Krister Lowe, PhD: Organizational Psychologist, Leadership & Team Coach, Host of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

Episode #058: Krister Lowe, PhD: Team Coach Training Programs

Join Dr. Krister Lowe for this week’s episode of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast! In today’s show, Dr. Lowe rounds out a 3-part series on Team Coaching Resources with a review of 5 team coach training programs. In the episode Krister puts training in the context of the 70-20-10 rule of learning as well as the 10,000 hour mastery perspective.

The five team coaching training programs reviewed in the episode include:

1. The Team Advantage Team Coaching Certification Program offered by The Pyramid Resource Group.

2. The Systemic Team Coaching Certificate and Certification Program offered by the Academy of Executive Coaching.

3. The Certified Team Performance Coach Certification Program offered by Team Coaching International.

4. The Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching Certification Program (ORSC) offered by CRR Global.

5. The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Intensive and Practicum offered by Potentials Realized.

Additional themes mentioned on the podcast are certification programs in the Team Diagnostic Survey and The Team Emotional Intelligence Assessment, the upcoming Columbia International Coaching Conference in October as well as special discounts on many of the training programs mentioned in today’s episode for subscribers of The Team Coaching Zone newsletter. Sign up today at www.TeamCoachingZone.com!

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Resources Mentioned

1.Training Programs Mentioned in the Episode

2. Listen to the Episode:








(Note: The show notes for this episode are substituted with a blog post containing similar content.  You can read the original post at http://www.teamcoachingzone.com/team-coaching-resources-part-3-five-team-coach-training-programs/)

This the final installment of a three part round-up series on team coaching resources. In Part 1 we looked at 5 team-level assessments geared towards team coaching. In Part 2 we looked at 5 books on team coaching. In this post, Part 3, we are going to be looking at 5 team coach training programs. You can also listen to podcast episodes covering similar content here on iTunes if you prefer the spoken vs. written word 🙂

I want to start off this post by making a few comments about training as a learning vehicle. This is a topic that I’m very familiar with. Two years ago I decided to niche down in one area—team coaching. But before that I was more of a generalist in Learning and Development. I was a consultant, a mediator, a facilitator and most of all a trainer. I spent more than 15 years running 100’s of training workshops all over the world on all kinds of topics: performance management, conflict resolution, leadership and management development, coaching for managers, diversity, ethics and more.

If you checked out Part 2 in this article series on 5 Books on Team Coaching then you will be familiar with the 70-20-10 rule of learning which I briefly discussed. Training falls into the 10% category and plays in my view an important role in one’s development. However for me I left training for coaching as I came to see training as an event that didn’t lead to the sustainable change that I was hoping for my participants. It was often catalytic and got people motivated for change but in the end was insufficient for driving real sustained change. I came to a similar conclusion after running countless team building off-site retreats. I feel like I got pretty good at creating dynamic workshops that would reignite a team’s commitment to their vision and to each other as well as to developing a shared roadmap for moving forward.  However I often observed that the follow-through just wasn’t there to deliver on the goals and objectives agreed to by the end of the retreat sessions. More often than not, business issues were piling up back at the office and when work began the excitement of the retreat would become a distant memory and often dash the best of intentions and well laid-out plans.  The lesson to me is that our habitual ways of working are indeed quite powerful and are not so easily changed.

So you may be asking what I’m trying to get at here. Well the point is, in my view, that becoming a successful team coach requires more than getting trained in a 3 day or even year long team coach certification training program. It really needs to be combined with getting out there and working with real teams (the 70% aspect) and ideally also combined with some supervision or other 20% approach such as: peer learning with another team coach; taking part in group coaching with a group of team coaches; or participating in a master mind group to share lessons learned and generate new ideas.   Malcolm Gladwell in the book Outliers:The Story of Success speaks about the idea of 10,000 hours of requisite practice in order to become a master at something. If we look at our learning and development as team coaches from that 10,000 lens I think it can help us put training programs into their rightful place.

One final point here before getting into the content of this post, I’m pretty eclectic as a practitioner and won’t say which of the programs we are going to be looking at is the best because frankly I’m not sure there is a best one—it really depends on your goals and objectives. I’m grateful for having gone through a number of the programs covered here.  Each one added some unique value to my development as a team coach and I find that they complement each other when working with real-world teams.

