Felipe Paiva, MBA, MS, Partner at Artisan Consultoria

#004:  Surfing the Wave of Team Coaching

Join Dr. Krister Lowe and this week’s leading organizational team coach, Felipe Paiva, on the The Team Coaching Zone Podcast.  In the episode, Felipe shares stories about the dynamic process of coaching leadership teams in the oil & gas and fast moving consumer goods sectors. Felipe holds two Master’s Degrees, one an MBA from COPPEAD/UFRJ and the other a M.S. in Consulting and Coaching for change from HEC-Paris.  He also completed Columbia University’s Coaching Certification Program.  After 10 years as a business executive, Felipe moved into consulting and has been practicing in this capacity over the last 11 years.  He was a recent presenter at Columbia University’s 2014 Coaching Conference on “Coaching for Difficult Situations.”


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Learn more about Felipe at: https://br.linkedin.com/pub/felipepaiva/0/190/a3


  1. Organization Workshop with Barry Oshry. http://www.powerandsystems.com/workshops-with-impact/organization-workshop.html
  2. Heifetz, R.A. & Linksky, M. (2002). Leadership on the Line.
  3. Heifetz, R.A. & Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World.
  4. Kegan, R. & Laskow Lahey, L. (2009). Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good).
  5. Stober, D.R., & Gant, A.M. (2006). Evidence Based Coaching Handbook.
  6. Cox, E., Bachkirova, T., & Clutterbuck, D.A. (2014). The Complete Handbook of Coaching.
  7. Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ 



  • Partner at Artisan Consultoria, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Consulting firm specializing in change management, business alignment and executive development. Works with multi-national firms operating in Brazil and globally.
  • Coaches people globally.
  • An alumni of HEC, a leading business school in Paris France and as a coach in one of their leadership development programs
  • Has been working in a range of industries: fast moving consumer goods, banking, pharmaceutical companies, mining, oil and gas, media, health care, engineering.
  • Multi-lingual: Portuguese, French, Spanish, English
  • B.A. in Business, MBA, and after 10 years as a business executive went into consulting for the last 11 years, then did a Master of Science degree in consulting and coaching for change. Explored a lot of theories and models that back up his coaching practice.
  • Then went and completed the Columbia University Coaching Certification Program.
  • Believes you really need to balance theory and practice, art and theory.
  • Has interviewed lots of coaches who go through coaching training programs and who only master tools but don’t have the academic backgrounds or frameworks that guide practice.
  • Is a trained musician, classical guitar, and still plays in a band (blues and rock). Has helped in coaching with improvisation, with rhythm of things, when to use silence, how to be dynamic in coaching.
  • Went through psycho-analysis which helps you understand the process and value of silence and reflection. If he hadn’t done that he feels that he couldn’t be a coach like he is today. You start to develop a more systemic view of your life and how your life is interconnected with others and how your decisions impact your outcomes. You are responsible for your decisions and for the things that happen around you. In coaching we are trying to help people get in more control of their lives and find the locus of control within themselves.
  • When you explore psychodynamic approaches to coaching it becomes clear how psycho-analysis helps the coaching process.
  • Interest in team coaching: many coaches come into the profession from consulting. He worked with a lot of teams prior to becoming a coach. When he started thinking about teambuilding as a process, team coaching became natural.   If you can move beyond teambuilding as an event then you can start getting into team coaching.
  • Has found the literature on team coaching limiting at present.
  • When does team coaching often starts with 3 to 4 sessions of coaching with the leader prior to doing a teambuilding event with the team. Likes to really understand the leader and his/her relationship with the team.
  • Also likes to interview each team member prior to a teambuilding workshop in order to really understand the context. Often you will find issues with interpersonal tensions, issues with trust involving the team leader, and factions within the team.
  • Teambuilding workshop focuses on team mission, vision and the legacy they want to leave and build as a team. Ground rules.
  • Then team coaching sessions begin. Once a month. Tend to be 2 to 3 hours in length.
  • Length often depends on client’s budget. Longest about 12 months. Minimum of 6 months. 6 to 12 months.
  • Need to give team some time to function alone by their own means at same time in order to reduce dependency on the team coach.


