While organizations may use tools and technology to create value, it’s the living, breathing human systems that make it all possible. Team coaching is a proven way to enhance how those systems operate while creating a safe, creative environment for competitive advantage.
If you’re an executive, coaching professional, or simply keen to empower your teams, this article explores some of the coaching models, tools, and techniques that can help you achieve your goal.
Want to try out these techniques, methods, and strategies using Quenza’s team coaching tools? Start your Quenza trial for just $1 during the first month.
What is Team Coaching? 4 Benefits
Businesses are more than the sum of their parts, and when they are full of skilled, capable employees, team coaching is a strategic way to increase the effectiveness of the whole organization synergistically.
Just as the name suggests, team coaching is coaching delivered to a group of members who collaborate professionally. While it can involve individual coaching sessions, it primarily targets the collective, flexing different ‘muscles’ to enhance their cohesiveness and capabilities.
Team coaching gives individuals a chance to solve specific problems, build relationships, and innovate for the good of the organization. It is a relatively new concept compared to conventional one-to-one coaching, but has become increasingly more popular because of its clear benefits; for example:
- Team coaching builds collective awareness: giving group members insight into each others’ strengths and weaknesses
- It increases collective intelligence: when they use that knowledge strategically
- Coaching teams improves communication: reducing conflict, bottlenecks, and preventing organizational silos, and
- It enhances team culture: allowing for sharing, creative risk-taking, and innovation.
Team Coaching Model and Process Explained
Several team coaching models have been developed for practitioners as the strategy becomes more common.
Coaching teams involves techniques and methods that account for group dynamics, and which consider key areas such as communication, collaboration, and culture.
Perhaps the most widely known example, Hawkins’ 5 Disciplines of Team Coaching proposes a multi-disciplinary approach to team coaching, in which five key elements are emphasized for successful team practice.
Under this framework, coaches support teams with:
- Commissioning – Helping teams establish a clear purpose, success criteria, and co-working capabilities
- Clarifying – Supporting them to clarify their purpose, goals, values, roles, and expectations
- Co-creating – Creating collective awareness about a team’s dynamics and performance
- Connecting – Coaching a team to collaborate effectively in pursuit of their goals, and
- Core learning – Empowering the group to develop, adapt, and support themselves in the organizational and wider business environments.
By helping teams and their members develop these capabilities, coaches empower them to create a sustainable environment for high-performance, creativity, and effectiveness.
How To Coach Teams: 3 Techniques and Methods
Coaching a team is not entirely the same as working with individuals. It involves techniques and methods that account for group dynamics, and which consider key areas such as communication, collaboration, and culture.
On top of the techniques used to coach individuals (e.g. goal-setting, decision-making), the professional team coaches at Henley Business School offer at least 3 examples:
- Developing team purpose and values: Helping members establish a meaningful collective purpose and work processes, as well as clarify their values and strengths.
- Developing relatedness: Facilitating intra-team conversations to share feedback and build trust – ultimately to increase members’ awareness of their individual strengths and development points for improved performance.
- Developing awareness: Here, the focus is a team’s collective strengths and weaknesses in their environment, e.g. by rating their performance against a framework like the 5 Disciplines.
Coaches may apply these techniques live or using a combination of in-person and mobile group coaching sessions.
Combining the two modalities as a blended coaching program has the advantages of:
- Allowing team members to participate from anywhere in the world
- Giving participants the flexibility to complete individual exercises at their own pace
- Accounting for different work schedules, and of course
5 Skills and Strategies You Can Apply
Team coaching involves a lot of the same skills, attitudes, and ‘ways of being’ that make individual or executive coaching successful, with a few more besides.
According to the Center for Creative Leadership, some of these include:
- A long-term perspective – Teams operate in a dynamic business context, with plenty of external factors at play that influence coaching results
- A ‘big picture’ perspective – Both individual and group skills need to be developed, then applied in a real-world context
- Systematic thinking – To understand the processes within teams
- Boundary setting skills – Not only are teams are a network of internal relationships, but they’re linked in complex, differing ways to other organizational units, and
- Appreciation for team dynamics – Each group is unique, meaning coaches must be able to practice in spite of relatively unpredictable dynamics.
Quenza’s Toolkit: Exercises, Activities, & Questions For Teams
If you’re a coaching executive or leader keen to develop your own team with your own framework, the right questions can be incredibly powerful at fostering insight.
Quenza’s Expansion Library is full of activities with team coaching questions you can adapt or send as they are; check out the following as you plan your coaching sessions:
Quenza’s Strengths Interview gives you a structured set of 10 strengths questions that can help team members explore their natural talents, traits, and capabilities.
