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Getting Business Results through Team Coaching

Getting Business Results through Team Coaching
Businesses need results. The approach to producing these results is resting more and more in the hands of functional project teams. These teams are not always effective at producing at delivering the results required in the given timeframes of the project. The answer as to why lies in the team dynamics.
This is where team coaching comes in…
What is a team?
We understand teams to be a combination of individuals with specific skill sets that align to specific projects needs and will be used in service of delivering the project effectively, productively and on time. And we are right. This doesn’t address why projects are late, over budget, fail etc.
The skills are all there and yet the results often don’t come or come at the expense of people. What’s missing? Leaders of teams need to shift their approach from dealing with individuals to working with the team as a relationship system.
Often leaders identify one or two individuals who they see as the issue and hire a coach. This is impactful for the individuals and when they step back into the team system, the results often are not forthcoming. The leader has failed to see that it’s about what is trying to happen in the team relationship system, not about who is doing what to whom.
Working with teams from a relationship systems approach
A relationship systems approach to teams will enable leaders to understand and work with the team dynamics that impact on a team’s delivery. Below is a definition of a team from a systems approach.
A group of interdependent entities with a common focus or identity (Vision)
The key here is realising that each individual impacts the teams relationship system and are therefore interdependent. If we want to resolve issues that are preventing a team from achieving and moving forward, we need to work with the relationship system and not the individuals.
A Case Study – A Team Merger
I worked with a technology team that was the result of a merger of two technology companies. It was identified that the team was in trouble. They needed to deliver a key project and were resistant to share with each other. Mistrust and jealousy prevented the skills from aligning and shining. Conflict was rife. The impact was duplication of effort, misuse of resources and target deadlines on project key milestones being missed.
The issues included:
- Mistrust of each other
- Lack of communication
- Cultural differences
- Rank & Revenge
- Conflict handled poorly
- Lack of Leadership
My approach included education around a team relationship systems approach and revealing the teams system to itself. I normalised their issues and had them know that it was okay to feel the way they did. What I then did through creating safety is got their buy-in to work on the team relationship that would deal with the issues.
My Team Coaching Approach
- Designed a team alliance for how they will be with each other - collaboratively
- Named and ventilated the issues in a controlled manner
- Identified key team strengths and where there was commonality
- Allowed the teams to explore each other’s ‘Lands’ – (previous cultures)
- Had them design a ‘New Land’ (culture)
- Action plans going forward to address project delivery
Over a few sessions we worked on roles, communication strategy, visioning amongst others. The result was a team who were aligned because they now understood each other versus fearing each other.
The impact was that the project came back on track, was delivered on time, under budget and through a team who were hugely effective, as they understood their team dynamics and interdependence. They now had systems in place for dealing with issues as and when they arose.
If this article peaks your interest I am keen to have a conversation with you as to how I can work with you and your teams to be more effective. Give me a call or email me – details below.

Stephen Light is a Leadership Expert & Executive Coach who uses Neuroscience as a platform for being more effective at understanding and changing self. He assist leaders in finding more effective ways of leading people through changes resulting in the objectives of teams being met.

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