Focus on Coaching: Phil Hayes offers expert team coaching

Phil HayesPhil Hayes has over 20 years of experience in coaching and team development. He is the executive director of London-based training and coaching company Management Futures. Phil spoke to me about team coaching and how it can help project teams.
Phil, I have heard of coaching individuals and I can see how that could be extended to a functional team that works together. Project teams are often together for a short time. How can coaching work in this environment?
The faster it takes to agree on how to work, the less connected the team will likely be. It is more important for teams that are not closely connected. It is important to establish ground rules and protocols early in the process to ensure that the team works together.
This includes the team ethos as well as acceptable interpersonal behaviors, which can cause friction.
Line management responsibility for team members is rarely given to project managers. This can help or hinder team coaching.
It is easier to work with the team on communication and values issues when the project manager is not the direct manager. Coaching project teams is about aligning the team as quickly as possible.
Project teams allow individuals to bring in the interests of their organization or from outside organizations. This can make the politics and dynamics of the project team more complicated.
The whole system is present in the room with the individual members. It’s not like working in a team without regular contact and achieving long-term goals. Coaching is essential to help team members get the best from each other and manage conflicts.
Yes, people can bring a lot of baggage to the project team. This sounds difficult to manage. Are project managers equipped to handle these challenges?
Sometimes they aren’t! Sometimes project managers can benefit from individual coaching. They are often skilled technical experts but have poor leadership and people skills.
What should you consider if you are interested in team coaching?
It is best to have experience in at least one of the following areas: 1 to 1 executive coaching or training, organizational development consultancy, facilitation, facilitation, and facilitation. It is preferable to have a background in more than one of the above areas.
This probably excludes a lot project managers. It’s a smart idea to hire experts because you can see the potential damage that could be done if a team coaching intervention fails to go according to plan. How did you get there?
It’s called osmosis. Over time, I began working with teams, providing team building, facilitation, and training. Teams began asking me to work with them. While you need to establish a reputation in these areas, there is no clear career path. In a sense you must look for the work.
What should I do if I want to find a qualified, experienced coach to help my project team?
You need someone who has a track record and can show you through examples and case studies the benefits of team coaching. You should ask for references. It is also important to feel confident in their credibility.
Although it is subjective, it is a combination personal impact and track records. They should be easy to deal with and should speak about practical outcomes, not theory. It is a very practical discipline. My teams want results, not rhetoric. Therefore, I look for someone who is grounded and practical.
Okay, let’s say that I have found the perfect team coach. How can I convince my Project Sponsor that he/she should pay?
It all depends on the sponsor! Although there isn’t much research on team coaching and organizations like CIPD have done some research on the effectiveness of different interventions, there is not much. Talk to someone who has experienced team coaching and can share their experiences. Talk to someone else if that fails.