Team coaching in the workplace is a process where a single Team Coach or a pair of Team Coaches help a newly formed or existing team to find the much needed space to reflect on working together and increasing their levels of trust and commitment in order to perform their task efficiently. A team who is encouraged to reflect on improving their work dynamics, can bring about higher performance, creativity and innovation, which eventually benefit the entire organization.
Helping the team to reflect (“team reflexivity”), pause and think beyond what is evident on the surface, is at the center of the work done by a team coach. “Team reflexivity” can provide better understanding of what is happening in the team by giving members the opportunity to express how they feel, what they are thinking and how they view their collective work. It also creates an opportunity to consider the challenges the team is facing.
A good team coach always helps the team focus on how the team works together as a whole to fulfill its task and to maintain its commitment. This way, a team coach helps team members pay attention to areas that can either enhance or undermine team work, such as:
- Interpersonal relationships within the team
- Balance of positive and negative interactions within the team
- Shared purpose
- Shared vision
- Mutual trust
- Closed-loop communications
- Shared processes
- Team adaptability
- Mutual performance monitoring
- Leadership within the team
When we think of a team within an organization, we may have different pictures or mental models of what it looks or should be like. At bCoached we define a team as a group of two to approximately twelve to fifteen people who have a clear and well-defined task to perform which contributes to the goals of the organization the team is embedded in. A team shares common objectives, has distinct and unique team roles, works interdependently and has the authority and autonomy to perform their task.
“A team is a relatively small group of people working on a clearly defined, challenging task that is most efficiently completed by a group working together rather than individuals working alone or in parallel; who have a cleared, shared challenging team level objectives derived directly from the task; who have to work closely and interdependently to achieve these objectives; whose members work in distinct roles within the team (though some roles may be duplicated); and who have the necessary authority, autonomy and resources to enable them to meet the team’s objectives”. (Woods and West, 2010)