February 24, 2018

Team Coaching: Resources to help you coach leadership teams

By Paul Laughlin

team coachingThis year, I have had more enquires than ever, about team coaching.

Whether for senior leadership teams, or managers of Customer Insight/Analytics teams, the concept is on the rise.

It is easy to understand why. Many have heard the benefits of one to one coaching for senior executives, but want to find a way of justifying this cost for more leaders.

Both time & money have been cited to me as a reason, to seek to achieve coaching or mentoring outcomes, together as a team.

But, discussing the term ‘team coaching‘ with my supervisor & other academics, it’s clear much is still unclear.

As with many newer developments in the world of leadership coaching, a common definition is still lacking and variable quality under this banner threatens to discredit it.

So, in our month majoring on designing & developing your team, I thought I’d share some helpful resources I’ve found on this topic.

Team Coaching is on the rise, but few coaches are ready

Peter Hawkins is an acknowledged leader & expert within the coaching community. I’ve had the joy of hearing him present on a couple of occasions. He always includes useful insights on systemic coaching & how to practically help your clients.

So, I was pleased to find this short post by Peter, also identifying the rise in team coaching. He useful cites 4 applications/benefits of team coaching, before going on to pitch the services of the AoEC. Apparently their experience, as well as the findings of 6th Ridler Report, confirm a rise in the use of leadership coaching.

Team Coaching is on the rise: Are you ready to meet the demand?

The rise of team coaching has huge knock-on effects for organisations big and small. Distinctly different from one-to-one coaching styles, team coaching helps to forge high-performance teams capable of taking on the shifting needs of business. So what is it?

How can Team Coaching be applied to Virtual Teams

Another ‘big cheese’, within the coaching community, is Prof David Clutterbuck. David has also been well worth hearing, both for this mastery of coaching & mentoring, as well as life lessons learnt. Anyone who can set a life goal to have authored or co-authored 70 books by the age of 70 – has plenty of knowledge to share.

Building on Kevin Watson’s tips for managing virtual teams, I was delighted to find this post on team coaching for virtual teams. In this post, by Amanda Barber (from David Clutterbuck Partnership), she shares practical tips for achieving team coaching outcomes for remote teams. Lots of practical wisdom on preparation and use of technology.


More detail on what is meant by Team Coaching

As interesting as those thoughts were, from two of the leading lights of UK coaching community, we still lack a clear definition.

In that regard, I found this presentation to be helpful. These are slides presented by Georgina Woudstra at an ICF workshop on Relational Team Coaching. She includes some of the leading definitions, I personally prefer the one proposed by Hawkins & Smith (2006):

Enabling a team to function at more than the sum of its parts, by clarifying its mission and improving its external and internal relationships. It is different therefore from coaching team leaders on how to lead their teams, or coaching individuals in a group setting.

That accords with my experience and aspiration. The models she shares are also useful, with several of them reminding me of what I am learning about gestalt coaching with my clients. I hope these tips help you either coach teams or better participate within team coaching sessions.

Click to access Slides-of-Relational-Team-Coaching-Daring-to-Dance-on-the-Edge-ICF-Workshop.pdf



Keeping up with Team Coaching via a Podcast

If you are interested in team coaching and want some ongoing advice, or to hear the experience of others, this next resource may help.

I’ve previously recommended 3 podcasts (on leadership, stats & coaching), then 4 podcasts (on psychology, brevity, data viz & leadership). So, I’m pleased to share another podcast, this one dedicated to the topic of Team Coaching. In the “Team Coaching Zone” podcast, Dr. Krister Lowe interviews a different practitioner each episode.

It has an interestingly diverse and global participation, so is a great way to hear what team coaching is meaning (in practice) today:


Have you tried Team Coaching?

I hope those resources were useful for you.

Do you have any experience of Team Coaching? Please share your experiences & tips, either in comments below or in response to my social media sharing.

As I deliver more team coaching, to complement my existing 1-2-1 mentoring practice, I will share any key lessons learnt.