Five Team Coach Training Programs

I’ve personally been through three of the five programs covered here. I’ve also interviewed all the creators of the 5 programs on The Team Coaching Zone Podcast and so you may want to listen to those episodes to go deeper and get to know each program more intimately the high level review contained here. This review also isn’t intended to be exhaustive. However based on my survey of the field to date you can count the number of bona fide team coach training programs on two hands. If you have discovered other ones feel free to share your comments below.  All of the programs in this review:

  • Focus specifically on team coaching: they have a stance, a philosophy and a clearly articulated approach to team coaching.
  • Qualify for ICF CCEU’s
  • Offer shorter certificate programs as well as longer in-depth certification offerings
  • Are offered in classroom settings (some in different parts of the world) and some that also offer online and or teleseminar and/or webinar-based options
  • Have been developed by pioneers in the field of team coaching with between 10 years and 30 years of experience
  • Two of the programs also include as part of the program certification in some instruments

The programs are not reviewed in any special order so shouldn’t be interpreted as any type of ranking.  I put them in the order that I took them in which was serendipitous.

#1: Team Advantage™ Team Coach Certification Program offered by The Pyramid Resource Group.

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The first program we’ll briefly cover in this overview is the Team Advantage team coach training program offered by The Pyramid Resource Group.  I came across this program when I interviewed the creator of Team Advantage DJ Mitsch in Episode #009 of the TCZ Podcast. In that episode DJ shares a jaw-dropping story of coaching 60 teams in a pharmaceutical company using the Team Advantage methodology. It’s one of the few examples I’ve come across where team coaching has been done on scale.  DJ was a past president of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), is the President of the Pyramid Resource Group and the Founder of The Healthcare Coaching Institute.  She has been coaching teams for 20+ years and has a lot of wisdom to share based on her experience.

A few months after interviewing DJ for the podcast in the Spring of 2015 I went to Raleigh North Carolina in the United States and got trained in Team Advantage–a three-day interactive workshop that also includes a simulation so that team coaches get to experience the concepts first hand.  Some elements of the approach that standout in my view include:

  • Team Advantage is based around the idea of engaging a team and its leader to accomplish an extraordinary goal in four to six months.
  • The approach builds on the metaphor of a business game and is designed to help the team tap into its creative potential.
  • It unfolds in four phases:
    • Phase 1: Assessment phase and coaching of the team leader to establish a foundation for the process.
    • Phase 2: Kickoff phase – a workshop where the team identifies an extraordinary goal, develops a gameplan and scoreboard for tracking progress towards achieving the extraordinary goal and contracts with the team coach for the ongoing coaching sessions that follow the kickoff.
    • Phase 3: Ongoing coaching phase where the team coach coaches the team via12 one-hour sessions over a 16 week period as the team marches towards achieving its extraordinary goal.
    • Phase 4: Celebration phase where the team acknowledges its success, celebrates its achievement and plans its next extraordinary goal.
  • It’s a structured approach yet provides flexibility.
  • It’s scalable.
  • More than 300 teams have accomplished extraordinary goals through the Team Advantage process
  • The scoreboard tracking methodology is brilliant

After getting trained in Team Advantage, I had the opportunity to co-team coach a team using the Team Advantage process.  To date it remains one of the best team coaching engagements I’ve experienced since making the plunge into team coaching a few years ago.  It was a textbook example.

I think Team Advantage helps team coaches avoid some of the common pitfalls team coaches often experience including: 1) not having the team leader fully on board before the team coaching ensues; 2) not having a lazer-focused goal for the team to accomplish that requires team coaching; 3) the ongoing team coaching petering out following a kickoff because of the daily competing priorities that teams face.

So I highly recommend this program and think it is a great first training for team coaches to consider as it provides a step-by-step approach for coaching a team.  It’s also useful for experienced team coaches looking to add some novel aspects to their team coaching approach and toolbox.  One final point I would say is that the Pyramid Resource Group has done a great job of productizing a team coaching service which makes it scalable and something that team coaches can immediately offer coming right out the gate.  The Team Advantage materials are professional and there is great support for team coaches in terms of sales and marketing materials.

So if you want to learn more I would encourage you to listen to episode #009 with DJ Mitsch to get a flavor for her and this approach. You can also listen to a great episode with Allieson Crumpler #043 on how she took Team Advantage into her company as an internal team coach and how, after coaching 12 teams in two years, a team coaching culture is taking root. Good stuff there. You can also check out: www.team-advantage.com to learn more about upcoming training workshops.

