While preparing the Team Coaching Skills Master Class conducted by David Clutterbuck on 11/12 May, I was curious about two simple questions: 1. what is coaching? 2. how can you help your team through coaching? I have invited people in my learning network (coaches, mentors, sponsors or coachees to share their views… not simple answers:
Alis Anagnostakis Love all the contributions to this post and
was inspired reading everybody’s perspectives! To all of the above I’d add that
coaching can be seen as a type of structured inquiry that can have a
developmental impact on individuals and teams by supporting them to expand
their worldviews and meaning-making capacities.
I think coaching has great potential for fostering vertical development (or consciousness development) because it helps the individual and group to explore the outer edges of their knowing, to become aware of incongruencies and paradoxes, to reflect not just on WHAT they do, but also on HOW they think/feel.
It’s a way to think about our thinking and, in the process, expand our minds to new stages of maturity. Robert Kegan’s theory on turning subject into object and Bill Torbert’s “action inquiry” might be useful resources for the developmental perspective on coaching.
Also, the concept of psychological safety and how to foster it plays a huge role in coaching and might be particularly relevant for a team-coaching project. Amy Edmondson’s work is really good on this topic.
Alexandra Culicovschi I always liked the definition of coaching as
a walk in the forest, accompanied by a a person who is present and connected to
you, supporting you in discovering the surroundings (both internal and
external) that make the most sense for you. I associate coaching with
presence, honest desire to be part of the coaching relationship and trust in
As for the team coaching the biggest contribution I see is related to team processes, team trust and both personal and collective values. Looking forward to hearing more about the Masterclass 🙂
Antonio Linares-Güemes: 1) putting together coach and coachee resources to help the coachee working with his/her imperfections; overcome coachee resistances; if executive coaching: a) the way the executive plays her/his role, b) the cohesiveness and inclusiveness within the team; c) the way business strategy is activated across teams and individuals.
2) I always do by turning around three pillars (see above): individual (each team member), team (cohesiveness, inclusion, generative conversations, etc.), business (common understanding, strategy activation (sometimes through emergence and sometimes through adaptation).
Dragos Tranca: 1. The first question is, honestly, really complicated for me. I would have some clarifying questions though: a. What do you need to achieve with the answer? b. How would a self-sufficient answer look like for you? c. Before finding other answers, what your own answer is looking like? 2. I would be able to use coaching to help my team by: a. Being present in the moment as seldom as possible. b. Identifying the “coachable moments” based on: Person, Timing/Context, Topic. c. Holding “the manager within” in leash in order to make some room for people to feel like real contributors and shine.
Florin Lazarica Creating such an environment where one, through powerful conversations, delivers/achieves consistant performance. Team coaching is acting as a sounding board to test collective thinking.
George Agafitei 1. Coaching is witnessing the greatness in other people by creating frameworks for their development processes. 2. Team coaching is witnessing team dynamic greatness by creating frameworks for their team development processes (even this is not just a pass from one person to many).
Ioana Predescu Coaching is my other set of eyes, which helps me look inside for the answers I need on the outside.
Maria Dinu I like the metaphor of coaching being like
walking with someone on their journey, making them aware of the pace, the
energy level, the surroundings, the destination and leaving the choice of the
way entirely up to the client.
On teams, I think coaching empowers first one-on-one. Helping the team can be by identifying who can benefit most from individual coaching – and best results are when there is a comination of willingness to discover oneself and change, drive for results and a track record of achievement.
Secondarily, team coaching is a different species, connected with presence, being inside at symultaneously outside a system of interactions. I think here it’s immensely important where the coach chooses to intervene, because of ripple effects that bounce inside the group. Also, there is an important distinction between coaching a group of individuals or the entity that is “the team”.
(Got ahead of myself with these thoughts, just think it’s a fascinating topic!)
Mihai Zant For me, coaching si like symbiosis: the coach is holding the process and the space and the coachee the decisions and the plans. Team coaching is about common purpose, trust and shared ways to get there together 😉 so you can help on building the common purpose, ground and self/team awareness and allow a ssfe space for the dynamics and needed processes.
Raluca Mohanu For me, coaching is more and more about creating a “field” of authenticity, integrity, acceptance where the client (and the coach, of course) could elevate himself/ herself and find his/ her one Way…For teams, my experience is that coaching is one of the few tools a team could see itself as a team (an integral unit) and not as a bunch of separate individuals…
Roberta Ioachim There are so many valuable ideas in the
answers of those before me! I resonate with them and I am grateful to you all
for the shared perspectives, and to you, Roxana Mocanu, for initiating this
space for discussion.
I also perceive coaching as an experiential journey, for coach and coachee alike. I think they both have their own A-Ha! moments when the process means presence, openness and pure desire to understand through questions. Often, I see situations where coachees are expecting the coach to show them the path to the Wizard of Oz, who, they believe, is the key and lock for their problems, brakes and limitations they encounter, at some point, in their professional or personal evolution. The gift of the process and of a skillful and subtle coach is when these coachees discover with surprise the wanted one in their image in the mirror, as in the metaphor with those who climb the top of the mountain, again and again, to ask for answers and advice from a wise old man, never seen in the flesh and bones, but supposed to live in a wooden hut, without doors and without windows, where sometimes you could see him among the boards looking at you.
Tudorache Camelia For me coaching is a state of presence , that presence trained day in and day out and whose benefits you started to discover for yourself.
Veronica Brejan Spot on, Roxana! It’s the theme that’s on my mind for few weeks now. 1. Coaching for me is a space of presence; my major breakthroughs happened when the “coach” (not always called that way) was fully connected, fully present, fully compassionate. That state allowed me to access the resources within me to come up with the best answer or the right action. 2. Team coaching is a bit more complex, I think the main topic to tackle is trust. Looking forward to hearing more about your masterclass.
An organisation is doubling its market share when renouncing to compete in interior. We can resolve issues, even to find solutions for after corona-crisis, by *collaborating*, and raising our collaborative intelligence! The human capital you have to work with is not on your payroll. You have to work across boundaries as working on real qualities failures.
My favourite definition of Coaching: it is a conversation that links evolving internal world and narratives of an individual or a team with the evolving external environment and context.
An immediate challenge for many businesses is how to maintain morale amongst previously co-located teams now obliged to work virtually — and how to ensure they emerge from the crisis stronger and more fit for purpose than before. David will share a framework for supporting these newly virtual teams now and for ensuring they are able to sustain new ways of working in the post crisis “new normal”.