Coaching World Issue 7: August 2013 - Page 19

confidence and credibility in the coach and his or her approach. This is particularly important when providing coaching for individuals or organizations skeptical of the process. Additionally, many leaders who purchase team coaching have not used this service before and need to understand what it is and what it can do for them. The HPTC system builds on coaching skills and the ICF Core Competencies by providing an overarching framework for coaches to apply to team coaching. We frequently draw upon the work of longtime team effectiveness researcher Richard Hackman, who found that a striking 60 percent of team effectiveness comes from creating a strong initial team structure and design, 30 percent from an effective team launch, and 10 percent from ongoing team coaching. The HPTC system takes all of these factors into a ccount. Psychological Safety Psychological safety is at the center of the HPTC system because without it, no team shift is possible. We use the term psychological safety instead of trust because psychological safety can actually be measured via physiological signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate. We believe that trust is the outcome of an ongoing experience of feeling safe with others. Safety impacts every phase of team development, as well as team engagement, morale and performance. Team coaches create safety by modeling and fostering genuineness and openness. This helps the team do the same, leading to greater honesty and risk-taking. Define and Initiate Because 60 percent of effectiveness derives from the beginning of a task or business cycle, the HPTC system emphasizes this stage. This “define and initiate” stage includes three phases: assessment, coaching for team design and the team launch. Assessment It’s difficult to know whether team coaching is the right intervention until the assessment phase is complete. A team-coaching readiness assessment can be used to make this determination. If the team is ready for coaching, the focus can shift to assessing team performance, with an eye toward what the team must do for maximum success and efficiency. There are many team assessments on the market, so when making your selection think about which assessment will target what your client is most concerned about and foster productive dialogue. Team Structure and Design Team Coaching Readiness Assessment SAMPLE QUESTIONS Does everyone know and agree on who is on the team? Do you have the number of team members that you need—no more and no less? (Several researchers have indicated that five to 10 members is the ideal team size.) Do you have the best mix of team members (knowledge, skills, talent) to achieve the team purpose? Do you expect the team membership to be relatively stable during the team coaching period? Do you have a compelling purpose for the team? Do you have goals that require all team members to participate in their success? Does the team meet regularly? Are there any team members who have performance issues that need to be addressed first or separately? Does the team have the resources required to achieve their goals? Time Money Information Does the team have clear working agreements/norms for how people work together? How motivated is the leader to engage in team coaching (low to high)? Not engaged Somewhat engaged Highly engaged Are team members motivated to engage in team coaching? Is there support from the leadership outside of the team (i.e., the leader’s leader) to engage in team coaching? Is the team able and willing to dedicate time to achieve the coaching goals? Does the team know how to define and/or measure success? Are there potential obstacles that might get in the way of the team participating in coaching? If so, what are they? © Peters & Carr, 2013 High Performance Team Coaching System Template As seen in Coaching World, August 2013. Download a sample Team Coaching Readiness Assessment at If the team is not ready for coaching it is usually because there are significant team structure and design issues that need to be addressed first. Hackman and fellow team effectiveness researcher Ruth Wageman outlined six conditions critical to team structure and design: 1. A real team with clear membership and boundaries. 2. A compelling direction or purpose to guide the team’s work. 3. The right people with the knowledge, skill and experience to perform the team’s requisite work. 4. A solid team structure of fewer than ten members who have a clear set of norms and agreements to guide how they get their work done. 5. A supportive organizational context that provides the information, time and resources to do their work. 6. Competent team coaching to help the team grow individually and as a unit, either provided internally from a team member or provided by an external coach or consultant. If any of these conditions are misaligned, it can result in interpersonal conflict. Some team structure and design needs are best addressed during initial sessions between the coach and team leader; other issues can be worked on by the whole team. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE > Coaching World | August 2013 19