Coaching the Team at Work - Deepstash
Creating A Culture Of Learning

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Creating A Culture Of Learning

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The Three Big Ideas

  • Team coaching is a discipline distinct from consulting, team building, team leading and other roles. It is more complex, not least because it deals with the systems that influence teams and how those teams interact with them.
  • Highly effective coaching is both systemic and dialogic.
  • Line managers face challenges and conflicts of interest in becoming effective team coaches.


400 reads

Defining Team Coaching

It means partnering with an entire team in an ongoing relationship, for the purpose of collectively raising awareness and building better connections in the team’s internal and external systems and enhancing the team’s capability to cope with current and future challenges.


182 reads

Systemic Coaching

Systemic Coaching

Systemic coaching is ‘being aware of three worlds and how they interplay to produce outcomes’

  • The Face-to-Face World – interactions with the client, and their face-to-face interactions with other key people.
  • The Larger External World - client’s organization, their business, their customers, and their marketplace
  • The Deeper Internal World - how/what client leaders think and feel, their mental models/underlying assumptions, their deeper beliefs.


160 reads

What Team Coaching Is Not

  • Coaching individuals, who happen to belong to the same team
  • Coaching only part of a team
  • Team building
  • One-off interventions such as an off-site workshop
  • Training and consultancy.

Another team coaching definition is: Helping the team improve performance and the processes by which performance is achieved, through reflection and dialogue.


116 reads

Line Manager as Team Coach

Line Manager as Team Coach

Managers are prone to misattribute the causes of poor performance. They tend to over-emphasize motivation and under-emphasize other factors – in particular, lack of knowledge or skill. Poor performance has a lot more to do with poor management and failure to coach than with unwillingness on the employee’s part.

Team coaching can lead to team improvement. Line Managers seeking to coach their team face challenges.


85 reads

The Main Barriers

  • The tendency for managers and direct reports to fall into ‘parent/child’ roles.
  • Hidden agendas. For example, on the manager’s part about their plans to reorganize the team and on the employee’s part about how long they intend to stay with the company.
  • The conflict between the employee’s desire for some things to remain confidential and the manager’s accountability for the welfare and performance of the team as a whole
  • The conflict between pressure to deliver short-term task objectives and the longer-term development needs of team members.


59 reads

The Environment: Three Coaching Conditions

The Environment: Three Coaching Conditions

To increase coaching success these conditions must be present:

  • Psychological safety.
  • Everyone in the team needs to know how to coach and how to be coached (including the line manager)
  • Everyone in the team takes collective responsibility for performance and for each other’s learning.


75 reads

Traits Of The Best Line Managers

  • They don’t feel the need to control. They trust others because, if mistakes happen, the leader has big enough shoulders to share responsibility.
  • They demonstrate that they care – both about the team goals, but also about each of the team members as individuals. They make time for human interaction.
  • Instead of trying to manage the team, they support team members in managing themselves.
  • These leaders encourage the team to decide what they need to inform the leader about and what to take responsibility for communicating themselves.


49 reads

When Is Team Coaching Useless

When Is Team Coaching Useless

  • When there is no compelling rationale for being a team – for example, when members of a group have little interdependence.
  • When it is too large to be a real team – above eight, it will become harder to gel as a team.
  • When only the leader wants team coaching to happen.
  • When the team has no prospect of acquiring the resources it needs to succeed.
  • When you have close relationships with some members of the team, but not with others.


47 reads

Developing Team Coaches

The most enlightened coaches hold space for the client, while he or she has the conversation they need to have with themselves.

Highly effective team coaching is both systemic (seeing the client and their issues within the context of multiple systems) and dialogic (a conversation that creates its own path, developing new insights and new meaning)


35 reads

The Main Skills Of Coaching

  • Listening. The team coach needs to listen to both the person talking and to everyone else in the room. Being aware of their silent conversations, through observing body language.
  • Using silence.
  • Powerful questions. In team coaching, the emphasis is on helping the team find its own powerful questions.
  • The story. The team coach has to help them accept and integrate each other’s version of the team story into a narrative that helps make coherent and compatible future choices.
  • Identity. Coaches help individuals articulate and understand their own identities.


50 reads

Building Team Relationships

In one way or another, pretty much every study of team effectiveness identifies the quality of interpersonal relationships as a critical component.

There is surprisingly little evidence that people in the team have to like each other, but they do need to respect, trust and be open with each other. In high performing teams, there is high reciprocity of attitudes and behaviours that reinforces these qualities; and an ability to manage conflict in ways that contribute to rather than undermine teamwork.


57 reads

Talking To The Team

Talking To The Team

A good technique to understand the relationships within the team is to observe their dialogue. What does this team discuss?

  • Social - Weekend plans, hobbies, the weather.
  • Technical - How to do tasks within the team
  • Tactical - What needs to be done today?
  • Strategic - What needs to be done in the future?
  • Self-Insight - How are we performing? Retrospectives, Lessons Learned etc.
  • Change - What can we do differently?
  • Integrative - Who do we need to work with?


58 reads



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Team coaching can transform teams and improve their outcomes. This book will guide your development and give new insights into how coaching teams work.

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