April 5, 2024

Team-Based Coaching is on the Rise. Should You Consider it?

Article summary: Yes, you should consider it.

Job uncertainty, poorly managed mass layoffs, return-to-office mandates, and A.I. threats all help explain the falling levels of trust between employees and organizations. It’s no wonder that smart businesses and leaders are trying to re-energize their teams or build new teams who are motivated and feel greater levels of connection to themselves and to their organizations.

Switched-on leaders have begun looking at ways address these issues at their team level. I've written about re-building team purpose here and driving cross-functional skills here.

Another tool to consider is Team-Based Coaching.

One study found that less than 10% of executive coaching today is team-based but 76% of organizations said they were expecting to see an increase in team coaching over the coming years. While investments in 1-on-1 coaching are also rising, team coaching investments are rising faster.

What is Team Coaching?

Team coaching involves a collective approach aimed at enhancing the overall performance of a team. Unlike individual coaching, which concentrates on personal growth, team coaching focuses on the group as a cohesive unit.

I like this description from a HBS article published earlier this year:

The team-coaching approach encourages team members to go beyond their roles and understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. Members are encouraged to build stronger relationships themselves, not just one-on-one with their manager. They’re also challenged to sharpen their collaboration skills, to hone their ability to collectively take ownership of and solve business challenges, and to address any team-related issues that may arise. The approach creates an environment of agency and accountability, with a healthy balance between challenges and support.


This approach integrates various strategies and methodologies to foster collaboration, communication, and synergy among team members. Here are a few common topics covered:

  • Recognizing communication gaps and proposing alternative approaches.
  • Educating teams on effective performance strategies and tactics.
  • Collaborating with individuals who may impede group progress.
  • Capitalizing on individuals' strengths to mitigate weaknesses in others.
  • Collaborating with team leaders to uphold best management practices.

For customer-focused teams, topics also include:

  • Messaging and objection handling.
  • Collaborating across teams to enhance the customer experience.
  • Pipeline building & reducing customer churn.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • Enhancing sales ecosystems.

How NOT to do Team Coaching.

If you’ve got a dysfunctional team, simply throwing them into a team-based coaching environment right away may make things worse and not better.

One approach is to conduct 1-on-1 coaching first to get individuals used to the process and to let them know in advance that group sessions will be happening. This will also help the coach better understand the individuals on the team and help structure specific needs of the group.

Also, if the team leader who is not fully on board and willing to drive a team coaching initiative, it will likely fail. The team leader will make or break this initiative.

How to measure Team Coaching.

Measuring progress will depend on the topics chosen. For more elusive topics including team purpose, leaders can look at employee engagement, staff turnover or specific types of productivity.

For sales teams, as one example, improved messaging, objection handling and lead progression within CRMs can all be measured. Customer satisfaction surveys as well as team turnover can all also be useful metrics to review the effectiveness of your efforts.

I've found sales teams frequently need to start with defining or redefining their team purpose because without this, the effectiveness of the team will be compromised.

Want more information on this topic?

I am currently rolling out a team assessment tool that will help identify areas teams should prioritize as they look to re-energize and enhance their team performance. Reach out to me if you'd like to be part of the free beta test phase or if you'd like to discuss this topic further!


For those of you who do not know me, I build sales pipelines and develop leadership training programs that help companies increase channel business across regions and prepare next-gen leaders for tomorrow's global threats and #hybridwork opportunities.

I wrote a book about the lessons learned, good, bad and ugly, when expanding into foreign markets called The Accidental Business Nomad: A Survival Guide for Working Across a Shrinking Planet. It looks at the hyper-globalization era over the last few decades and the lessons learned about working across cultures. It won the Axiom Business Book Award and has been translated into traditional Chinese.

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