by David Clutterbuck (UK)

Team coaching requires a portfolio of skills beyond those in one-to-one coaching. Most of these relate to the difference in context between individual conversations and group dynamics. For example:

  • Managing varying paces of learning. In team coaching, it is common for some members of the team to come to conclusions about the way forward, while others are still at the early stages of thinking it through. The team coach has to have processes that prevent this difference in pace from becoming a cause of conflict, and use it constructively to help the team come to better decisions overall.
  • Managing sub-groups. Many teams divide into sub-groups. These subgroups can sometimes vary according to the topics under discussion, or the nature of perceived threats; and they are not always obvious Being aware of these sub-groups and preventing them from hijacking the coaching conversation requires a strong understanding of group dynamics and how allegiances change. In order for the coach to make the team aware of these behaviours (so they can consciously seek to change them) the coach has to be hypersensitive to them first!

Source: iCN Issue 19  (Group Dynamics: Team Coaching); pages 6-7

About David Clutterbuck

David Clutterbuck is a mentor or coach, a facilitator of good practice in Boardrooms; and as the practice leader in international consultancies David Clutterbuck Partnership (DCP) and Coaching & Mentoring International (CMI) which specialise in supporting organisations in developing mentoring and coaching programmes, and in establishing sustainable mentoring and coaching cultures. DCP also offers consultancy and training in Systemic Talent Management. Everything he does revolves around helping people and organisations harness the power of dialogue.