Coaching for Team Collaboration – Part 3

Coaching for Team Collaboration – Part 3

This is the third in a series of five posts to describe how managers can coach people to practice genuine collaboration in the workplace.  These posts represent excerpts from the Association for Talent Development’s new book, Focus On Them, scheduled for publication in December 2018 by ATD Press. Winsor Jenkins is a contributing author of the book.

In my first post, we established a roadmap described as a Team Mini-Charter for Developing a Culture of Collaboration.  Embedded in this charter is an Operating Platform to support your team’s ability to lead with mindset and produce outstanding team results.





In the second post, Collaboration’s Operating Principles were introduced to learn how they can be leveraged to produce outstanding team results.  In this post, we introduce Collaboration’s Competencies.














Described as the team’s skillset for practicing genuine team collaboration, the idea of teaching people a new range of competencies may appear to be a challenging task in the beginning.  Developing competence takes time, but it’s not as complicated as you may think.

Once you and your team are comfortable with the language of competency development, the development process starts with diagnosis.  One option that’s relatively easy to do here is to sort these competencies into three categories:  Exceptional, Proficient, and Needs Improvement.

A second development option often is to schedule a 360-degree survey[1] which captures feedback from one’s supervisor, peers and direct reports.  I have used this option many times in the past (as both an internal and external coach) and found it to be highly beneficial for both people and the organization.  It provides meaningful feedback for people on the team, and it represents a great platform for coaching.

Action plans are created once peoples’ strengths have been assessed across this inventory.  From there, it’s a case of targeting selected competencies for growth – followed up with periodic coaching to help reinforce learning and application.  Typically, competencies that fall into the “Needs Improvement” category are targeted for development.  Keep in mind, however that the overuse of competencies described as “Exceptional” may surface for development.

Regardless of which option is used to identify a knowledge or performance gap, competency-based development typically includes workshops, readings, special developmental assignments like teaching others, job rotation, and coaching.

Your team’s ability to successfully apply collaboration’s competencies is tied to being mindful of which competencies are aligned with each of the collaboration’s operating principles.

[1] We use the Polaris® 360, customized to match up with Collaboration’s Competencies.

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Winsor Jenkins is a contributing author to the ATD book called Focus on Them.

This book explores ATD’s new management framework – the ACCEL model. Based on their research, ATD has identified five skills in the ACCEL model that all front-line managers need to master: Accountability, Communication, Collaboration, Engagement, and Listening (and Assessing). Each skill is addressed in a chapter written by a leader in management and talent development.