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Team coaching

As a team leader or manager of several teams you sometimes encounter certain disruptions that negatively affect the effectiveness, atmosphere, mutual cooperation and performance of the team. For example, you notice gossip in small groups. Like-minded people seek out and strengthen each other. This is basically very natural behavior, because it ensures safety and recognition of your position, but it does not help to achieve the results that the team stands for. According to Patrick Lencioni, in his book The Five Frustrations of Teamwork, the five main causes of team failure are:

  1. A lack of confidence,
  2. Fear of conflict,
  3. Lack of involvement,
  4. Avoiding responsibility,
  5. Too little attention for the results of the team.

You may be trying to resolve conflicts by talking to team members, for example. A few employees are instructed to make the meetings run better and to organize pleasant team outings. All meant to turn the tide. However, if they fail to openly discuss the irritations as a team, they will flourish under the table. If the conflicts get in the way of team effectiveness or the health of team members, it is recommended to hire an independent team coach.

In addition to team coaching to neutralize conflicts, a team coach can also make a “healthy” team more effective and successful. In that case, a team coach will look at the effectiveness of the team, the development phase and, if necessary, carry out interventions to help the team further develop.

The benefits of team coaching are:
  • Mutual understanding between team members
  • Improved communication and collaboration
  • Clear focus on team goals and more "ownership"
  • Clear agreement on“team rules” (how do we deal with each other)
  • More effective team meetings
  • More job satisfaction
  • Better team performance
More about about the five frustrations of teamwork

A simple model that team coaches apply is the model of Patrick Lencioni who wrote a book about “The Five Dysfunctions of a team”. Lencioni’s model is built like a pyramid. Characteristic of a pyramid is that the underlying level must first be fully completed and secured before the next phase can be worked on.
The Five Dysfunctions of a team, Patrick Lencioni:

In practice, we see many managers who are too result-oriented in their approach and focus on the responsibilities of the team members and the final results. If the results are disappointing, it can be very frustrating for a manager to find that there is no significant improvement despite his efforts. In fact, too much pressure exacerbates the underlying problems. As paradoxical as it may sound, good results don’t come until enough work has been done on the soft, emotional human values.

Adrienne Madsen, Organisational psychologist and Coach | Dutch