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Team Coaching: The Question that Started it All

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

When working with executive coaching clients, I often hear, “This has been incredibly helpful. Can you also coach my team?”

If you are like me when I started receiving this type of request more than 18 years ago, then you have a depth of business experience and education about building successful teams, yet no specific training about how to coach them.

You are not alone.

I decided to focus my Ph.D. research on team coaching because little knowledge existed at that time. I’m glad to share a few of the key things I learned having thought deeply about the stories from the master coaches I interviewed, the literature I reviewed about teams, and my experience working with teams over the decades:

  • Coaching work teams vs. coaching individuals is significantly more complex than coaching individuals due to systemic and other factors.

  • Coaching work teams requires a broader base of knowledge, skills, and competencies, such as those related to team performance, group dynamics, stages of team development, systems, team structure and design (just to name a few).

  • Coaches dynamically shift the shape of their roles — commissioner (formerly called the advisor), educator, catalyzer and assimilator — at different times in the moment and during the phases of the team coaching engagement.

  • The effect of working with the team and its larger organizational system is greater than coaching only an individual or only one part of the system, thus creating leverage.

As a result of my journey, new frameworks and resources have been published and put to practical use by leaders, and professionals who support them, and their teams. For example, I created a new team coaching framework called "Shape-Shifting" (Hauser, 2012, 2013) and the Team Coaching Operating System™ (TCOS) to help leaders and other professionals navigate the complex and often messy landscape of working with teams.

I’m glad to share an additional resource with you that you can apply right away. Enjoy listening to Dr. Krister Lowe interviewing me in this podcast, The Shape-Shifting Team Coaching Model: Mastering 4 Essential Roles.


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,

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