The experience and impact of team coaching: a dual case study

Catherine Carr and Jacqueline Peters

Team coaching is a relatively new phenomenon in the business world and there has been minimal research conducted on the experience of participants undergoing team coaching. Some of the recent writings on team coaching are more practice based and grounded in face validity rather than solid research. There is even less written on leadership team coaching.

This is a dual case analysis of two independent case studies based on actual leadership teams operating in two contexts; one government and one corporate team. Each researcher was an external coach and implemented a similar evidence based team coaching intervention with her respective team. The researchers provide a comprehensive review of the team coaching literature to date. They assessed team coaching readiness, and conducted pre-assessments using the Team Diagnostic Survey, a style instrument, and interviews. Each team received coaching over a period of six to eleven months from one of the coaches, followed by semi-structured interviews conducted by the other researcher.

This study adds to the literature with a comparison between the two case studies to document what participants identified as critical turning points, outcomes, and least and most valuable elements in the team coaching. The findings indicated that both teams identified overall improvements in team effectiveness as a result of the coaching. Specifically, both teams discussed improvements in collaboration and productivity, relationships, personal learning and change, communication and participation, and impact beyond their own leadership teams. Both teams identified valuable elements in the coaching, which included the coach’s manners and actions, a team launch, coaching structure and follow-up, team leader modelling and support, and various other specific coaching assessments and activities.

The researchers propose a new high performance team coaching model for leaders and team coaches that incorporates these findings and those of other team effectiveness and team coaching authors.

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