(Team) Coaching philoshopy by Eneko Izquierdo
12th setember 2012
I have been fortunate to observe and learn from different coaches and somehow practicing what a coach has to be, I do not start from scratch, but it is also true that right now I feel like I should have done this reflection before.
Althougth there are basic and common charesterictics, each coach has a distinctive style of working with the teams. So I think that after my experience like a teampreneur in MinnTeam and as tandem-coach, it is important for me now to reflect on my coaching philoshopy:
Leading vs Coaching
At some moments it is not easy to distinguish the team-coaching from a particular leadership style. For me the coach is part of the team, but doesn´t play with the team or for the team (maybe it is not being part ¿?). Nor do I consider that it looks like a sports coach; team-coach does not define the tactics (how to play) and is not constantly correcting the movements of the teamplayers (what they do like a team and individuals).
Under my understanding, the teamcoach provides a playground and tools to enable the learning, teamworking, making decisions process, leadership positions development, and more. Definitely: help the team growing and encourage them to achieve their goals.
Up to you…Yes, but not at all
In many times is good not to answer all the questions that the temapreneurs do. They have to find their own way, make decision and make mistakes in order to trigger the process of learning. Although for sure the coach has a solution or at least his own opinion, is better not to give it and not say nothing or help with some guide questions. Mainly in the first levels.
The expression up to you will be used very often, but does it work always?
In my opinion, the teamcoach is the master of the whole learning process of the team, and he has to know what are the key aspects that the team has to do, see, experiment, and think about. In this case, I think that the up to you way doesn´t exist, and the coach has to be strict being your that the key steps and activities are done by the team and by each individivual.
How interfere in the process
Going further with the last reflection, as far as I have observed, the teamcoach has to interfere the process of learning in order to support it !! You are more than an observer. Coaching is something where you need to use your emotions and the skill of empathy, to listen the team and individuals in it. And after, draw a “plan” to move the team trough the path they are supposed to walk.
The teamcoach interfere in greater or lesser extent depending on the needs of the team at each moment or phase.
Interaction with the teamsters
Something important that I have learnt from my tandemcoach Kaisu, is that the coach needs to be real and genuinely in interaction with the teamsters but not to be too close to be able to maintain the objective view of the team and for the team to realize that coach is not part of the team but supporting them in their learning process.
Related with this. it is important the approach that like coaches we have with team. Although we are experts in some fields and we have a lot of experience, is not good the “expert approach” for the team. For sure that it is good to share istories, network, collaborate in projects, etc. They have not to see us like “the keepers of the truth”, creating a dependence between the team and the teamcach.
On top of everything, I think that in many times the coach have to be a learner. At the begining try to unlearn the most you can, and start learning everyday and keeping your mind open.
These are the main thoughts that came to my mind rigth now. I would like to share and talk about them during The Team Mastery Process.
Only to add something more, I think that is extremely important to be passionate. If a teamcoach is not excited and keen on leverage and support the team performance, he will not transmit too much. Emotions matter