Systemic Team Coaching

Outside of the team sports, team coaching is a relatively new but rapidly developing area. The team, not an individual contributor, is the main unit of an organisation when it comes to the organisational results and effectiveness. 

Systemic Team Coaching


In earlier days, team coaching assumed that team effectiveness is the direct outcome of its individual members' effectiveness and of the interpersonal dynamics between and among them.  Therefore, coaching focused on individual personalities, team building and interpersonal relationships within a team.

The latest research and practice have highlighted that teams form in response to the needs of key stakeholders, and are an integral part of an organisational system and a wider eco-system outside of the organisation. Systemic Team Coachin sees a team as part of a wider system, and offers not only an internal, but also external view of the team, and brings different accents into the coaching work. For example, it claims that it is not the team that creates its mission and vision, but mission and vision is what creates the team. 

We start the work with performing a team diagnostics on the 5 Disciplines for Team Effectiveness. The results of the diagnostics forms the basis of the following work of a coach with the team.  

5 Disciplines for Team Effectiveness*

1. Meeting Stakeholder Expectations

For your team to be successful you need a clear directive on what is required from the stakeholders you serve. This includes a clear purpose and defined success criteria by which your performance as a team will be assessed. It will be for your primary stakeholder (individual/team/group that the team report into) to define your primary commission and for you to negotiate the final terms. In addition, your other stakeholders (peers, teams, reports, clients, customers and suppliers) will have an influence on how you as a team are expected to perform and the way your success will be measured.

2. Fulfilling Team Tasks Effectively

Having ascertained what your stakeholders require, you need to jointly clarify how you will execute it. To be effective, you have to create a collective endeavour that is both challenging/compelling/ rewarding and can only be achieved by all of you working together. Description of roles and processes also falls into this discipline. 


3. Building Collaborative Team Relationships

This discipline focuses on how to achieve more as a collective unit rather than as separate individuals. This requires you to maximise the different skills, experiences, specialisms and styles within your team so you can generate new thinking and actions for the benefit of your stakeholders.

4. Connecting Well With Stakeholders

Your team will only make a difference to the organisation when you collectively connect and engage with all your stakeholders. These stakeholders need to be managed effectively in order to achieve your purpose, objectives and commission.


5. Becoming a Learning Team

If you as a team are to make the best of your skills and resources you need to take time to reflect on your individual and joint performance. You need to review what you are collectively learning from your successes and failures and how you can use this learning to enhance your performance in the future.

* "Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership" by Peter Hawkins, Henley Business School