Center for Coaching Certification

Coaching a Dysfunctional Team

by Rachel Coucoulas  

Rachel Coucoulas

Rachel Coucoulas

Many of us have worked within a team environment and I am guessing that at some point you experienced some sort of dysfunction within the team or group.  When this happened to me, I was unaware of how coaching serves to make such an impactful difference with an entire branch office.

There are a number of dysfunctional traits and I highlight those found within the team I was working with and discuss the positive coaching process that brought us to a more collaborative team.  In general, the team functioned independently and what I wanted was something like this: three circles coming together for a common good:

What was I to do?  Start Coaching.

As we went through the process for each member of the team, I started to see a change in the way they were acting towards one another.  As we talked through what worked well, individuals started supporting and identifying all the positive things.  When we then asked what to change, it was about identifying how the other teammates could have helped.  They were actually offering their assistance and knowledge to each other.  They were realizing the importance of every member of the team.

What I learned through this exercise and am so happy to share with you is: when employees take ownership, they are empowered.  When they are clearly held accountable to responsibilities and goals, they feel accomplished.  When people are empowered and feel accomplished, they are successful.

Read my chapter in Coaching Perspectives VIII to learn more about Coaching a Dysfunctional Team.

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