#2: Systemic Team Coaching Certificate/Certification Training Program offered by the Academy of Executive Coaching

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I interviewed Professor Peter Hawkins back in episode #019 where he introduces listeners to the Systemic Team Coaching approach to team coaching.  In systemic team coaching the team coach coaches the team in relation to its systemic context. Peter defines it as:

“A process by which a team coach works with a whole team, both when they are together and when they are apart, in order to help them improve both their collective performance and how they work together, and also how they develop their collective leadership to more effectively engage with all their key stakeholder groups to jointly transform the wider business.” – Peter Hawkins, PhD, 2014 Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership

The Team Coaching Zone brought Peter Hawkins over from the UK earlier this year in January to the Columbia University Club in New York City for a 3-day Systemic Team Coaching certificate training program. It was totally excellent and participants were highly satisfied with the training.  Peter pioneered the Systemic Team Coaching approach over a career spanning 30+ years.  He has partnered with John Leary-Joyce  and company at the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC) to offer both a 3 day Certificate program as well as a one year STC diploma program. (Check out TCZ Episode #055 with John Leary-Joyce to hear his perspective on Systemic Team Coaching).

Some elements of this approach that stand out to me include:

  • That it is based on the 5 disciplines of high performing teams model which provides a great team coaching framework.
  • It is quite flexible – each team may require more or less coaching in any of the 5 disciplines areas.
  • Is based on extensive application by Peter Hawkins and his colleagues with real world teams. Check out the companion book called Leaders Team Coaching In Practice which provides a number of case studies that explore the application of STC with real teams.
  • Includes access to the Team Connect 360 which was reviewed in the first post in this article series on team-level team coaching assessments.
  • Is useful for both high performance team coaching, leadership team coaching, transformational leadership team coaching as well as systemic team coaching (i.e. it can be applied to increasingly levels of complexity and teams operating at different levels in an organization’s hierarchy).
  • It helps teams avoid the trap of becoming highly effective internally yet not engaging their external stakeholders adequately.

I’ve been using the framework quite extensively in my team coaching practice and have been very satisfied to date with the results I’m getting. While there is a process (called CID-CLEAR) which helps a team coach through the various stages of the team coaching process and includes suggestions for coaching the team in each of the 5 disciplines, this approach doesn’t, in my view, provide a step-by-step formula. As such team coaches need to be able to co-create and design the ongoing coaching process with the team that fits their goals and objectives. I think this tends to favor more experienced coaches and those who have experience working as organizational development consultants doing customized team interventions.  As you can probably tell, I’m a real fan and recommend it without hesitation.

To learn more you can check out the podcast episodes with Peter (#019) and John Leary-Joyce (#055). You might also check out Peter’s book on Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership and go to www.aoec.com for more information.

 #3: Certified Team Performance Coach (CTPC) Certification Program offered by Team Coaching International

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I took Team Coaching International’s (TCI) 3-day Master Class a few months ago with Co-Founder Phil Sandhal and it offers yet another solid option for team coaches.  Phil is well-known in the coaching world for his work with the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and for co-writing the book Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives with CTI Co-Founders Henry and Karen Kimsey-House and Laura Whitworth.

Back around 2004 Phil along with his partner Alexis Phillips co-founded TCI and began niching down into the team coaching space.  I had the good fortune to interview Phil on the TCZ podcast in Episode #024 as well as the CEO of TCI George Johnson in episode #036. This approach revolves around their research into high team performance which reveals two main factors: Productivity and Positivity. Each factor is broken down into 7 sub-dimensions. These 14 team performance indicators help a team reveal where to invest time and resources to improve performance.  The 7 productivity indicators include: proactive, goals & strategies, leadership, accountability, alignment, decision making, and resources. The 7 positivity indicators include: trust, optimism, constructive interaction, communication, camaraderie, values diversity and respect

Some elements of this approach that stand out in my view include:

  • A focus on measurement: TCI finds an average increase of 20% on the 14 team performance indicators when teams employ the TCI approach.
  • Lot’s of case examples and metrics to demonstrate measurable results through team coaching.
  • Have developed a suite of 4 assessments (Team Diagnostic, Team LeaderView, Team 360 View, Organization View) that provide coaches with a set of tools that can diagnose a team’s strengths and growth areas, identify areas for coaching and that provides the ability to measure the results of a team coaching engagement.
  • They have identified 4 principles that guide the team coaching process, 5 essential competencies of a team coach along with specific skills associated with each competency. Also included is a 3 phase approach: 1) Discovery & Assessment; 2) Ongoing Coaching; 3) Completion and Next Steps

Their approach to certification (i.e. becoming a Certified Team Performance Coach) has 3 components:

  1. An online self-study course called Understand and Access the Tools
  2. Accelerated Learning – combination of self-study and group calls facilitated by a TCI Faculty member
  3. Master Class – a 3 day in-person course

I completed the Understand and Access the Tools course as well as the Master Class.  I found that taking the online course first was excellent as it offloaded a lot of the basic cognitive knowledge behind the approach.  When you get to the Master Class you can dive right in without having to learn a lot of basic concepts.

