Team Coaching

The Team Coaching profile samples, first, the balance of strategies for learning, second, the approach taken to developing others, and third, the role or roles through which that development is done. The four strategies are understanding, applying, exploring and observing.

The second group covers improving performance through showing others what to do, explaining the detail, giving practice, then polishing the results.

The final set assesses the roles of adviser, tutor, counsellor and mentor.

Preference Factors assessed by this Profile are:

Factor Name Description A Low Preference
indicates…
A High Preference
indicates
A.
Understand
We understand by forming a logical picture of events, perhaps using models or analogs, asking for clear explanations, asking incisive questions, and following those through step-by-step. A high score suggests active use of the mind in this way, while a low score suggests indifference to theories (no matter how valid) and principles. Takes subjects and situations at face value, without concern for underlying concepts or principles. Seeks clear explanations and a complete picture, explores for missing pieces, relates facts to each other. Examines concepts and principles to find their application.
B.
Apply
We apply ourselves by using practical involvement to see how things work and what happens through the interaction of people or physical parts. This includes hands-on learning for
tangible subjects such as working systems and processes, and the real-time practice of less tangible subjects such as spoken language or pure math.
Stays with existing methods, doesn’t adopt new approaches just because they seem to be effective, nor because they work for others. Tests practices and techniques to see what use they have, and what results are gained. Adopts successful methods, bringing change and innovation.
C.
Explore
We explore by going into unknown territory. People in this category tend to be younger, at least in outlook, less inclined to accept the status quo. With
most the novelty of new experiences fades, but some carry their enthusiasm for the new and untried through their lives. They tend to go into new situations spontaneously, just to see what it is like or what happens. They may never do the same thing twice, or use the same approach once their interest wanes.
Needs guidance or direction for new or unfamiliar subjects or situations, may not seek that out unless required to. Gets involved in new experiences spontaneously, ventures into fresh situations to see what happens, then decides how to make use of anything learnt.
D.
Observe
One observes by watching others and their activities, and reflecting on what is noticed. We all learn some behaviors by watching others and how they go about things. Sometimes we do this on a small scale. For example, we might watch how people relate to each other to see how we might best fit in. On a grand scale, country spies on country to learn the secrets of success. Accepts subjects and situations at face value, without searching for hidden meanings. Observes events, reflects on information gathered, looks for meaning, turning facts over to fit them together.
E.
Show
Degree to which we show how the whole thing works in practice, using whatever means you have available. This demonstrates that it can be done and allows onlookers to observe cause-and-effect relationships. The process may be broken down into segments and steps to simplify the display. This allows us to disclose detail that might otherwise be lost in the mass. Demonstrating a skill, behavior, process, product or service to others, may bring confusion through complexity or brevity. Demonstrates skills and behaviors so others can see the whole process and its effect. Breaks demonstrations down into parts to reveal the makeup of the process or product.
F.
Explain
Degree to which we explain as much as is needed at the level of development. Too little and too much explanation both limit the process. When we explain things we need to make space for questions from the learners, as well as ask questions of them to check that we are building understanding. Depending on individual mixes of the coaching and learning strategies (A to D, above), some people will take in information that will bypass others. We need to know our audience to ensure we deliver information they will be able to take in. May fail to explain adequately how processes, products or services are put together, and the thinking behind them. Explains processes, products or services and the thinking behind them. Responds to questions, clarifies uncertain points, asks questions to ensure others have understood.
G.
Practice
Practice makes perfect. Observing and understanding a process takes us only so far. With physical processes or operations, we need hands-on experience to develop skills. Many processes draw on multiple skills, so each of these has to be created or adapted. Mental preparation is important too, partly to visualize successful operation of the process, partly to evolve our thinking about twists and turns that might face us as the process goes on. Practice also gives us the opportunity to detect any errors in understanding or operation. May overlook giving adequate practice, or the attention to detail needed to develop adequate understanding. Has others apply what has told or shown them, to gain experience with the process, product or service. Attends to detail to ensure every part is practiced fully and well.
H.
Polish
Polish puts the finish on skills. After practice comes application and through application the chance to hone skills to a continually higher level. When the polish is applied depends on timing, opportunity and need. A team’s basic skills aren’t good enough to cope with every situation, such as when the pressure goes on or a unique situation arises. A successful dance troupe doesn’t get on stage until its rhythms and routines are polished to perfection And just as a glossy floor gets polish when the shine begins to dull, so do team members need refreshing from time to time. Polishing is a continuing process. Stops short of the continued coaching needed to improve and polish skills and behaviors. Moves on to practical applications after conveying the basics. Continues coaching to improve and polish skills and behaviors to the highest levels.
I.
Advisor
The Advisor gives the advice without waiting to be asked, spelling out the option and recommending one or another course of action. Their advice is usually based personal experience or professional knowledge of cause and effect. The advantage offered by the advisor is they may understand sometimes complex issues that the person seeking advice doesn’t. They can offer a ‘wheel’ so we don’t need to reinvent it (although some redesign may be desirable – at a price). The disadvantage is that the advisee may not understand the problem or the solution, nor accept responsibility of the consequences of taking advice. Withholds advice or gives it reluctantly, perhaps not accepting a responsibility to tell others how to act. Gives advice freely on what should be done and how to do it. Appropriate style of support where others are responsible for themselves, capable of implementing the advice given.
J.
Tutor
The Tutor gives straightforward instruction and training in subjects and processes. This factor links directly to the four coaching strategies above. The tutor conveys knowledge, attitudes and skills that are relevant to the learning need. These include both theoretical and practical understanding that evolves into competence. The subject matter or processes are already established bodies of knowledge or skills that the learner is required to take in. Gives limited teaching and training of others, leaving them to develop their own skills and behaviors. Actively teaches, trains others to develop their own skills and behaviors. Conveys real capability through relevant concepts, principles and techniques.
K.
Counsellor
Counsellor seeks to enable the person being counseled to explore and resolve issues that affect them. Counselors may never come to understand these issues in depth. They act as sounding boards, reflecting what the other person is discussing and drawing out their thoughts. Their input is designed to carry the counseled person’s thinking forward, by asking what alternative approaches might be used at each step or obstacle. They may suggest alternatives themselves but don’t recommend they be used. The underlying principle is that the problem is owned by the person counseled, and must be the solution. The counselor may help the other person form a plan of action and discuss how to execute it. Lets others explore their own questions, find their own answers, solve their own problems. Listens to others’ ideas, prompts them to carry these further. Helps them to explore their own questions, seek own answers. Provides minimal but valuable input.
L.
Mentor
The Mentor supports a selected few, watching over their interests and progress. The mentor gives help when asked or when becoming aware that action is needed. That help is likely to be advice based on experience or specialized knowledge, or the use of influence to remove or lessen obstacles. Doesn’t see himself as wiser, smarter or experienced than others, nor more influential. Watches over a selected few without taking responsibility, guides them in their careers and pursuits. Acts as a sounding-board, clears the way where influential.

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