Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Cristina Nicoleta Burca – iCN Journalist (Poland).

Don’t let procrastination or lack of commitment, drive the performance of your team and company. GROW and LIFT your team and thus, your organization will grow naturally. Team coaching has developed in Romania since 2006 and since then spread massively among companies. However, there are still managers who might consider team coaching conversation as “wide and broad” rather than the deep dive of an individual coaching conversation.

But is it truly like this?

Let’s test the reality, with Dr. Mihaela Stroe, team coach, author and sociologist, based in Romania, with clients all over the world.

Hello Mihaela and thank you for your time and answers to the questions below! Your feedback would highly benefit our international readers!

  1. What is team coaching and how did it evolve throughout time in Romania?

Peer-coaching groups or team coaching includes a highly focused group of people (from 6 up to maximum 10/12) from the same organisation.

A coach/facilitator trains group members about how to select a coaching goal, hot to get help in groups, how to help others in groups and how to ensure the group process remains focused. Coaching is not so old in Romania. I have personally heard about this concept in 2006 when Sir John Whitmore, the father of performance coaching held a conference.

Therefore, the idea and the necessity of group coaching appeared after the concept of coaching became more solid and reliable for team performance.

  1. Where is it most applicable (which type of organisations/teams/groups)?

It is most applicable in any organisations/teams or groups that want to strive in the business world, that wants to bring productivity, performance, motivation on board.

It can be used when you want to undertake a complete diagnosis of the team’s culture, using a specific diagnostic tool (I use sociological instruments from Human Synergistics to analyse the organisational culture).

It can be useful to coach a team on a specific process or to specify the team’s vision and long-term business mission. Or it can rapidly introduce the team to a needed collective skill (such as delegation, communication, active listening, time control, productivity).

Also, it can be used to define measurable operational team goals for six months/one year or to make a team 360% inventory (here I collaborate with Hogan Personality Assessment tools).

  1. What tools are mostly used for team coaching?

I will state briefly some of the team coaching tools. One of them is “triangulation” which is a behavioural tool that consists in implementing behaviours that will create fluidity in all team interactions.

“Geography management” permits a good overview of the team members’ collective configuration. This geographical positioning of the team members in a meeting context offers a number of indicators that reveal the team’s “real” way of interaction.

“The equal time principle” means to adopt the same stance with all team members, very important tool in this team process. As well as finding commitment indicators, because of the focuses of team coaching concerns the degree of commitment team members have and display towards their team as a system and towards their results. As examples of indicators I use time management indicators, energy management indicators, ethics management indicators.

Let’s not forget the classic tools for coaching, that can be applied successfully in team coaching too: The GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) model, The LIFT (Listen, Identify, Facilitate, Test) Coaching Plan, STEPPA (Subject, Target, Emotion, Perception, Plan) model.

  1. Team coaching. Please list a few benefits for:
  2. Clients: Clients receive diverse forms of feedback and feedforward resulting in more diverse views, opinions and perspectives; get more support and networking; along with getting coached, clients develop core skills in coaching too.
  3. Organisations: It is often much easier to have more people get coached and do so more quickly across the organisation; group coaching can be much less expensive and it is much easier to use it for organisational development because effective organisation development always gets done by teams rather than by individuals.
  4. Coaches: You as a coach use extensively your observation and listening skills, your intuition, you gain strategic competence to know how and when to progressively introduce a new frame and you get a lot of practice and experience.
  5. How soon can changes be seen by clients and organisations?

The timeline varies from one organisation to another. From my experience the changes can be seen in a time frame of three months up to six months if the group is committed to organisation improvement.

  1. Team coaching vs. Individual coaching. Why & When to favour one against the other?

This choice is made according to the size of the organisation. It is obvious that when you have a small organisation, it is needed the individual coaching because you can choose the managers you believe that must get coached, you set up business objectives and then the coaching process starts. Another way when you can use individual coaching is when you have newly appointed managers or persons that you identify that they have high potential for improvement.

Of course, when you have a large organisation, with various layers of management, team coaching are more challenging. Using group coaching you can improve faster organisational development.

  1. Our readers like Success/inspiring Stories. And so do we. Please tell us one/two success stories that you had with your clients with the use of team coaching.

One of my success stories is with a client (a production company) which was passing a period of massive change (they were sold to a bigger company). Their need was to stay accountable to be a great asset and to have high productivity in the production. Therefore, I worked for 3 months with the top management team (12 representatives at that time) and had several group coaching meetings. During this period, they managed to increase their productivity, they remained accountable for selling and they became a stronger management team with great communication and with high commitments.

  1. Romania vs. World. From your perspective, is there any difference in team coaching between Romanian market and the international one? If yes, which main differences do you see, in terms of organisations/clients’ attitude and behaviour?

From my perspective, there is no much difference in the team coaching done in Romania and the one done at the international level. We use similar methods and Romanian coaches are well trained as other international coaches. The difference that I perceive is at the level of how organisations behave in Romania and how their attitude is so much different than in other countries. In Romania we need to be more proactive and to ask for help when our organisation needs improvement (to ask for individual and group coaching) and not to procrastinate and lose time waiting for the problems to be solved. Your people, well coached, will solve any issues, so my kind advice is to invest in coaching programs for performance.

  1. Challenges that team coaches can face when working with conservative clients and ways to overcome them.

Lack of commitment is one of the challenges in team coaching. One way to overcome this is to help the team members to find their meaning and their purpose in what they are doing as a team. Like this they will be motivated and willing to put in the hard yards to achieve their team’s goal.

Procrastination is another one. One of the best ways teams can work around this stumbling block is to break their common goal down into manageable sizes – mini goals. They should then create a timeline that clearly states when their mini goals should be achieved. How do you eat an elephant? Piece by piece!

Lack of direction is another challenge with many clients. When a group has little idea of what they want to achieve, it can be quite challenging for a coach to assist the group to discover what they want out of their group coaching relationship.

  1. Three (3) Recommendations for Managers and Team Leaders to create and maintain successful teams.

My three recommendations for managers and team leaders to create great teams are:

  1. Know all your team members very well: their personality, their dreams, their limits, their motivation.
  2. Define clear roles and responsibilities: I observed that this is a major issue inside teams and it is much easier to clarify these than to reach business results.
  • Learn to offer feed forward: In my book “Why You Should Put Yourself First” (you can find it on my blog www.mihaelastroe.com) I dedicate a whole chapter to the art of feed forward, how to offer it, why to offer it. Very simply put: rather than providing positive or negative feedback, feed forward consists in providing future-oriented options or solutions.

About Cristina Nicoleta BurcaCristina Nicoleta Burca

Cristina has contributed to the iCN magazine since 2014, by interviewing coaches around the world to shed a light in this fascinating personal and professional development field. Cristina worked as a journalist in Romania (2006-2008) and then moved to Brussels to work in EU affairs. After an international journey in PR, taking her from Germany to Malaysia, she is now working with a EU agency based in Poland.

 

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