by Georgina Woudstra (UK)
One of the challenges for team coaches, is that the literature largely focuses on the team; why teams are important, what makes a team versus a group, conditions that set up a team for success and factors that contribute to team performance (and team dysfunction). It also focused on team development; the stages a team moves through to become high performing and the capabilities a team needs to master to perform. All really useful stuff, but none of it helps to understand how to be a team coach!
You assume that the core coaching competencies would equip you for coaching teams. They are great competencies, but team coaching is very different to individual coaching and it can be really challenging. In individual coaching, there is just you and your client and the system that the client is in. With team coaching you have your relationship with ‘the Team’ as well as with each individual team member, plus their relationships with each other and then the wider organisational context. It is complex and the pressures and underlying dynamics can be overwhelming. In one-to-one coaching, the client has chosen to work with a coach. In team coaching, team members might say they are up for team coaching, but is that for real or is that pleasing the boss, peer pressure, or group think?
Source: iCN Issue 19 (Group Dynamics: Team Coaching); pages 52-55
About Georgina Woudstra
Georgina Woudstra, MCC is an executive coach specialising in coaching CEOs and Executive Teams. She has been described by clients as having “strong presence and credibility”, as being “experienced and wise” and a coach who “has extraordinary empathy” allowing her to be “challenging but gentle”.
She is also the Principal of the Executive Coach Studio, a coach training organisation for professional coaches looking to deepen their practice and develop greater congruence and coherence in their work. Georgina is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. Co-author of ‘Coaching Global Top Teams’ in Leadership Coaching: Working with Leaders to Develop Elite Performance (Kogan Page), she is a thought leader and influencer in the coaching profession.