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Dr. Jacqueline Peters, President of InnerActive Leadership Associates, Executive Coach, Team and Leadership Specialist and Author

#012: The High Performance Relationship System

Join Dr. Krister Lowe and leading organizational coach Dr. Jacqueline Peters for this week’s episode of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast.  Dr. Jacqueline Peters is the President of InnerActive Leadership Associates and is an Executive Coach, a Team and Leadership Specialist and an Author in the area of high performance team coaching and relationships. She has over 15 years of experience supporting leaders, executives, and teams to achieve higher performance. Jacqueline’s clients say that her unique mix of practical corporate experience and doctoral level knowledge of leadership, coaching, and team effectiveness helps them achieve and exceed their personal and team productivity goals. She and Dr. Catherine Carr co-authored the High Performance Team Coaching System, a robust approach developed for leaders and coaches that is grounded in the research and proven practices that build team effectiveness. In this episode Dr. Peters discusses her forthcoming book the High Performance Relationship System and how it adds unique value as well as complements the High Performance Team Coaching System.  This episode is chock full of value that no team coach will want to miss!


Learn more about Jacqueline at: 




  1. Peters, J. & Carr, C. (2013). Team Effectiveness and Team Coaching Literature Review. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice. 6(2), 116-136.
  2. Peters, J., and Carr, C. (2013). 50 Tips for Terrific Teams! Proven Strategies for Building High Performance TeamsCalgary, AB: InnerActive Leadership Associates, Inc.
  3. Peters, J., and Carr, C. (2013). High Performance Team Coaching: A Comprehensive System for Leaders and CoachesCalgary, AB: InnerActive Leadership Associates, Inc.
  4. Carr, C., and Peters, J. (2013) The experience and impact of team coaching: a dual case study. International Journal Coaching Psychology Review, 8(1). pp. 80-98.
  5. Hawkins, P (2014). Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership. Philadelphia, PA, Kogan Press.
  6. Edmondson, A. (2012) Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy. Jossey-Bass.
  7. Hackman, J.R. (2002). Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. (Note: One chapter of this book is dedicated to the topic of team coaching).
  8. Nimble, C. & Lewis, R. (2001). Leading High Impact Teams: The Coach Approach to Peak Performance.
  9. Britton, J. (2013). From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching.
  10. Peters, J., and Carr, C. (August 2013). Team Coaching that Works. Coaching World. International Coaching Federation.



Part 1 – Getting to Know the Team Coach: Dr. Jacqueline Peters

  • President of InnerActive Leadership Associates. Executive Coach, Team and Leadership Specialist and author.
  • Over 15 years experience supporting leaders, executives, and teams to achieve higher performance.
  • Along with Dr. Catherine Carr, she co-authored the High Performance Team Coaching System, a robust approach developed for leaders and coaches and grounded in research and proven practices that build team effectiveness.
  • Spent many years working as senior leader focused on management and leadership development in large corporations
  • Member of Canadian Association of Professional Speakers
  • Certified coach with the International Coaching Federation
  • Doctorate in Leadership Development and Coaching from Middlesex University, specializing in team coaching
  • Doctoral dissertation was awarded Ken Goulding Award for most outstanding professional doctorate at Middlesex in 2012
  • Previous career in many other areas
  • Integrates theory, research and practice in team coaching
  • Started as speech language pathologist in rehabilitative medicine
  • Focus has always been in communication and how to support individuals and groups to be as effective as possible.
  • Team coaching allows possibility to apply many different skills and ideas
  • Important to be really present in the moment despite all of one’s background knowledge
  • Born in Alberta, but lived in Eugene, Oregon as a teen, lived in Toronto for a few years. Moved back to Calgary and did much of doctorate from a distance through Middlesex University.
  • Interesting to note differences with coaching in North America versus Europe: North Americans had leading edge in creation of coaching, but the UK was much more aware of improvement and support. Europe is ahead in researching foundations behind coaching effectiveness and providing supervision.
  • Peters finds it important to understand the science behind the art. Works with a lot of analytical people who are wary of “touchy feely” and want to understand proven scientific approaches, especially when doing things outside their comfort zone.
  • How did Dr. Peters get drawn to team coaching?
    • In late 90s started getting into coaching, was already working with leaders
    • Got coaching certification and there was soon after an opportunity at Canadian Pacific to improve team performance (about 18 years ago)
    • Started to see some literature coming out about coaching. Book by Cynder Niemela and Rachael Lewis about high team performance resonated with what she was already doing.
    • When working with leaders individually, they often also wanted her to work with their teams.
    • It’s essential to work with the whole system, not just individuals
    • Got many requests to do this work, and this was precursor to team coaching system.
    • With doctorate, looked at what she was doing to see if the science supported approaches.
    • Doesn’t always use the term “team coaching” initially, because people don’t understand it or are wary of it. Starts with “Team development, or “team effectiveness.” Leaders often see “coaching” as their realm, and feel territorial about it.
    • Richard Hackman – amazing work on what creates team effectiveness.