  • Hits – Team Coaching Success Story:
    • Currently working with a team in the Oil & Gas sector that has been successful.
    • The function of the organization he was working with had a poor perception within the company. 2000 people in the company. Did an online survey with about 140 leaders and managers in the organization to give some feedback on the functioning of this function. Also asked the functional area to rate themselves.
    • Did interviews with the leaders of the functional area and the leaders of the company.
    • Teambuilding with the Director and the direct reports. 7 people (director and 6 senior managers).
    • Looked at personal stories, MBTI, look at how they can interact, mission, vision and ground rules. Then started the team coaching sessions.
    • Survey data helped with building out the vision. Gap analysis of how they saw themselves vs. where they wanted to be.
    • In this case he didn’t begin with coaching the team leader. Had a good relationship with the team leader as he had done some work with this leader in a prior organization.
    • The focus of the team coaching sessions was on implementing the vision that they had created in a concrete way.
    • They decided to involve the rest of the functional area in a larger workshop. A technique called the Organization Workshop with Barry Oshry. About 40 people in attendance. Shared the vision and mission in that workshop and opened it up to the group to work with it and modify and refine it. Each manager with their teams then met with each other manager and their teams to work on the inter-team needs and relationships.
    • During 3 hour team coaching sessions, reflected on actions taken, getting alignment and focusing on what is going on right now, what is relevant that we need to act on. Lot of work in moment. There is no fixed agenda.
    • Sends an email one week prior and asks the team members to share what they want to talk about. However often when the meeting happens more pressing issues become the focus.
    • Begin discussing issues or challenges trying to implement strategies and then they get support from the 5 other people there.
    • Also focus on giving feedback to each other during the coaching sessions. Sometimes people allude to things in a general way and as the team coach tries to tease out what is really being said. Sometimes have them change roles to do some empathy work. With the whole team observing. The team begins to develop a competency that they can do by themselves. Ability to engage in difficult conversations.
    • Key Takeaways:
      • Have to combine many skills: for example you may need to do a little teaching, share a framework. For example using Heifetz’ Adaptive Leadership framework.
      • Helping people get clear. Cut through the noise and cut straight to what really counts. Need to ask “what’s at stake here?” “What is the team’s contribution here on this issue?” Such questions can help with focusing.
      • Now the team really can give open feedback to each other. Have taken personal interest in each other’s lives. An indicator of a high performing team.
      • The role of leader in the group. The leader was really open. Didn’t try to dominate, allowed other team members to lead parts of the meetings. Was also open to receiving feedback and providing candid feedback to others.
      • Would debrief the meeting with the team leader afterwards.
  • Misses – Team Coaching Challenge Story:
    • Worked with a team in fast moving consumer goods.
    • Lot of politics and agendas going on.
    • Subordinates were reporting both to him as well as other leaders at headquarters outside of Brazil.
    • Team members reported to President in Brazil but also to functional leaders to those outside Brazil. Team members were trying to position their careers which led to some political behaviors.
    • Was challenging getting the group into the teambuilding workshop. Also wasn’t able to coach the president.
    • During the teambuilding people were resistant to opening up. They wanted to share their business experience but not much on a personal level. Was overly polite.
    • Developed vision, mission, ground rules.
    • When team coaching sessions were held the group avoided bringing up real issues.
    • In one of the sessions the President used the space to call out and blame some of the team members and criticize them took much. In the Brazilian culture, exposing people in a team is not considered a good thing. He exerted too much power and authority in the meetings.
    • Felipe suggested suspending team coaching sessions. They wanted to continue but he tried to challenge the group that they needed to start doing the work. It was a turning point. But the role of the leader just never transformed.
    • Likes the work of Ronald Heifetz. Understanding how organizations can be organized into factions and mapping out the organization and where is power and how it is exercised and what the needs are of the various factions. Leadership on the Line and the Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz. The second book is like a field manual/handbook.
    • Sometimes calls a team member after the team coaching session when he feels like a team member is holding something back. Has helped getting the issue out in the open in future sessions.
    • Key Takeaways:
      • The relationship between the team coach and the team leader is essential.
      • Orienting the team leader to the team coaching sessions/process
      • Doing at least 2 coaching sessions with the leader prior to the team coaching sessions.
      • Have to be very careful about not being viewed as being their to only support the leader’s agenda. You need to be seen as supporting the team as a whole.
      • Questions how much team coaching can help when the context is overly political.
      • Important for the coach to do the homework to be able to diagnose the system effectively.
      • Should have delved into the relationships between the President and the leaders. The leaders weren’t so interested in the President’s agenda.
      • Importance on listening to intuition that may be giving you some hints that something isn’t right here.
      • Being careful not to engage in projects just because of the money.
      • Being careful that you in the role of team coach doesn’t impact negatively the dynamics in the team.
      • Being careful not to create confusion in the team. Not becoming a leader by proxy.

Part 3 – Parting Advice & Resources

  • Focusing now on using individual and team coaching to support change processes.
  • Works with organizations redesigning their structure and when this is happening some people lose things and gain things. So coaching around the change, gains, and losses can be helpful.
  • Engaging the leaders in the change process in individual coaching to help them maintain themselves as leaders during change and team coaching.
  • Helping the teams have healthy discussions about the change issues underway.
  • Very challenging: combines coaching with consulting and balancing the two roles which are very different.
  • Kegan, R. & Laskow Lahey, L. (2009). Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good).
  • Stober, D.R., & Gant, A.M. (2006). Evidence Based Coaching Handbook.
  • Cox, E., Bachkirova, T., & Clutterbuck, D.A. (2014). The Complete Handbook of Coaching.
  • Parting advice: coaching teams is very different from coaching individuals. You have to question yourself about your ability to diagnose the organization. How much can you handle group exercises. You need some practice in teambuilding. Understanding group dynamics (triangles, pairing, splitting, etc…). Doesn’t recommend people with few hours in coaching get into team coaching.
  • Like surfing that you have to catch the wave in a flexible way.

How to Contact Felipe Paiva

  • Artisan Consultoria website: http://www.artisanconsultoria.com
  • LinkedIn Profile: https://br.linkedin.com/pub/felipe-paiva/0/190/a3
  • felipe@artisanconsultoria.com

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