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Four Roles and Outcomes of a Highly Effective Team Coach

If your team is suffering from an absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and/or inattention to results, then team coaching could be a solution for you.

If you’ve ever been on a corporate retreat involving scary “trust falls” that left you considering your colleagues in a less-than-trustful light, I have good news: There are better ways to become a productive team.

Team coaching is a form of evidence-based organizational work, not vague “team building.”

We all want to work on, or lead, a team that operates like a team should (and if you want a building block, having a Team Innovation Workshop is a great first step!), but if your team is suffering from an absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and/or inattention to results, then team coaching could be a solution for you.


Previously, we have discussed the difference between team coaching and group coaching and the different skills needed to transfer the benefits of coaching from the individual level to the team level.


Now, I want to talk about why team coaching is transformative in a unique way, and how it differs from team building and facilitation.


Part of the change I have witnessed in organizations all over the world is a transition to team-based structures in order to gain competitive advantage in the knowledge economy. While teams have huge advantages, this transition brings with it a new set of challenges. All relationships take work and in a team setting those complexities can present roadblocks.


When coaching teams, a coach inhabits at least four explicit roles:

  1. Advisor

  2. Educator

  3. Catalyzer

  4. Assimilator

Each of these roles is pointed towards a specific outcome:

  • Team coordination

  • Team learning

  • Team cohesion

  • Team transition

Team coordination is the foundation of a successful team. The team must clarify its roles, performance tasks and how it interacts. The team needs to define what high performance will look like, including tasks and structure.


Team learning and team cohesion are the next steps and a good coach can be an essential part of these two pieces because cohesion means working through conflict negotiation, problematic group dynamics and confusing organizational hierarchies. A strong coach can help a team navigate this in order to become that high performing team it envisions and needs.


The final step is transitioning a team to a place where its members operate as high performers who know their roles, can recognize their achievements and can synthesize what they have learned through the process.


When I see teams operating at low efficiency and low performance, I see the opportunity for a team of high performers who work together, hold each other accountable and achieve intended results.


A facilitator or team builder might have a portion of these roles or results in mind, but for maximum effectiveness team coaches shape and shift their roles for specific outcomes.



About the Author

Dr. Laura L. Hauser, MCC, MCEC

Founder, Leadership Strategies International


Dr. Laura Hauser, MCC, MCEC, works with organizational leaders and their teams (and the professionals who support them) to build healthy workplace cultures. She is an internationally-recognized thought leader and researcher in the highly specialized space of team coaching. Using art and science, she teaches, coaches, supervises and consults in a way that expands mindsets and capabilities needed to navigate through disruption. Laura has been honored for her contributions to the coaching profession. She is the developer of the Team Coaching Operating System®, an ACSTH coaching school accredited by the International Coach Federation. Contact Laura by email or on LinkedIn


When referencing this material, please acknowledge the source: ©2020 Dr. Laura L. Hauser, MCC, www.leadership-strategies.com

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