Team Coaching for International Teams
Team Coaching in English
English Consult has more than 20 years experience supporting international teams based in Frankfurt, Germany and all over the world. Increasingly companies based in Germany will have team members also based in the UK, the USA or France for example. This brings many challenges for the team members and the management. When German team members have to communicate in English with other team members they may not have met in person about complex work topics through online video meetings there is the strong possibility for communication difficulties to appear.
What is included ?
At the beginning it is important to gain an understanding of what the team members feel about their team and how they would like to see it develop. This can be done by asking everyone to present a summary of their views regarding a number of topics covering the team and the team culture. Alternatively it is possible to carry out one to one interviews with each member. This can take longer depending on the size of the team, but the privacy allows team members to give more honest answers. One of the key aims of any team review should be to understand whether you have a group of employees or you have a team.
Are you a Group or a Team?
A team has a common goal or purpose. In addition, they might say that each person on a team is interdependent. In other words, each person on the team recognizes that every person is valuable and knows what needs to be done to accomplish their goal. Lee, G. V. (2009). From group to team: Skilled facilitation moves a group from a collection of individuals to an effective team. Journal of Staff Development, 30(5), 48–49.
On the other hand, groups might include people that have similar roles or tasks, such as all medical nurses. Groups can eventually become teams. The main difference is that teams need to support each team member. It takes a lot of characteristics for a group to become a team. The main difference is that in a team each individual is not only responsible for their efforts and contributions to the group, but also for the collective outcome of the group. Moreover, the emphasis is not on the individual but the team. Thus, the communication is different, because in teams, people want to discuss and come to a conclusion about how to solve the problem. In groups, the main reason why people communicate is to share information without much discussion.
Team coaching is effective in supporting groups of employees to develop into an efficient team and works together towards the objectives and goals of the company and for that team. This is especially true for global teams that are often located in different countries and time zones and where English is the language that is used to communicate. This often means that many employees will feel at a disadvantage when English is not their native language. Therefore it is really important for managers to make sure that they carry out certain steps when they are managing remote teams.
Managing Remote Teams
Remote teams need to be supported by managers to ensure that they function effectively and effciently. There are a number of areas where special attention needs to be focussed on to make sure that a group of employees becomes or stays a functioning team when they are working away from each other.
- Maximum information- really important to make sure that employees receive as much information as possible about what is going on the team. Make sure all deputies are also delivering their share of the information to their subordinates.
- Weekly Online meetings- aim to have a weekly catch up meeting with all of your team with an agenda delivered in advance for team members to adequately prepare for. This will be especially critical for those who are not English native speakers. It will also be essential to make sure there are minutes from the meeting and that they are sent out to all team members as soon as possible.
- Regular feedback- employees need regular feedback on their performance to appreciate how they are performing
- Ownership- giving employees their own tasks to complete with appropriate flexibility will help improve their motivation
- Physical meet ups- remote teams will greatly benefit from the opportunity to meet each other and have to face face conversations. If possible it is advisable to make sure that there is a mix of activities booth work and social.
- Decision making- where possible team members should be involved in the decision making processes. This will lead to improvements in motivation and in collaboration.
- Break out sessions- during online video meetings arranging break out sessions where members of the same team or of separate teams meet to work on projects . Many managers also use this method to allow team members to socialise for 10-15 minutes with a team member chosen at random. This can help members to to become better acquainted with members they have little contact with outside the normal meetings.
Adapted from Chriss Cross Managing Remote Teams
Who will benefit from Team Coaching?
The Team coaching approach is designed to support employees and managers of global companies that find themselves working in teams that are not performing as they imagined they should.
Typical signs of poorly performing teams are;
- Lack of trust between colleagues and other teams
- Lack of recognition
- Fear of speaking up
- Internal competition
- Feeling no one has your back
Recently we have coached teams in following company departments
- Human Resourses
- Bio Tech
Call 0176 29517091 or write bc@english-consult. for a free consultation on how English-Consult could support your team development.
I offer Business English training, consulting & coaching, helping professionals to communicate effectively with their native and non-native speaking partners.
With over 20 years experience in Germany, I offer a professional service which aims to meet my clients needs & expectations.
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