team vs group

This is one question I get a lot from my prospective clients and I can quite understand why this may seem confusing. After all, aren’t groups and teams synonymous with collective performance and shared responsibilities? Absolutely, but from an executive coaching perspective, there are subtle differences and I wanted to unpack this today.

Team Coaching is about performance coaching for formal and informal teams who have a shared set of goals and objectives. Here, everyone in the team is aligned with the same final strategic objective, although each member may have their own set of sub-goals or objectives. The success of the project or strategic outcome depends on the entire team delivering as they are meant to. From the coaching perspective, the entire team is assessed as one unit and dysfunctional areas identified and worked on collectively. The final outcome is a team that is more aligned, works with better cohesion and with a greater degree of positivity, enthusiasm and result orientation.

e.g.- A project team within an organisation that is behind schedule or a team that is plagued by conflicts with people working at cross-purposes would be ideal team coaching targets.

Group Coaching refers to a group of people, all of who, have an overall similar objective or needs. Here, while the coaching is being done as a group, the coaching is targeted at each individual within the group. The progress each member of the group makes, would vary as each person would be starting from a different point. The final outcome of the coaching would be that the entire group is now more self-aware and able to recognize and cope with the central issue they are all facing.

e.g.- A group of people from within an organisation who would like to improve their communication or presentation skills. Here, while the subject of the coaching is common, the benefits are accrued for each person individually.

From an executive coaching standpoint, the broad methodology and the coaching framework would be the same in either case but where they are different is when it comes to designing and delivering the coaching itself. The assessments would be one-on-one and the actions plans would be individual as well.