How Team Coaching Can Help Your Business Thrive

By Siobhan Smith

Co-President of Catapult

The concept of teams is evolving in organizations with the basic premise that it makes good business sense to have talented people collaborate together to achieve more creative outcomes in tackling a company’s challenges. Teams are a powerful tool to assist organizations in improving performance and obtaining results. Although working on a team seems to add much value, it becomes complicated with new forms of teams—matrix, agile, cross-functional, virtual, geographical dispersion, etc. With teams maximization being a trend that is being utilized more than ever, it is important to ensure teams are effective, cohesive and get results.

However, we have seen that taking high-performing individuals and putting them on a team does not automatically translate into positive team performance. There is a flaw in thinking team members know how to collaborate effectively. In research done by Team Coaching International, less than 10% of teams rate themselves as high performing.

Many leaders see and feel this and come to Catapult wanting to improve the effectiveness and cohesiveness of their people through team building and training.

A solid foundation of psychological safety and trust is a necessary starting point. Working on cultivating emotional bonds with team building and facilitation sets the tone for working together cohesively. Next, learning what it takes to be an effective team helps in understanding what it takes for each person and for the team to obtain the desired results.

These are important and necessary tools for teams to begin their effectiveness path, but are not enough because too often these valuable learnings are lost when the team returns to work. What is missing is integrating the learnings into their work in a deliberate, active and accountable way.

Team Coaching does just that. A team coach continues to work with the group to translate the learnings into real work challenges. The focus is on improving team dynamics in real time on relevant work issues while witnessing the interaction patterns of the team. Such patterns of behavior have subsequent impact on obtaining results. The team coach’s role is to work with the team over time in recognizing how to consistently work effectively. Measuring progress along the way is another critical component—especially measuring the improvement in team dynamics and business metrics that matter to the team. It is understood that teams exist to produce results.

As with most engagements, most teams are only as effective as their leader’s commitment. The leader has to be ready, willing and able to invest his or her time and the time of the team while incorporating a compelling reason to have the team partake in such an endeavor.

The results are worth it. As teams learn new practices, they become more capable, resourceful, and self-sufficient, and the individual team members become more confident in raising expectations of teams. Often, team members are on multiple teams and these new behaviors become contagious throughout the organization, raising the bar for all. The change in one team’s performance ripples throughout the matrix organization and sets a new standard for teams – excellence.

Many leaders have experienced various team development engagements. Most have enjoyed their experiences. However, we would ask, did the engagements go far enough and deep enough to obtain sustainable change along with results?

If not, Catapult can help.

Contact us to find out how.

Return to all posts