From Refinement to Alignment: 4 Benefits of Partnering with a Team Development Coach

You would be hard pressed to find a successful leader today who doesn’t understand the value of effective teamwork. Yet, even with the experts in agreement that high-performing teams drive greater efficiency and contribute to a healthier bottom-line, 91% of organizations either have no team development strategy or one that is in early stages of development according to Training magazine. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters of companies admit they’re not investing enough time and budget for team development.

If you review the feedback of C-suite leaders, the repercussion of this widespread inaction is clear. In a ThinkWise survey of more than 100 senior executives from organizations across America, a staggering 59% said they believe their internal team is underperforming.

Although many companies and leaders began embracing individualized coaching as a tool long ago, team development is only recently surging in popularity as executives who have experienced significant gains from one-on-one coaching are becoming increasingly interested in expanding those benefits to their teams. And while both the goals and the outcomes of all coaching engagements are unique to the needs of the participants, below are four common benefits that you can expect to gain by partnering with a team development coach:

Heightened Goal Alignment & Achievement
It’s only logical that effective teamwork would require clear and shared objectives; however, that’s not always reflected in the reality of the workplace. When asked by Harvard Business Review to identify the single greatest challenge to executing their company’s strategy, 40% of respondents cited “failure to align”. Too often, high-potential teams fail simply because their efforts are being wasted on tasks that aren’t driving toward a mutual and purposeful goal. The right team development coach will be able to identify and eliminate such costly misalignments, not only bringing clarity to a team’s mission, but also increasing both individual and team accountability by putting into place well-defined targets and the right measurement tools to track progress along the way.

More Effective Communication
Communication is the undisputed cornerstone of teamwork, and as Harvard Business Review outlined, “The best way to build a great team is not to select individuals for their smarts or accomplishments, but to learn how they communicate and to shape and guide the team so that it follows successful communication patterns.” Unfortunately, human resource departments are traditionally structured to recognize, guide, and correct the behavior of individuals, leaving teams to fend for themselves when it comes to developing strong communication strategies. A leadership team coach, on the other hand, is an expert at assessing how team members’ collective behaviors are positively or negatively impacting success. Based on key findings, the coach will work to break down barriers, expose strengths and weaknesses, and increase vulnerability and trust—all of which will enable stronger communication and ultimately drive greater output.

Shared Responsibility & Accountability
Today’s complex marketplace is rampant with change, and as a result, organizations, leaders, and teams are all required to be more agile than ever. To remain relevant, companies must be able to seize new opportunities quickly, stay abreast of industry advances, and drive toward increasingly aggressive goals. A fast-paced environment can be highly exciting, but also highly stressful to compete in, and to remain successful long-term, the responsibility to keep an organization driving forward can’t fall entirely on the individual at the helm. As Forbes explains, “For leaders who are themselves struggling to keep pace with rapid change and overwhelming demands on their time, having a team who can keep pace with them is more important than ever. That’s why leadership coaching is expanding and team coaching makes increasingly more sense.”

Sustainable Leadership Changes
Many organizations aim to boost team performance by integrating new training programs, swapping in new team members, or even planning morale-boosting events like team outings and company picnics. However, these activities typically fall short of creating a lasting impact, as you simply can’t expect sustainable changes to come from efforts that mask or distract from the real issues at hand rather than confront them. Conversely, team development coaching is focused on providing a framework to tackle real business challenges and drive impactful long-term results. As explained by Team Coaching International, “Coaching works because it actively, intentionally, and consciously helps teams and team members integrate new practices over time. [It’s] effective because it works on the underlying abilities that deliver the visible results.” Essentially, it’s choosing to invest in a long-term development strategy instead of a short-term distraction.

So what does all this mean?
Similar to one-on-one executive coaching, leadership team coaching should never be thought of as a last resort for underperformers. Rather, it should be recognized and respected as a proactive development strategy that can serve to benefit nearly all teams and organizations by driving toward both improved team dynamics and sustained revenue growth. Click here for pdf.

Is your organization’s leadership team performing to its fullest potential? At RRG, our certified management coaches are experts at providing executive teams with the facilitation and the tools required to build cohesiveness, promote effective team performance, and ultimately drive positive business results. To learn more, give us a call today at 708.738.5040, or visit our website at RRGExec.com