do? Current practice in Australia and New Zealand
Publication Date: 
February, 2017
International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring
Background
  • One third of organisations use team coaching.
  • Team coaching is 30 years behind individual coaching in definitions, training, research.
  • > 130 published team coaching models (2013)
  • Most coaches transfer what they do in coaching individuals, add a dash of facilitation or team building, and wing it. (Clutterbuck, 2008)
  • Some coaches start from a deep understanding of team process and dynamics, and distinguish between team coaching and facilitation (Clutterbuck, 2008).
  • This study summarizes interviews of 36 team coaches.
4 Team Coaching Models in Literature
  1. Hackman & Wageman - developmental and non-relational. Design intervention based on stage in developmental journey. Focus on performance not relationships.
  2. Clutterbuck - definition of team coaching:
    a learning intervention designed to increase collective capability and performance of a group or team, through application of the coaching principles of assisted reflection, analysis and motivation for change.
  3. Hawkins - five disciplines of high performing teams
    1. A clear commission from those who bring it into being, including a clear purpose and success criteria. (task/external focus).
    2. To develop its own mission, including purpose, goals, values and ways of working (task/internal focus).
    3. To constantly attend to how it works together, constantly reviewing and co-creating (process/internal focus).
    4. To engage with external stakeholders effectively (process/external focus).
    5. To continually stand back and reflect on its own performance and process, constantly learning both as a collective and as individuals.
    Thornton–psychodynamic approach –coach manages relationships and brings a system perspective
Study Insights
  1. Evidence from this study, combined with the literature, suggests a development pathway for individual coaches:
    • A basic understanding of dialogue, as described by Isaacs (1999), Kantor (2012) and others.
    • Think systemically, becoming familiar with the literature around systems theory, complex adaptive systems and complexity theory, and putting into practice that understanding working with stakeholders.
    • Develop group and team facilitation skills, particularly when working with task.
    • Develop educational skills, learning how to explain new ideas and concepts clearly and effectively.
    • Learning varied approaches to working with team and/or group dynamics, developing the confidence and ability to work with team
    • relationships.
  2. The team coach may be better off seeking to understand the client’s needs and recommending an intervention accordingly, then attempt to argue conceptual distinctions.
Citation: 
International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2017

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