TALKING TEAMS: COMPETENCIES FOR TEAMS

Competencies have been my guide through my development as a coach. But with team coaching I had to upgrade my compass, says Georgina Woudstra   Professional coaches will be familiar with the concept of coaching competencies. They underpin most coach training programmes and provide a framework for the assessment of coaches undergoing professional accreditation. During my development as a coach, the ICF Core Competencies served as a compass, offering me guidance and direction towards coach mastery. I reviewed recordings of my coach sessions against this framework, observing my strengths and the skills I needed to practise. I worked with mentor […]

OPINION: TALKING TEAMS – TEAM DETOX

When conflict enters effective team relations they can quickly turn toxic. Team coaching can help organisations find an antidote, says Georgina Woudstra   A team is a spider’s web of interconnected relationships – touch one strand and the whole web feels the effect. What’s more, most teams sit within wider organisational systems – webs within webs – each impacting the other. In organisational life, you are in relationships and all relationships have conflict, even the successful ones. While effective relationships are not the only predictor of team performance, when relationships become toxic, people’s energy focuses on internal politics, silos and […]

TALKING TEAMS: THE GLUE THAT BINDS

Georgina Woudstra seeks to stimulate thinking around team coaching. Guest writer, Declan Woods, examines moving from non-cooperation to collaboration   In this issue I’ve invited Declan Woods to share his ideas on team collaboration, in particular what he calls ‘team glue’, a dimension from Middle Circle® for Teams (Coaching at Work, vol 13, issue 5), a coaching tool for team effectiveness he created, drawing on his doctoral research on dysfunction in senior teams: Teams should be greater than the sum of their parts. For this, they need to collaborate. Teams are the basic means by which organisation’s structures work and […]

OPINION: TALKING TEAMS – THE NEW REVOLUTION

How can we define the role of the team coach? Georgina Woudstra is working towards a set of competencies for a global standard   Towards the end of 2018 I had the privilege of running our team coaching training programmes in Brazil and Budapest. One of the most frequent questions that participants ask me is ‘what exactly is team coaching?’ Partly, this question arises because team coaching is a relatively new and emerging field, whereas individual coaching is more mature. However, it also arises because of the confusion that currently exists in the market with books, articles, webinars and courses […]

TALKING TEAMS: DIVERGENT THINKING

Team coaches must enquire in order to be practitioners of transformative enquiry, suggests Allard de Jong, Georgina Woudstra’s guest writer this issue   Please allow me to suggest another way of speaking about what we do as team coaches. Not because I’m naïve enough to think that I will change the way a billion dollar industry talks about itself, but simply because words matter: the words we use to describe our work will influence how we do that work. I’ve never felt comfortable with the terms ‘coach’ or ‘coaching’. I know, it’s irrational but I’ve simply never identified with them. […]

TALKING TEAMS: PRODUCTIVE PATTERNS

To achieve team psychological safety, organisations must influence not only how people work, but how they work together, argues Georgina Woudstra   Teams are the building blocks of organisations. They have the potential to be more innovative, to find the best solutions, to discover mistakes faster and to make better decisions than any one member operating on their own. But just because you put a bunch of people together and call them a team it doesn’t guarantee you’ll release this potential.Teams can also be rife with interpersonal issues, friction and interference, which can see that potential go to waste. Recently, […]

TALKING TEAMS: THE VITAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP

Successful team coaching relies on a number of proven factors but if the team’s leaders lack focus, your work may collapse. Georgina Woudstra explains When I first started coaching teams I was very specific about the ingredients needed for it to be effective: clear purpose, collective goals, agreed norms, good understanding of each other and effective meetings. I was convinced I had a recipe for success. Building on these beliefs, I facilitated away days using exercises such as ‘Personal Histories’* and psychometrics such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® among others, before guiding the team through the creation of a team charter […]

TALKING TEAMS: PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY

Team coaches cannot turn around dysfunctional teams in a day. It takes longer and the path to it is just as important. Georgina Woudstra offers 10 waypoints Individual coaching is often described as a journey. There’s a start, a middle and an end and they each emerge through regular sessions and the passing of time. It’s a compelling image. Team coaching is, of course, no different. Yet it is not uncommon for clients to expect team coaches to take a dysfunctional or average team and turn them into a cohesive and high performing unit in a day…often less! When, as […]

TALKING TEAMS: IS YOUR TEAM COACH-READY?

Georgina Woudstra seeks to stimulate thinking around the growing landscape of team coaching. This issue: two frameworks to gauge team readiness Imagine this scenario: you get a call from Sue, the HR director of a firm whose managing director has asked her to find a coach for his team. The team has 14 members, comprising heads of various business units plus functional leaders of HR, finance, IT and marketing. Sue says it needs to gel more. A day has been set aside for team coaching and they have asked you to ‘put something together’. This is a fairly typical invitation for […]

TALKING TEAMS: THE ROLE OF THE TEAM COACH

Georgina Woudstra seeks to stimulate thinking around the growing landscape of team coaching. This issue: are you clear on your role? In our first Talking Teams, we looked at ‘What makes a team?’ (vol 12.6) and in the second, ‘What is team coaching?’ (vol 13.1). Answering these questions for ourselves is critically important to working as a team coach, as it provides the context for the next BIG question: what is the role of the team coach? It is the topic that generates the most confusion, in my experience of training in team coaching for the last seven years! I […]