Team Coaching is one of the coolest new things to hit the field of OD in a while. It is something that Apex is increasingly being asked to do by our clients and something we are really passionate about creating and implementing with our partners. There are different approaches and some call it Group Coaching (see www.Badergroup.com), but however it is implemented…Team Coaching Works!
At Apex, Team Coaching is a process in which five to eight employees meet together to address real work challenges in a structured format. This Team may consist of intact team members or cross-functional individuals with little to no previous history together. This determination is made by the needs of the business and the overall learning strategy of the organization.
Once brought together, the Team problem solves through facilitated discussions and commits to action based on new information and insights. It provides team members the opportunity to practice new skills learned through action learning, group interaction, individual coaching interaction, and/or training sessions. One concrete outcome is that team members learn to ask for and provide feedback to each other in a strategic and meaningful way.
The Team meets approximately every month over a 6 month period; with a couple, supplemental virtual sessions towards the beginning to maximize impact and create traction. The virtual sessions mirror the reality of the current corporate world and provide the opportunity for team members to practice skills necessary to work with people remotely and across the globe.
The sessions are devoted to: sharing challenges, identifying solutions, creating action plans, and completing skill-building activities. In between the Team Coaching Sessions, individual feedback is constantly taking place. The feedback involves each of the team members supporting/coaching one another as well as working one-on-one with either a formal or informal peer coach (that coach may or may not be part of the Team Coaching group).
In addition to the Team Coaching Sessions, each participant also completes a 360 assessment and has a one-on-one feedback session with the Team Coach. This allows each member to receive valuable insights into their own strengths and weaknesses. They can then use the Team Coaching Sessions to practice new skills, leverage strengths, and improve areas of opportunity.
Assessments are also a vital part of Team Coaching. They provide invaluable insights to participants and can expedite the learning and development process. Many assessments can be used with the two most common being: 1) 360 assessments and 2) Behavioral style assessments (DISC, MBTI, etc.).
The comprehensive approach used in Team Coaching offers many benefits. Since the Team is focused on identifying and solving real work challenges, from across the organization, it creates a culture focused on both big picture strategy and personal development. The members not only learn about their own areas of strength and opportunities for development, but they also learn about different parts of the organization. This helps to break down silos and broadens their approach to problem solving. This exposure expands their knowledge base and enhances future collaborations.
A key part of Team Coaching is giving and receiving feedback. The feedback increases the skills of the participants to assess situations quickly and accurately and course correct as needed in an environment that is often: Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, and Ambiguous (VUCA). This ongoing feedback helps build a culture across the organization where employees are comfortable and skilled at asking for, receiving, and giving impactful feedback. Additional benefits:
Improves strategic thinking
Breaks down silos across functions
Creates a culture of learning
Links performance and development
Encourages peer-to-peer accountability through feedback
Improves collaboration skills
Solves for relevant, current business challenges
Builds coaching skills
Expands internal networks