Developing Team Performance


Teams in organisations such as Southwest Airlines or sports teams such as John Wooden’s basket ball teams at UCLA in the 1960s and more recently Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers have reached top levels of performance over extended periods. They are the exception more than the rule as approaches to team work can be erratic and inconsistent. Targeted and focused coaching as performed by John Wooden and Bill Walsh as well as some corporate leaders and executive coaches can be a powerful help.

Through research of corporate and sports coaching as well as my executive coaching practice, I have found the following conditions as critical to a team’s success:

  • A clear ambition defined and agreed by all team members
  • An understanding of the wider relationships influencing the team and that the team influences
  • Placing the interest of the team before individual interests
  • Uncompromising accountability to each other
  • The ability to deliver and grow through conflicts and differences
  • A collective eagerness to learn, improve and adapt

I coach teams to create and sustain these conditions.

 
 

When is team coaching relevant


Here are some of the contexts in which team coaching can be particularly impactful:

  • Creation of a new team: help the team to quickly articulate its ambition, gain influence and credibility with key stakeholders
  • Post restructuring or acquisition: enable the team to raise to the challenge of change by aligning the vision, goals and working habits
  • Underperforming team: raise individual and collective awareness to enable the team to deliver performance through conflict and differences
  • Silo mentality: engage the team to define a common purpose, a strategy to deliver and a process to monitor progress
  • New market challenges: foster creativity and agility by boosting collective confidence and engaging differently with stakeholders

“When the wind of change blows, some people build walls and others build windmills”
– a Chinese Proverb


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