• Vanya Koonce


Collective intelligence is no longer a concept that refers to groups of people working together for intelligent results, but people and machines collaborating for an ultimate impact. In my upcoming webinar on Coaching and Technology, my guest Krister Lowe and I will focus on the importance of utilizing digital tools and assessments in team coaching. We will also look at the potential of creating more intelligent systems where machines and people will complement each other to suggest alternative ways of thinking and approaching organizational effectiveness, productivity, teamwork and leadership.

Increased globalization, consolidation, and innovation create pressures that influence the emergence of teams as fundamental building blocks of organizations. Nowadays internationally dispersed and highly specialized hyper specialists work together to complete a job that used to be done by one generalist. These diverse teams need to collaborate and adjust to the high-speed market demands constantly. For many years research has shown that significant physical distance is a key predictor of ineffective teamwork, but in the pandemic world, we have all been forced to work remotely. The urge to find tools and solutions to solve this challenge is more vital than ever before.

Team coaching is one of the most effective tools available for creating effective teams regardless if team members are co-located or not. But in order to capitalize on its promises, we first must clear the misconception of what the role of a team coach is, and what it isn't.

The team coach is not a facilitator, team leader, team builder, team parent, team doctor or team know-it-all (you can quote me on that).

Team coaching expert David Clutterbuck has uncovered five core roles of a team coach, which are critical to maximizing positive outcomes:

  • Support the team to define specific purpose and priorities.

  • Understand the systems the team operates in and help the team gain a deeper understanding as well.

  • Identify and tackle barriers to performance.

  • Develop the systems, skills and behaviors to internalize coaching.

  • Co-create a learning plan with the team.

And based upon my own experience, I would add to the list:

  • Help the team grow their collective self-esteem.

  • Provide the team with tools to prevent groupthink, social loafing and other biases even when the group cohesiveness is high.

  • Call out if there is a lack of demographic, experiential and cognitive diversity.

Team coaching is complex. Besides scientific knowledge about teams, exceptional listening and questioning skills, successful team coaching engagements require analyses of many data points, robust process and results' tracking system.

There are multiple team assessments available on the market and we will spend time with Krister to discuss some of them during the webinar. Some are validated and provide useful visual reports, however, what seems to be missing in the marketplace of coaching are digital tools specifically created to capture the team coaching journey (to date, I am not aware of even one tool that does this--but I hope my readers feel free to comment suggestions if you know of any).

I talked to many successful team coaches and some of the tools they use to improve efficiency are Kanban, Miro, Trello, Slack, Microsoft Teams and a few others. As a Scrum Master I often flirt with the idea of how I can use Jira software and scrum methodology to enhance a team coaching engagement. YES, there are many commonalities between the role of a Scrum Master and a team coach (and many differences of course). One thing of the main areas of overlap: the more you understand team dynamics, have exceptional listening skills and can identify the team needs as well as access to resources the better Scrum Master you will be.

There are so many articles about effective virtual teams and tips to improve remote teamwork and communication. Still, there are not many resources that touch upon how to integrate technological solutions into team coaching and none (that I am aware of) that showcase what digital tools are available for this process. If you are eager to learn about these topics, you can join Krister and me on August 4th at 11 am Pacific Time for a cool informational conversation about what it takes to be a GREAT TEAM coach in a pool of many great technologies and not so many tech-savvy coaches.

Please message me your questions in advance! I will help you find the answer to what tech tool best fits your team coaching approach or what you can do today to still be competitive in 10 years from now. The world is changing, and coaching is changing too. Don't get overwhelmed; we are here to help.


Thank you for reading! I'm curious to hear your thoughts about the future of coaching.

#coachingandtech #teamcoaching #leadershipdevelopment #digitaltools

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