« This is a guest article, written by Kaylin Huang, Executive Coach and Ex Managing Director at Accenture Digital
What is Team Coaching?
Studies of teams distinguish between two distinct types of work that we do as humans: taskwork and teamwork. Taskwork is the core technical specs of what we do, and teamwork is how we do it effectively as a team.
When a team has excellent task work but poor teamwork, the result can be disappointingly average. When a team has average task work but excellent teamwork, miracles happen.
A team performs the best when it is excellent in both taskwork and teamwork.
This knowledge is not a secret, known and acknowledged by every manager and leader. However, most of our everyday attentions are on taskwork – What needs to be done, whether they are done on time, with quality. Managers and teams barely have conversations on what can be done on teamwork to make a team greater, the more important factor for team success.
This is what Team Coaching addresses. Through facilitated team discussions and interventions in team meetings and discussions, team coaching focuses on strengthening teamwork through bringing team awareness, instilling teamwork mindset, and cultivating new habits of team working.
It covers all aspects related with teamwork such as team morale, ownership, engagement, openness, trust, effective communication, collaboration, fun culture, team bonding. It is now recognised as one of the most powerful development tools available for accelerating performance.
JOLT’s Team Coaching Journey
JOLT team, composed of experienced digital marketers, is a highly effective team, passionate, trusting and engaged. However, JOLT’s CEO & Founder Sebastien Lepez would like to boost the team effectiveness further, especially team bonding.
JOLT Digital started a team coaching journey to achieve “from good to great’.
Through coaching, team defined JOLT culture to be “open”, “trust”, “fun”, “being valued”, “inclusive”, “closeness”, “pride in JOLT”. In a mini survey on the 7 dimensions, “fun” and “closeness” scored lower.
“I just want to laugh with the team.” “I want to know more about the team”, said by the team in coaching sessions. Team yearned for “fun” and “closeness”.
With most of the JOLT team joined the company during Covid, it is easy to attribute the reason to pandemic. However, another major reason is “busi(y)-ness”. In this fast growing start up, “Get works done” becomes the only thing that occupies everybody’s mind, like in many other organisations.
Getting works done is always the top one priority of a business, however, as discovered by Shawn Achor in his book The Happiness Advantage, fun is the fuel of efficiency and effectiveness. That is why companies like Google focused a lot on fun elements by investing hugely in office space.
Sebastien realised this. When he saw the survey result, he felt the urgency in solving it. His vision is to make JOLT a great place to work, “fun” being in the center. He also believes that a team of “fun” and “closeness” will help team on communication, collaboration, and creativeness.
In a visioning exercise, team said “I will want to work more if we achieve our fun score.” “I will enjoy everything I do at work if we are at our target fun score.”
Actions were taken immediately, 1-1 meals, slack channel to share holiday moments, lunch in Sebastien’s place. Fun score started to move upward!
Team coaching doesn’t stop here. Team coaching is not only to find a solution for one issue but to bring light to teamwork conversations so that team builds up the mindset and capabilities to constantly examine and boost teamwork.
Team was “pushed” to go further. A team on “fun” and “closeness” was set up, team lead nominated, and a plan firmed.
“It was amazing to see the team own the objective, and everyone actively contributes to the goal. It is great to see them discuss effectively (without me)!” Sebastien commented on one of the sessions.
Aretha Budiastuti, Senior Digital Executive at JOLT Digital who was part of my coaching at JOLT told me – “It’s been a great experience! I got to know the team better in a new perspective and as this is my first time to be coached, personally it helps me identify my strengths and weaknesses to improve my work and engage better with the team.”
Ownership, openness, communication… are important teamwork aspects that organisations would like to have more but don’t always manage to. Teamwork doesn’t improve automatically in daily tasks, but requires deliberate discussions, shifts in mindset and new ways of working.
As the team Coach of JOLT Digital, I look forward to seeing an even greater JOLT team set for next phase of growth. Such a team will definitely produce even greater work for their clients and fulfil their mission of “game-changing the media agencies industry”.
Kayling Huang Executive Coach