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Team Coaching FAQs

What is team coaching?

Team coaching provides real-time, direct, and ongoing support to each member of the team in light of the team’s objectives while cultivating an environment of trust and shared purpose. 


Why should I hire a team coach? The relationships within our team are already solid.

Having strong relationships in the team is important, but it’s not the only driving factor of team performance. The purpose of a coach is to help you and your team see its blindspots so it can grow and perform better. Common blindspots are:

  • Absence of trust
  • Unclear purpose
  • Disengagement
  • Unequal work distribution (I.e. Social loafing)
  • Unclear team membership
  • Imperfect decision making

 
What’s the difference between team coaching and, say, team facilitation, team consulting, team training, or even team building?

Think of it this way...

  • consultant conducts an assessment and then recommends the best path forward.
    • Example: “Your team is dysfunctional and this is what I recommend you do…”
  • facilitator guides a conversation along a predisposed path (oftentimes as a method of teaching) toward a specific goal.
    • Example: “Let’s talk about the next session you’ll be doing which is identifying your team’s decision-making process. Let me first remind you of what it entails and then walk through the process of what it looks like.
  • trainer provides education with the expectation that you will apply what you learn.
    • Example: “I’ve just shown you how alignment works so break up into your teams and map out your next steps.”
  • team builder takes you and your team to an offsite for a day or two, sprays everybody with cold water for 24 hours, and calls them a team (that’s me being facetious. Team building offsites can work, they just don’t most of the time because there’s no clear implementation plan thereafter).
    • Example: “Okay everybody, interlock your arms and wait for Sally to fall.”
  • coach builds upon the conversations and social dynamics of the team in real-time so the team becomes more aware of how each member “shows up” and how it impacts the team.
    • Example: “What do you notice about how the team is communicating?” “What do you sense about the group right now?”

What does a team coaching engagement look like?

Team coaching lasts between four and 12 months, depending on the size of the team and scope of work. Meetings take place in person once a month for a team coaching session. Virtual options are available although certain metrics won't be available.

 
Will this be yet another meeting I have to attend?

No. We will use your existing meeting schedule to optimize the time you spend with the team.

 
What do the sessions look like?

In each session, I’ll focus on a number of intangibles, such as (not an all-inclusive list):

 • Tasks. Is the team making progress toward its stated objective? I'll help your team clarify how it will achieve its mission.

 • Social dynamics. The social exchange between team members plays an extremely critical part in the team’s progress. I'll help you identify behavior patterns that help and/or hinder team performance.

 • Communication. Oftentimes what goes unsaid is more important than what is. I"ll help you identify these non-verbal cues and address any challenges.

 • Decision making. How are decisions made? What decision style is the default and is it most effective for the situation? 

 • Emotion. Is the team comfortable expressing emotion and willing to separate the team’s focus from their focus? A healthy climate breeds healthy work. 


Will there be communication with the team leader outside of the monthly session?

Yes. We’ll take advantage of “downtime” between team coaching sessions by phone or email to ensure that the next session is on par with expectations.


How much does team coaching cost?

You’re not going to like this answer, but it depends. A number of factors play into the cost, such as:

  • Scope of work
  • Number of team members
  • Frequency of sessions
  • Timeline

Rough estimates range between $30,000 and $150,000. Of course, another question is, “What is the cost of not coaching your team toward improved performance?”


What I don’t do is charge by the hour, for two reasons:

1) It creates a win/lose relationship as there’s no incentive to finish work.

2) It makes time the commodity rather than performance and results

 
What results can I expect?

After the first session and in subsequent sessions, you’ll notice that the team’s focus is heightened as it shifts from how it used to function to how it should function. The team will be more cognizant of its behaviors and how (or if) they align with and support overall strategic objectives. The result is a team that shares a common purpose and works to achieve it with greater cohesion, greater shared awareness about social and emotional intelligence, and greater shared accountability.


How is your coaching different from, say, every other team coach out there?

I've seen both sides of the performance coin. Meaning, that I've worked with and been a part of extremely high-performing teams all my life and have also seen extremely low-performing teams and the intangibles that hold them back. No other team coach is going to have the same level of practical SEAL Team experience coupled with its business application.

How does your background as a SEAL going to help us?

We made decisions based on little guidance and even less information. We operated in a competitive landscape that was constantly changing. We had to build trust with outside units over which we didn’t have a federal mandate, and we had to lead by influence to align all parties around a shared purpose. More than anything, we had to work as a team because the performance of single team ultimately drove the overall success of the larger organization.

Is that any different than the demands placed upon you and your team?

I’m not into “soft stuff.” How will coaching improve my business?

Don’t worry, I’m not either. But the fact is, nobody achieves greatness on their own and the "soft stuff" is what enables the "hard stuff" like an increased bottom line, faster time to market, and greater productivity.


What’s it like to work with you? Are you going to make me do pushups?

No, not unless you want to or unless you've earned it (fitness is a privilege). In a nutshell, I'm candid, results-oriented, and listen intently, but also situationally aware enough to know when to prod and when not to. I believe that people prefer not to be pushed but rather pulled into doing things and discovering answers for themselves. 

 

Want to learn more? Contact me here.

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