So in summary this is yet another solid offering that provides a nice balance between structure and flexibility and that gives both new and experienced team coaches a lot of practical takeaways. Folks can listen to podcast #024 with Phil Sandhal and episode #036 with George Johnson to learn more about TCI’s approach. Also episodes #044 with Mazher Ahmad on Scaling Internal Team Coaching and #040 with Carissa Bub on What is Your Team’s Story also are episodes with team coaches that incorporate the TCI assessments and framework into their work.  You can learn more at: http://teamcoachinginternational.com

One other final point: Phil is coming out with a book on team coaching in 2017 so stay tuned for that! That should be a great resource for team coaches.

#4: Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) Certification Training Program by CRR Global.

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It wasn’t long interviewing guests on the podcast before I started hearing about The Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching program (ORSC) offered by CRR Global. I’ve interviewed both co-founders and creators Marita Fridjhon (#020 and #051) and Faith Fuller (#048). I personally haven’t been through ORSC yet to date though hope to do so in the future. A number of the guests of my show and some of my team coaching colleagues have been through the program however and given positive reviews.

ORSC revolves around the idea of Relationship Systems Intelligence—which extends emotional and social intelligence into the realm of understanding the intelligence that resides in systems.   When you are part of team that is in flow, that is creating synergy, or really in the zone–that’s when a team is tapping into its RSI.  So this approach looks at fostering and leveraging the collective intelligence of the team.  The team coach coaches the team to tap into what is trying to emerge – all systems are in a state of emergence.

There are five courses in the ORSC series:

  1. Organization and Relationship Systems at Work: 2 days; how to see the system, hear it, and sense it; the emotional field
  2. Systems Intelligence: 3 days; all about change; individuals, couples, teams, organizations, nations
  3. Systems Geography: 3 days; all about the structure of systems; leveraging diversity and how to work with roles; ghost roles that haunt the system; how to work with triggers
  4. Relationship Systems Path: 3 days; how to bring out the creativity and generativity within a team
  5. Systems Integration: 3 days; bringing it all together

Following the 5 courses one can continue on to become ORSC certified. It’s an 8 month program broken down into two four-month semesters with a 3 week break in between.  Included in the 8 month program are: 90-minute Skill Drill calls; 17 hours of supervision (5 hours of group supervision, six hours of live team coaching supervision and 6 hours of individual one-to-one supervision); colleague calls, a World Work Project; 100 hours of coaching; and a 3 day residential training.  So this is a rigorous and deep program that addresses, in my view, many of the limitations of training that I mentioned at the outset of this post.

CRR Global did a survey with ORSCC graduates and found that:

  • 41% saw an increase of over 6 new clients
  • 53% reported an increase in corporate clients
  • 71% reported a shift to full fee clients
  • 77% became very confident in speaking about organization and relationship systems coaching with prospective clients
  • 82% raised their hourly rate, and of that group, 76% charged $250 per hour or more

So for folks who want to learn more check out TCZ episodes with Marita Fridjhon (#020 and #051) and Faith Fuller (#048).  Marita just came out earlier this year with her book Creating Intelligent Teams: Leading with Relationship Systems Intelligence which was the focus we explored in episode #051. You can go to crrglobal.com for more information.

#5: The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Intensive and Practicum with Potentials Realized

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I discovered Jennifer Britton, the Founder of Potentials Realized, back in episode #011 and learned about her compelling journey into group and team coaching.  Jennifer is based in Canada and wrote one of the first books on group coaching called Effective Group Coaching in 2009 and then went on to write the book From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching in 2013.

I haven’t personally attended any of Jennifer’s trainings however a few listeners of the podcast have attended and have reported being very satisfied.  Jennifer offers a range of telephone-based, webinar-based (Zoom) as well as in-person training workshops (Toronto and Muskoka) for coaches as well as in-house for organizations.

She offers 3 main programs:

  1. The Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum – delivered virtually by Zoom, there are 6 x 75 minute calls which takes a deeper dive into group and team coaching topics and where coaches can get practice and feedback on their skills.
  2. Group and Team Coaching Intensive – a 2 day workshop offered in-person which she faciliates in both Toronto and Muskoka Canada and also which she provides in house to organizations. In this course she takes people into best practices and hands-on practice.
  3. Group Coaching Essentials – delivered via tele seminar (i.e. phone conference), 5 x 75 minute calls which provides essential training in group coaching.

