Team coaching: an effective measure for teams and departments

There are many different reasons and occasions for team coaching and coaching a team or department has now become firmly established as an effective measure in the corporate world. Companies contact me with various questions and reasons for seeking external support. The following examples are only intended to give a small insight into the topics, but certainly do not claim to be exhaustive:
  1. Team climate – It doesn’t always have to be tangible problems that call for coaching, but companies often use these formats to provide a targeted framework for work within the team. The focus can be on teamwork, team building, team culture, and team cohesion, for example.
  2. Team development – In the fast-moving and complex business world, changes in and for teams are simply part of everyday life. This means that they must always remain agile within the organizational development and often require either a realignment or realignment of, for example, tasks, but also relationships and roles of team members. Coaching provides a framework for working together with the management on the realignment, taking into account all relevant facts and perspectives within the team.
  3. Goals – play a central role in team development and performance, and I have repeatedly found that involving the team in the formulation and alignment (where possible) of goals has an enormously positive effect on the group. Of course, not all goals can be created and developed together as a team, but even the partial consideration and involvement of team members strengthens team building.
  4. Performance and efficiency – Problems within teams or departments are human and, depending on their extent, can have an enormous impact on performance. It is often the manager and/or team leader who therefore decides to get to the bottom of the problems as part of a conflict coaching session and use the coaching as an intervention.
  5. Team training – this is always a popular term when the focus is on taking a closer look at where the skills of the individual team members lie and how they can best be used. The focus is often on how individual aspects of collaboration can be improved in the future to naturally increase efficiency.

What is team coaching?

Teamwork is a central part of our professional lives. Cooperation within and between teams and departments, especially in times of home office and remote working, places high demands on employees. A team is more than the sum of its parts, and its development is crucial to the success of the company.
The development of a team to its full potential and the resolution of internal conflicts can be achieved through various measures. In a perfect world, team members know their roles, tasks, responsibilities, and skills to make the best possible contribution to projects. In practice, however, conflicts often arise that can consume energy and lead to frustration, anger, and ultimately negative effects on the success of the project. Team coaching provides the framework for highlighting existing potential and making the best possible use of it, while at the same time working on and eliminating existing areas of interference.
Team coaching represents an investment in the development of organizations, teams, and individuals. In the context of organizational development, team coaching is used by executives, HR managers, and managers as an instrument for problem-solving, employee leadership, and development as well as for improving performance in teams.
Coaching focuses on the entire team. It aims to improve processes and efficiency, strengthen cooperation within the team and, in the best case, develop or further consolidate a common identity. The primary goal of team coaching is to sustainably increase the overall performance of the team and to optimize the work and performance capabilities of the group members. In a team setting in particular, the focus is on integrating each team member with their skills and getting them involved in the topic.
As a team coach, it is my task to deal with the following topics, among others:
All team coaching is based on either restoring or strengthening a team’s self-efficacy, self-organization, and ability to self-regulate.

Methods and techniques

A variety of different methods and tools are used in every coaching session, whether individual or team coaching. The relevant topics are addressed with the help of specific questions and intervention techniques.
Apart from any methodology or question, as a team coach, I act primarily as the facilitator of the group and it is my responsibility to create the best conditions for all participants to be able to work as productively and self-effectively as possible.

Despite all the responsibility that undoubtedly lies with me as a coach, it is essential for team coaching that the team itself gets to think and act. I do not serve as an advisor with my own fixed ideas but rather support the team’s internal development process. The solutions must be found by the team itself so that they can be implemented effectively and sustainably. This alone is an enormous team effort. The success of a coaching session is therefore measured not least by the extent to which team members can identify with the results of the coaching.

The team coaching process

Every coaching session is highly individual, which is why the following process steps are fundamentally important to understanding the initial situation:
  1. Every coaching process requires a free consultation call and getting to know each other. This is usually conducted with the manager who would like to take advantage of team coaching for themselves and the team.
  2. Analysis of the status quo: What is the specific reason for the coaching? Which aspects still play a role in the “main topic”? What has been done so far to solve the situation/problem? Who are the people involved? Who will take part in the coaching? Who else should be spoken to, etc.?
  3. Joint determination and formulation of the goal for the coaching: What would be a good result for the team coaching? What would be different after a successful coaching process?
  4. Clarification of the framework conditions: When, where, and for how long should the coaching take place? Who will participate? Virtual, on-site, or hybrid? English or German?
  5. Conception phase: Based on the information from the preliminary meeting (1-4), I will create the concept for the team coaching for you, which I will then discuss with you to take your further thoughts and ideas into account.
  6. Coaching: Team coaching sessions usually last at least one day and can also extend over several days depending on the assignment. During the process, strategies for achieving goals, to-dos, innovations, other new topics, etc. are always recorded.
  7. Evaluation: How did the individual team members feel about the coaching, what did they take away, and what has changed? What was achieved, and what remained open?