Achieve Better Results Faster Through Coaching
Executive coaching has proven to be successful in helping leaders perform at higher levels in work and other environments. A growing trend is the use of coaching in accelerating leadership and project team performance.
Coaches work with people to keep or amplify their strengths while helping them understand and address their gaps. Coaching helps in broadening perspectives and focusing on solutions as opposed to problems. At times, coaching helps leaders identify derailing behaviors that impede their success. By developing more effective ways of responding to situations or people that trigger negative reactions, leaders become more effective. This shift creates more balance in the workplace. The net result is an increase in more productive interactions. Imagine the power of this approach with an entire leadership team.
Enterprises that have experienced value in executive coaching intuitively understand how coaching can also bring value to leadership teams and critical project teams. Industry trends also show that coaching is moving beyond individual leadership coaching.
Team coaching continues to be a top trend in coaching, according to the 2020 Executive Coaching for Results Research Study by CoachSource: “In the current study, we found that on average, the top three predicted industry trends across all three rater groups were consistent with 2018: leadership development programs with additional coaching; leader-as-coach training (teaching coaching skills to leaders), and team coaching increasing.”
The growing trend in team coaching has been recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). ICF Credentials and Standards released its ICF Team Coaching Competencies model in late 2020. These competencies reflect the added complexity when moving beyond one-to-one coaching.
Teams are comprised of people with varying individual desires, goals and personalities. Members may also come from different functional, geographic or business units, each with their own priorities in meeting overall objectives. Getting people on the same page and working together productively with so many competing variables is not easily achieved. Most leaders are not trained in coalescence methods.
This is the space where coaching can make a vital difference between team success and failure. In today’s work world, team coaching includes facilitating team sessions and administering the same assessments for all team members, including the leader. These may include psychological or behavioral assessments, 360 reviews or stakeholder feedback. Each team member also benefits by working one-on-one with a team coach. The coaching process brings about greater self-awareness within each team member.
Sharing high-level results of types or styles learned from assessments in a focused team session fosters greater understanding and better appreciation among team members of different styles, values or preferences. Admittedly, sharing assessment results in a group setting exposes vulnerabilities among team members, but the payoff is big: It creates trust among the team and allows members to move forward with a better understanding of the interpersonal styles of their co-workers and themselves. With this awareness, team members can look inward before responding to each other’s behavior and actions, especially when operating under stress.
Gaining alignment on desired outcomes, including what success looks like, is critical for all teams and becomes clarified with a skilled coach. Additional benefits of team coaching include agreeing to mutual accountability and understanding that working with constructive conflict can lead to commitment and better outcomes. Through coaching, team members learn to see opportunities as opposed to only seeing problems. This vision allows the team to focus collectively on what’s possible and leads to greater idea generation. In short, coaching contributes to developing better team dynamics and delivering desired results while helping to shape a positive work culture.
Like every other industry dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the coaching profession has learned that executive and team coaching also can be done virtually. Early in the pandemic, a team coaching engagement of mine switched from predominately in-person to exclusively virtual. We held our first virtual team meeting in April 2020. Not only was the desired outcome achieved, but participants also commented on how positive the meeting was, despite the nature of some discussion areas. Virtual participation enabled team members to be vulnerable with one another. When commenting on the meeting’s success, the CEO noted that it also represented significant savings; no travel, hotel, food and other meeting expenses were incurred.
This positive review of virtual team coaching is not isolated. Other team coaching engagements I’m partnering on with a different organizations and coaching teams are having similar success with virtual team and individual coaching. Yet another adaptation necessitated by COVID-19 that will likely have staying power.
How can coaching help your team build greater cohesion and achieve better results faster? Working virtually or in person, team coaching may be the key to accelerating team performance that takes your organization to the next level.
Lance Hazzard, PCC, CPCC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations achieve success. Lance and Eric T. Hicks, Ph.D., co-authored Accelerating Leadership, published in June 2019. Lance is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. More information can be found on the book, Lance and Oppnå® Coaching at the links below: