The Practitioner's Handbook of Team Coaching
eBook - ePub

The Practitioner's Handbook of Team Coaching

David Clutterbuck, Judie Gannon, Sandra Hayes, Ioanna Iordanou, Krister Lowe, Doug MacKie, David Clutterbuck, Judie Gannon, Sandra Hayes, Ioanna Iordanou, Krister Lowe, Doug MacKie

  1. 534 Seiten
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

The Practitioner's Handbook of Team Coaching

David Clutterbuck, Judie Gannon, Sandra Hayes, Ioanna Iordanou, Krister Lowe, Doug MacKie, David Clutterbuck, Judie Gannon, Sandra Hayes, Ioanna Iordanou, Krister Lowe, Doug MacKie

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Über dieses Buch

The world's challenges are becoming more and more complex and adapting to those challenges will increasingly come from teams of people innovating together.

The Practitioner's Handbook of Team Coaching provides a dedicated and systematic guide to some of the most fundamental issues concerning the practice of team coaching. It seeks to enhance practice through illustrating and exploring an array of contextual issues and complexities entrenched in it. The aim of the volume is to provide a comprehensive overview of the field and, furthermore, to enhance the understanding and practice of team coaching. To do so, the editorial team presents, synthesizes and integrates relevant theories, research and practices that comprise and undergird team coaching. This book is, therefore, an invaluable specialist tool for team coaches of all levels; from novice to seasoned practitioners. With team coaching assuming an even more prominent place in institutional and organizational contexts nowadays, the book is bound to become an indispensable resource for any coaching training course, as well as a continuing professional development tool.

This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in coaching, in both practice and educational settings. It will be of use not only for professional coaches, but also for leaders, managers, HR professionals, learners and educators, in the business, public, independent and voluntary sectors.

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Part I

Theories, models
and research

1 Constructive-developmental theory

A lens for team coaching
Sandra Hayes and Nancy Popp
Constructivism and developmentalism have been the two “big ideas” influencing almost every facet of intellectual life for over a century (Kegan, 1982). Thus, constructive-developmental theory (CDT) (Kegan, 1980, 1982, 1994; Popp & Portnow, 2001) brings together these two essential lines of human development: (1) constructivism, the notion that individuals construct their reality through their engagement with their social and environmental surround, i.e., that they create meaning from their experience; and (2) developmentalism, the notion that this process of meaning-constructing evolves through qualitatively different stages of increasing complexity. The combination of these ideas can add a new depth of understanding to the process and practice of team coaching.
As people go about the business of constructing their reality within their social environments, two competing urges—for autonomy and for connection—create a kind of tension that speaks to a life within its surrounding dynamic environment (Kegan, 1982; McGuigan & Popp, 2017). This is consistent with the idea of autopoiesis (Maturana & Varela, 1972), a self-regulating system through which living organisms inevitably and constantly create and recreate themselves in their ongoing interaction with a changing external environment. This process ensures the maintenance of autonomy and identity, even—and especially—in the face of constant change. Our ongoing process of meaning-making is this autopoietic process: the increasing complexity of the meaning we make in and of our lives is intimately linked with our increasingly complex engagement in our social environments (McGuigan & Popp, 2017).
Following this line of thinking, it is our view that we cannot understand a team—a dynamic social environment—without also understanding the individuals who constitute the team—and vice versa. As we discuss the insights that constructive-developmental theory (a theory of “individual-in-context” development) can bring to team coaching, then, we will necessarily be talking about this mutually constructive relationship.
The main reason to invest in team coaching is to improve performance (Clutterbuck, 2007), and diverse perspectives within a team have been established as an important variable for sharpening team performance (Rock, Grant, & Grey, 2016). While diversity may be a critical factor in team performance, even more fundamental to what makes a group of individuals a team is what they have in common. Teams are comprised of individuals who commit to a set of goals and who are dependent on each other to use complementary skills to achieve those goals (Clutterbuck, 2007; Hackman, 1990).
The team’s ability to reap the benefits of its diversity, while also being able to harness the benefits of a shared direction, is one of the most important tensions teams must navigate to bolster their performance. This tension illuminates a potential of team coaching, especially when workplaces are envisaged as dynamic contexts where people construct meaning from their experiences. Just as individuals are susceptible to the psychosocial contexts that hold them (Kegan, 1982, 1994), teams as a whole are also susceptible to their contexts. Being susceptible to these contexts represents the degrees to which individuals and teams are subject to or controlled by the conditions of the context. In order to optimize performance, teams cannot be ruled by the dynamics they are likely to experience while navigating their diversity. They cannot be so embedded in those dynamics that their choices for managing them are obscured. Individual team members have to be able to separate themselves enough from the tensions in their environment to see things with clearer eyes. They need to be able to climb the metaphorical mountain to be able to see what is going on around them.
The world needs high performing teams more than ever in a time when “it is harder to 
 get the distance to stand back, reflect and see the bigger picture” (Hawkins, 2014, p. 16). To navigate the unprecedented complexity teams face, Hawkins (2011, 2014) prescribes team coaching, defined as a “direct interaction with a team intended to help members make coordinated and task-appropriate use of their collective resources in accomplishing the team’s work” (Hackman & Wageman, 2005, p. 269). Team performance can be improved or inhibited by the way members make sense of their experiences. When informed by an understanding of the developmental continuum described by constructive-developmental theory, team coaching can be a vehicle for helping teams make choices that, without this lens, might not otherwise appear available.
Constructive-developmental theory claims that teams are a collection of diverse mindsets—mindsets being the distinct and unique logic systems with which adults make sense of their experience, as we describe below. Thus, how individual team members view and approach their tasks, goals, and relationship to the team, as well as its membership, will vary. The very notion of what it means to be a team member with a common purpose will be differently understood and acted on, according to individual mindsets. This will impact how the team, as a whole, responds to the tension that comes with leveraging diversity in service of improved performance and goal achievement.
It is important not only to understand the ways team members’ mindsets will vary but also how to work with people at their growing edges to help them navigate the complexities of teamwork. Each mindset has its boundary—a point beyond which it cannot yet see or comprehend. It is at these boundaries or edges where the possibility for growth lies. Since the goal for team coaching is to develop the team so that it can achieve and sustain high performance in a world that is increasingly uncertain and complex, teams and their members need to be able to foster their long-term growth and competence (Laske, 2003). That is, teams and their members need to develop increasing capacities to step back to see the bigger picture to tackle new challenges as they emerge. For teams, tackling new challenges requires a balance between applying what is known and being open to discovering what it does not yet know to be useful (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017).
Wageman and Lowe (2016) declared the “right people” on a team are essential for team effectiveness. By right people on a team, they mean people with the necessary skills, as well as a mix of diverse perspectives. They warn, however, that having the right people will not guarantee productive teamwork. They note that while diverse mindsets can promote creative thinking and problem-solving, they can also be the source of dysfunctional conflict. Team coaching can help with this, according to Skiffington and Zeus (2000), who contend that it facilitates problem-solving and conflict management. Clutterbuck (2006, 2007, 2013) agrees, asserting that team coaching can surface and even diffuse hidden conflict. According to him, conflict is necessary for high performance. Moreover, he argues, team coaching can facilitate higher quality communication and can provide the team with the tools and skills needed to manage conflict and improve its performance.
Hawkins (2014) asserts, “high-performing teams rise to the challenge of performing at more, rather than less, than the sum of their parts” (p. 25), but they will argue that they need the right sort of development, learning and support to do so. He also cites Clutterbuck (2007), Hackman and Wageman (2005) and Hawkins and Smith (2006, 2013), when making the case that team coaching is a vehicle for impacting collective team performance. Importantly, Hawkins (2014) cites Hackman and Wageman’s (2005) proposition that team coaching is “
 intended to help members 
 use their collective resources in accomplishing the team’s work” (p. 269). From this, Hawkins contends this is a clear indication that the whole team and not just team members is needed to help the team make best use of its resources.
Keller and Meaney (2017) asked more than 5,000 executives about their experiences on high performing teams and found consistently that great teamwork was a critical element. Among other things, great teamwork was characterized by high-quality interaction, trust, open communication, and a willingness to embrace conflict. On teams comprised of diverse mindsets, embracing conflict can be challenging and elusive. Although team coaching may be able to help teams avoid the consequences of negative conflict and foster more positive conflict within the team (Clutterbuck, 2006), how the individuals on a team and the collective team internalize conflict will influence response. Therefore, we think it important to consider more closely how constructive-developmental theory can deepen our understanding of how to coach teams to engage conflict more effectively and constructively.

