Leadership development coaching of teams as compared to individuals is bound to face challenges during its execution. To begin with, the issue of training of leadership coaches can be a potential problem. A leadership coach needs to observe, understand, and appreciate the problems that the client is facing. Failure to make the connection between the needs of the client and what needs to be done is an issue that stems from the training of the coach. If the problem presents itself, the client can experience serious drawbacks due to addressing the wrong problem. As indicated by Hackman and Wageman (2005), leadership coaches might come in with good intentions, but due to their internal deficiencies, they fail in making a psychological understanding of the needs of the client. To add on this Hackman and Wageman (2005) note that human behavior requires more in-depth understanding, not just scratching the surface.
To address the problem of having a willing but a technically deficient leadership coach when it comes to coaching a team, it should be noted that the person in charge of hiring should be selective (Hackman and Wageman, 2005). The training and experience of the candidate need to be put on the weighing scale. As such, the probability of making inroads with the real problems will be higher, and in the end, the client will receive value for money as well as have their problem addressed. Clients looking for leadership coaches need to be cognizant of the fact that expenses to be incurred should not in anyway undermine the experience to be gained from the coaching exercise since the process has lifelong effects. The management should make it a priority to have its concerns, and their underlying factors addressed instead of looking at the expenses to be incurred.
The second problem that should be well understood before hiring a leadership coach is his/her ethical limits. Ethics start to play right at the beginning of the assignment. The leadership coach needs to know his/her limits. As such, the leadership coach will be well aware of the kind or type of client they can work with given their expertise and knowledge. When a leadership coach becomes financially hungry as mentioned by Hackman and Wageman (2005), his ethical limits are lowered since they are not motivated by addressing the problems at hand, but instead, their motivation comes from the money they are getting. Ethics will define the extent to which the team being coached will trust the coach with information that can elicit unwarranted reactions from senior management. If the team worries about the ethics of the coach, there will be resentment, and as such, coaching will not progress since there will be limited freedom to learn (Diedrich, 2007). The client also worries about their proprietary information being snitched upon by outsiders like leadership coaches. The client should have the complete trust of the coach.
To address the aspect of ethics from the leadership coach, management should ensure that appropriate efforts are put into place to get a coach who values confidentiality, especially where it can undermine the trust of the team to be coached. To achieve this feat, management should rely on an independent opinion from those who have previously interacted with the coach on a professional level. The management of a firm need to ensure that their teams have the necessary psychological preparation that is needed to ensure that their teams gain confidence with the exercise and the gap between what is needed and what exists is identified (Hambrick, 1987). Teams need not be forced to undertake coaching but should make to understand the importance of the exercise to the firm and their professional development.
In conclusion, coaching teams is not an exercise that should be hurriedly done. There should be appropriate confirmation that the coach to be engaged is appropriate for the firm and the team regarding capacity and ethics. Someone who can deliver with the full trust and confidence of the team and themselves can be the best gift of to the organization.
Diedrich, R. C. (2007). Lessons learned in—And guidelines for—Coaching executive teams. In R. R. Kilburg & R. C. Diedrich (Eds.), The wisdom of coaching: Essential papers in consulting psychology for a world of change (pp. 329–330).
Hackman, J. R., & Wageman, R. (2005). A theory of team coaching. Academy of Management Review, 30(2), 269–287.
Hambrick, D. C. (1987). The top management team: Key to strategic success. California Management Review, 30(1), 88–109.
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