A few of the questions you can use with individual members or adapt for your team:
- What do you like to do?
- At what times do you feel fully engaged?
- What did you do as a child that you still do today, only probably better?
My Boundary Response Plan
If you’re helping teams develop relationships, the Boundary Response Plan helps members speak up for and defend their boundaries with work-relevant examples.
Participants can use this coaching tool to explore their reactions to stress and reduce them by creating a strategy for better communication. They’ll then answer reflection questions such as:
- What are you taking away from this experience that will help you in the future?
- Are there any action steps you are willing to commit to as a result of this learning?
You At Your Best
You At Your Best is an excellent coaching exercise for raising individual awareness of their strengths, so they can share them with the group or identify areas for development.
Coachees are asked to develop a story for a time or experience where they felt authentic and energized making a positive influence on a situation.
The following questions are also very easily adapted to suit team coaching contexts:
- What happened in the situation?
- What role did you play?
- What did you do that was particularly successful or useful to someone?
- What kind of feelings did you experience?
Best Digital Tool For Coaching Teams Online
There are more than a few things to juggle when working with teams, so your choice of coaching software will ultimately decide how easy it is to run everything successfully.
While many digital tools can be extremely useful for certain processes (e.g. appointment scheduling or billing), most coaching professionals get the most value from a dedicated, HIPAA-compliant coaching platform such as Quenza.
Your chosen team coaching model and resources will of course be unique, but with Quenza, you have all the tools and features required to design high-caliber content and deliver it in a way that’s convenient, engaging, and entirely free for your team members to benefit from.
9 Ways You Can Use Quenza For Coaching
Quenza is a wonderfully flexible, easy-to-use platform that can simplify and optimize the way you coach teams.
Not only does it give you a unique degree of customizability with regard to your coaching solutions, but with Quenza you can easily:
- Communicate with members using secure, encrypted chat – while creating a secure space where they can chat among themselves as a team
- Build your own coaching exercises, forms, and activities using straightforward drag-and-drop tools (including the unique Wheel of Life template!)
- Save prep time by adapting pre-made coaching Expansion templates
- Share these coaching tools instantly (on their own or as part of a program)
- Automate coachee learning by pre-scheduling your content delivery
- Track client progress in real-time, refining your programs or packages as you go
- Coach and motivate teams and cohorts of up to 50 members at once
- Provide each group member with a unique, practice-branded coaching portal, &
- Keep engagement high throughout your coaching journeys using notifications, multimedia, and personalizations.
Quenza provides a truly unique suite of coaching tools that go well beyond practice admin or simple templates. With everything you need to craft standout personalized content, deliver it instantly, and stay in touch with your clients, you can use Quenza not just to run your practice, but to grow it scalably, too.
Engage Your Teams with Quenza: 7 Tips
Whether you’re new to Quenza or trying it out with your $1 month, these client engagement tips might be worth trying out:
- Set automatic notifications or reminders when sharing interventions or activities – you can set these at custom intervals to prompt group members to complete an exercise, assessment, or form without logging in
- Personalize your coaching solutions with unique multimedia, e.g. your own videos, images, or audio
- Create motivational team programs by curating your activities into automated Pathways
- Introduce teammates to the To-Do list on their app, so they can view their unfinished activities
- Feature your brand and custom colors on your activities to create beautifully styled, downloadable PDFs for your participants
- Invite employees or team members to contribute to your coaching notes by sharing them with Quenza Client Notes, and
- Give personalized, timely feedback using Quenza Chat.
Team coaching can be a highly effective strategy for improving performance, but it’s the long-term benefits to an organization’s culture that can really make a difference.
If you’re ready to design your first team coaching intervention or program with Quenza, make sure to take a look at our Coaching Tools section in our blog for more inspiration.
With Quenza’s tools, you’ll have everything you need to deliver engaging and successful team coaching solutions effortlessly online. Start with Quenza for $1 to optimize your professional impact and take your coaching to the next level.
- ^ Hawkins, P. (2017). Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership, 3rd ed. London: Kogan Page
- ^ Henley Business School. (n.d.). Coaching in Action Guide. University of Reading. Retrieved from https://assets.henley.ac.uk/v3/fileUploads/Coaching-in-Action-Guide-Team-Coaching.pdf
- ^ CCL.org. (2020). The Dynamics of Team Coaching. Centre for Creative Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/the-dynamics-of-team-coaching/