Constructive-developmental theory

Meaning-making is an essential human activity: “There is no feeling, no experience, no thought, no perception independent of a meaning-making context in which it becomes a feeling, an experience, a thought, a perception, because we are the meaning-making context” (Kegan, 1982, p. 11). As noted earlier, we make meaning in interaction with all of the various social environments in which we find ourselves. As we grow, our social environments become more numerous and more complex, requiring more complex interactions and thus more complex meaning-making from us.

Holding environments

Teams of any kind are “holding environments.” Winnicott (1965) described a holding environment when he said, “there is never just a baby;” but a baby within the mother-child dyad. Kegan (1982) built on this idea when he identified holding environments as those ongoing social contexts that shape who we are, what our values are, and what it means to be a good member of a team. The team, in turn, is shaped by our interactions and input. Holding environments impact our growth in important ways: they can help us continue to grow by both supporting and challenging the ways we currently make sense of our experience, or they can prevent us from growing by requiring that we remain loyal to their particular rules and values and threaten ostracization if we challenge or betray them. We might find ourselves in a team that values, above all else, consensus. We might find ourselves in a different team that values “mixing it up,” bringing in as many divergent points of view as possible. And we could find ourselves in yet another team that has a strong authoritarian leader where following the rules is of paramount importance. The assembly of individuals within any of these teams has a shaping influence on the explicit and implicit values of the membership.
We strive for diversity within a team, with the belief that diversity brings more ideas, more creativity, more options. Racial diversity, ethnic diversity, gender diversity, and religious diversity are some of the kinds of diversity we immediately think of. Developmental diversity can be as impactful as any of these but is rarely considered since it is largely unnoticed. Because the complexity with which a person makes sense of his or her experience has powerful implications for the ways he or she participates within a team, it is important to understand what it looks like and how to work with it.
We will turn now to a discussion of meaning-making and the implications for team coaching. We will look at the most common meaning-making systems or mindsets that we are likely to find within the makeup of any team, and the implications for team processes and coaching.

Meaning-making and the mindsets

CDT views development as the process of making increasingly complex meaning of an increasingly complex world (Kegan, 1982; Popp & Portnow, 2001). One of the most powerful, and misleading, assumptions many people hold about adulthood is that all adults have more or less the same capacity to take another’s perspective and momentarily set aside their own (Kegan, 1994). In this section, we will challenge that assumption by taking a look at the complexity and perspective-taking capacity of each mindset—the ways in which each mindset makes different meaning in interaction with the world, and thus creates a different world.
CDT descri...


Zitierstile fĂŒr The Practitioner's Handbook of Team Coaching

APA 6 Citation

[author missing]. (2019). The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching (1st ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2019)

Chicago Citation

[author missing]. (2019) 2019. The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching. 1st ed. Taylor and Francis.

Harvard Citation

[author missing] (2019) The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching. 1st edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

[author missing]. The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching. 1st ed. Taylor and Francis, 2019. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.