So yet another solid set of programs for team coaches to consider.  You can learn more at potentialsrealized.com and also check out episode #011 with Jennifer. Her book From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching, which I highlighted in the last article on Five Books on Team Coaching, may also be a good entry for folks wanting to take the plunge into the realm of Potentials Realized and Jennifer Britton.

So there you have it! 5 solid Team Coach Training programs.  I think you will be happy pursuing any of these offerings.  I suggest you try to attend one of the workshops with the creators of these programs if possible.  All of them have deep experience in team coaching, have written books and articles on the topic and have been pioneers in the field.  There is a saying that: “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”  So surrounding yourself with any of these pioneers is likely to rub off on you in a positive way! 🙂

Some Additional Options

As the team coaching field heats up I imagine we are going to see more team coach training programs coming out.  Two programs that I’ve recently discovered include the Coaching Agile Teams 3.0 program offered by The Agile Coaching Institute. I learned about this program through my recent episode with Bob Costello on Coaching Agile Teams (Episode #53). I’m hoping to have more interviews on this approach to team coaching that originates in the software industry.  Also stay tuned for an upcoming podcast episode this Fall with Alexander Caillet at Corentus who just this year launched the firm’s first team coaching certificate program (http://www.corentus.com/team-coaching-certificate-program/).  If you have attended a team coaching training program that wasn’t included in the list here please do add your voice in the comment section of this post below.

I’ll close this article series out by mentioning two instrument-centered certification programs.  These are two instruments that I’ve been using in my team coaching practice with much success:  The Team Diagnostic Survey developed by Richard Hackman and Ruth Wageman and The Team Emotional Intelligence Assessment by Drs. Vanessa Druskat, Steven Wolff and Geetu Bharwaney.  These two instruments have some world-class research behind them and that lend themselves particularly well to team coaching. They don’t have a full-blown team coaching framework and methodology behind them like the programs mentioned in the above review.  However each one is linked to the team coaching industry and make explicit linkages to team coaching and therefore, in my view, warrant a look by team coaches.

The Team Coaching Zone will be hosting a special three-day training with Dr. Ruth Wageman in New York City (November 9-11) titled: “Diagnosing and Coaching Teams Using the Team Diagnostic Survey.”  Ruth is a leading scholar-practitioner in the area of teams. She wrote the book: Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great and the first peer reviewed article on team coaching along with Richard Hackman called “A Theory of Team Coaching” which appeared in the January 2005 issue of the Academy of Management Review.  Check out episode #039 with her and #047 with Trexler Proffitt to learn more about this offering.  You can also check out more information on the November program at http://www.teamcoachingzone.com/events/.

I have a podcast episode with Drs. Druskat and Wolff on Team Emotional Intelligence and the Team Ei Survey coming out in the next few days so stay tuned for that to learn more about this great team coaching tool and the research that spawned it. The accreditation course consists of two 3-hour webinars which prepares you to deploy the instrument as part of your team coaching engagements. You can check out podcast episode #029 with Dr. Geetu Bharwaney where she discusses applying the Team Ei Survey as part her team coaching work.

Finally If you are a subscriber to the TCZ newsletter which comes out roughly every 1 to 2 weeks, there is a section of the newsletter on upcoming team coach trainining programs where you can find workshop dates and locations.  The creators of a number of these training programs have offerred some special discounts to subscribers of the Team Coaching Zone. So feel free to check that out.  You can subscribe to the TCZ newsletter at: http://www.teamcoachingzone.com.

Alright, well that wraps up this 3-part article series on Team Coaching Resources where we reviewed 5 Team Level Assessments (Part 1), 5 Team Coaching Books (Part 2), and 5 Team Coach Training Programs (Part 3).  I hope you found the series useful. I welcome your comments, likes and shares below.  Have a great rest of your week and remember to Stay in the Zone!

Krister Lowe, PhD, CPCC

Organizational Psychologist, Leadership and Team Coach, & Host of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

Dr. Krister Lowe is an Organizational Psychologist, a Leadership and Team Coach, and the Creator of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast and Website (www.TeamCoachingZone.com). Dr. Lowe is a specialist in team coaching, conflict resolution and performance management and has more than fifteen years of experience consulting to diverse organizations in more than 25 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. His coaching, consulting, facilitation and training interventions have reached more than 25,000 people globally. He is the Host of The Team Coaching Zone podcast–a weekly interview show that explores the art and science of team coaching–and that has a listenership in more than 95 countries around the world.

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