Part 2 – Hits & Misses Section

  • High Performance Team Coaching System
    • Focused on running through team cycle: beginning, midpoint and end. How to intervene with team needs to match where the team is in the cycle.
    • Phases of the System
      • Assessment of team effectiveness (soon to be available for commercial use). How is team functioning?
      • Support leader to look at structure and design of the team – Interpersonal dynamics are important, but structural elements need to work, too.
      • Observation – Talk with the team about their key goals and create a “team charter,” a one page document
      • Individual coaching for leader and other team members
      • Ongoing team coaching. Intervene and connect with team on a regular basis to follow up on charter and agreements. Teams typically don’t talk about how they’re working together when they don’t have someone to support them in those conversations.
      • Review learning and successes
    • Carr, Dr. Peters’ colleague, will be on another episode and talk more about the High Performance Team Coaching System.
  • High Performance Relationship System
    • Peters is a relationship coach/couples therapist, too. While doing that training, she realized that a lot of the science that drives successful couples overlaps with science about what drives successful teams. Also overlap with principles about building successful customer relationships.
    • High Performance Relationship System – Five Building Block System:
      • 1) Safety – create a sense of safety so that real issues can come up. To be high performing teams, trust is critical. Trust is an outcome of safety.
      • 2) Purpose – why is the team there? What is their interdependent goal? The more clear, committed and connected with purpose (beyond but not excluding profit), the more driven the team.
      • 3) Structure – Do we have the right people on the team? Are the right qualities there? People don’t talk about how they will work positively together.
      • 4) Camaraderie – how often you interact with others informally. Research shows there is 30% higher performance with teams that have more informal (“water cooler”) interactions.
      • 5) Repair – being conscious and deliberate about how you repair when things go awry. Important to ask permission to talk about difficult things.
    • Measures of Success of High Performance Relationships (Hackman)
      • 1) Quality Results – do you get results you’re meant to get?
      • 2) Individual engagement – do we feel committed to continue to work with our colleagues?
      • 3) Growth and development – are we getting better together? Do we grow and develop together
    • Relationships in business are similar to family and other personal relationships
    • Application to Team Coaching: Five building blocks help in these ways:
      • Teams can dissect complexity about what’s going on with their team
      • Team members can be more objective, not take things personally
      • People who focus on “we” do better than those who focus on “I.”
  •  Case Example – Hits and Misses Applying the High Performance Relationship System and the High Performance Team Coaching System
    • Small oil and gas company, relationship issues on team
    • Did a team effectiveness assessment and looked at five building blocks with team. Issues that came up: working agreements, structure was weak, roles were unclear, redundant in some of their work, technical expert who was in leadership role but didn’t have leadership skills (this person became scapegoat for other issues), lack of safety.
    • Created team charter and working agreements, defined values that gave sense of higher purpose and camaraderie, talked about how they would repair, and about how to participate in meetings.
    • Team enhanced effectiveness. Team member who didn’t quite fit in the leadership role voluntarily resigned once there was more clarity on team.
    • Indicator of a high performing team is that working agreements are few. When there is safety and trust, it’s faster to do business together.
    • Key Take away: when you have team members who don’t fit the culture, values and behaviors, the chances of making a high performing team are low. Make sure you have the right people on the team, not just technical but in behaviors also.

Part 3 – Parting Advice/Resources/Recommendations

  • Advice for people who want to get into team coaching:
    • If you’re going to do team coaching, be very well prepared. Have a system. Need to be focused, present and fueled by a strong knowledge base. Teams are complex and challenging. Need to be able to help people feel safe again if they derail, otherwise you risk making danger for a team. Be careful of how fast you go forward with personal disclosures in team.
  • How to be in touch with Dr. Peters:

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