Established in 2001, Courageous Development is trusted by businesses large and small to deliver measurable business results through coaching. We have a proven track record in working with leaders and teams to help them make better choices - to be stronger and more effective.
Through coaching leaders and their teams together, we identify the blockages to further improvement, help them overcome the challenges they face. Everyone involved becomes more effective by being more courageous with themselves and with each other. Our approach is systemic in nature as all leadership teams exist within a network of stakeholders. As such we rely on a robust feedback process, both individual and team based. Our methods are built on a foundation of appreciative enquiry, solutions focus and the latest developments in neuroscience.
We comply with the joint code of ethics defined by the Association of Coaching & European Mentoring and Coaching Council. Courageous Development's founder and principal coach is Gregor Findlay. Read what our clients say about their experience →
The time of the hero leader is over. A single leader can’t deliver on the demands of today’s volatile, complex and uncertain world. Only dynamic and effective leadership teams can navigate a path to success. Competent team coaching is one of the three enablers identified as critical to senior leadership team effectiveness in Wageman et al’s landmark study of over 120 senior leadership teams.
Team coaching isn't for the faint hearted leader, but our process truly transforms the performance of a team. It also enables the team's leader to capably coach their team moving forward.
When is team coaching most important?
When the team needs to lead change in the organisation and act as role models.
When the team needs to deliver a strategic priority for the business.
When the team, particularly a top team, isn’t delivering.
When the team is less, not more, than the sum of its parts.
Click here to download our free article, '10 clues to when a leadership team needs external help.'
What does it look like?
Stage 1 - We agree an initial contract and scope with the organisation on the remit of the work, such that we can effectively enter into an investigation phase. Through this we both get clarity on the needs of the team and the organisation, and an understanding of the system within which the team exists. This involves interviewing team members and key stakeholders, measuring team performance through the Team Assessment Survey (TAS II).
Stage 2 - We design a programme based on the data we’ve collected and firm up our contracting such that we are clear on the intended outcomes and business benefits to be gained through the process. We also work to co-create a way to measure progress and ensure your return on investment. We will agree both leading and trailing edge measures. Effective programmes have a span of between six and twelve months.
Stage 3 - A launch event, normally two days, is where we co-create a team contract and learning agenda. The development of the team is set firmly in the context of the system and the stakeholders the team must serve. Prior to this event, the team leader will have received 1:1 coaching to support their leadership of the team. Team coaches are not there to replace the team leaders but support them in their own development.
Stage 4 - A number of team workshops where the coach both supports and challenges the team to embed the operating rhythms, disciplines and behaviours that have been agreed upon, to continually learn how to be a more effective team. The team coach will also observe team meetings so that they can gain insight and give productive feedback.
Stage 4a - Alongside the team coaching sessions, individual coaching is offered to support team members in their own personal development, both as team members and as leaders of their own teams.
Stage 4b - Supplemental learning activities. The investigation phase sometimes throws up some deficit(s) in the team that are best served by some other intervention, alongside the team coaching, e.g. the team’s ability to inspire others, or to coach and develop their talent pipeline.
Stage 5 - The team review their learning and create a plan to sustain their performance and development. The TAS II team survey is once again used such that we get a before and after picture of the team’s performance.
What is the team and the business likely to get out of the process?
To reiterate, the most important unit of performance in today’s organisations is the team. Without the free flow of information within and between teams, with the necessary collaboration and cooperation, truly sustainable performance and competitive edge cannot be attained.
36% of overall performance (Profitability, Quality, Innovation, Growth) can be attributed to collaboration quality.
Frost & Sullivan (2006)
Here are some of the common outcomes from a team coaching process:
Clarity on whether this group needs to be a team or an effective working group. Sometimes we find that months of effort have gone into trying to form a great team when a team is not needed bu tan effective working group is. Much of what we do is also highly effective in creating a high performing working group but the focus is different.
There is no meaning without context. Many teams attempt to function without taking their context into consideration. Team coaching brings greater clarity of the system the team must perform within, the stakeholders they must serve and the measures they should be monitoring.
Clarity of mission is critical. Asking team members what is most important very often gets many different answers. What appears to be clarity and alignment on the surface is masking confusion and turmoil underneath. Meredith Belbin once asked “Do you want a collection of brilliant minds or a brilliant collection of minds?”. We want a brilliant collection of minds with a true and clear alignment of purpose.
A clear agreement as to what is important to them, how they act towards each other and how they hold each other accountable. This is a fundamental building block of high performance.
Proper buy-in. We’ve all experienced agreement in the meeting, the 'false yes' that turns to inaction, or even counter action, outside of team. This process tests the commitment of team members and encourages true accountability.
The building of trust. Without trust and transparency we can’t have positive conflict and without that we can’t have creative collaboration. Team members learn to engage in proper dialogue that gets to meaning rather than surface discussions.
Clarity around the resources and influence the team need to achieve their goals.
Enhanced morale and team spirit. Team engagements and away-days often start here and while this is important, it is the result of teams working and delivering results together, not the other way round.
And of course, enhanced results depending on how the team and its stakeholders measure success. This is assessed at the start of the engagement and monitored as we progress through the coaching.
Sometimes there is a shift in the make-up of the team such that talent better supports the context and the mission.
High performing teams are clear in their mission, membership and accountabilities. In the research quoted above, fewer than 10% of team members agreed who was actually on their team!
Get in touch to find out more about transformational teaming.
Team Leadership FEEDBACK Survey
How well are you leading your team and how would you know?
How clear is the team vision and how well aligned is the team behind that vision?
How effective is the operating rhythm of your team?
The Team Assessment Survey (TAS II) is a unique tool that answers these questions and more. It not only measures the key elements of leadership team performance, but critically calls out any differences in perception between the team, the team's leader and the team's governance, stakeholders and reports. Some other instruments 'hide' the team leader's results within the team and this misses out some of the greatest learning opportunities available.
It’s a 41 item online survey that provides diagnostic information across eight key elements of team performance: Context; Mission; Talent; Norms; Buy-In; Power; Morale and, of course Results.
The survey and interpretive report is available in multiple languages and includes:
- Benchmarking, which allows the team to see how they compare against thousands of teams in the database
- Detailed item-level feedback to provide deep diagnostic information
- Perspective comparisons, showing how the team leader and team members view different elements of team functioning
- Tips for improving areas where the team is struggling
Executive and Leadership Coaching
Leadership can be a lonely place and leaders need a confidential space where they can explore their thinking in complete freedom. So one area of value add from our coaching is acting as an impartial thinking partners for our clients. Another is when leaders are in transition, preparing for a new challenge/promotion or handing the added stretch once a new challenge has been undertaken. Then there is simply coaching around ‘critical incidents’ where we work together to overcome specific challenges a client is facing.
Ultimately as coaches, our role is to be a source of non-judgemental challenge and support.