Most coaches work one on one with clients, but at times coaches are also hired to facilitate team performance when people come together to accomplish shared goals, make decisions, or learn new skills.
Having a coach who is pulling for the good of not only the team but also each team member can help keep the agreed-upon common purpose and desired outcomes top of mind all along the way.
When coaching in a team setting, focus on three objectives:
- Establish the intent for coming together. First, make sure everyone involved knows the group’s common purpose as well as expected results from their work as a team. Clear agreements regarding intent will likely prevent individual members from getting off course.
- Create a safe, confidential environment. To create a healthy environment for the exchange of ideas, follow basic coaching rules: keep confidences, allow everyone to be heard, clarify action steps, and set up accountability measures.
- Track participation. Pay close attention to each individual’s participation. As we say at Blanchard, “No one of us is as smart as all of us.” To ensure all voices are heard, encourage input from more reserved participants by asking their opinion. Also, be ready to reel in more assertive team members if they begin to monopolize the discussion.
Organizations generally choose people for a project based on complementary skills needed to get the job done. Then, to achieve desired results, everyone on the team needs to pull in the same direction. Having a coach to set the stage and facilitate successful team meetings not only helps organizations get the most from everyone’s time and effort—it also helps people enjoy the process.
About the Author
Joanne Maynard is a senior coach with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.