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Why team coaching is the future

The world is going through turbulent times, and organisations rely on strong, cohesive teams to provide resilient leadership. Watch a recording of our latest webinar with David Clutterbuck and read our summary of his views on the importance of team coaching, the challenges and how to do it effectively.

The focus of coaching has historically been on individuals. Organisations operate in teams, and as a result the learnings and actions identified in coaching engagements are often not as effective as they could be. The coaches of the future will need to develop skills in supporting teams to perform better, extend their capability, and increase their leadership capacity. Coaching as a tool to support an individual getting the next promotion simply isn’t sustainable in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world organisations operate in.

Why do teams need coaches?

Over the next five years, there will be approximately 150,000 new accredited team coaches on the market. We’re currently seeing a transition away from 1:1 coaching at executive level, and towards coaching that supports the development of coaching culture within teams and across organisations.

Teams are formed with a purpose in mind, but can behave as if their role is purely to support (or frustrate) the individuals within them. One of the biggest coaching challenges is how to help teams function as a unit. The role of team coaching is therefore about improving performance now, and also about enabling them to become greater than the sum of their parts.

How can you coach a team?

Team coaching is much more complex and demanding than facilitation, which has a more linear approach. Teams are messier, and identified problems are often the symptom of more complex issues underneath. A team is a system within other systems and as a result, a team coach needs to support them identifying and understanding those systems, and help the team get clarity around the way they are working. The ultimate goal is to create a high performing environment, where people ultimately manage themselves.

What tools can team coaches use?

Teams are complex adaptive systems, and it’s therefore best to look at all the systems and patterns within the team and those that interact with it through the six lenses of the PERILL model (see below).


By using this model to engage teams with their own systems, we help them to raise their awareness, giving the team the levers to find their own solutions. In the majority of cases, when looking at resolving team issues, there are at least four to six elements at play. It is the role of the team coach to identify those patterns and be flexible enough to provide durable solutions.

In an increasingly complex world, we need better tools and approaches to manage that messiness. Team coaches are unlikely to always know the best way to proceed, but in sharing that uncertainty with the team, they are empowered to develop a way forward together. It needs preparation, confidence, and a toolkit to do it well.

For more information on our coaching services and future events, contact Karen Brice. 

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