Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, BCC, PCC
By definition, a team is a group of people that functions as a single unit. In the world of sports, athletes soon learn that their desire to shine on the soccer field, or hockey pitch, or baseball diamond, or basketball court is less important than the success of the team as a whole. Star athletes might bring in the fans but their presence does not guarantee that the team will have a winning streak. Only by making personal goals subservient to the goals of the team will an individual athlete contribute to the desired victory. The same is true for any team-- surgical teams, members of an orchestra, school faculty, marketing teams, engineering teams, choirs, members of a committee, and so forth. In fact, rather than being an asset, the "Prima Donna" -- or "Primo Uomo"-- approach to being in the limelight is usually detrimental to the team as a whole. The best teams work together as a single unit, brought together by a common vision, shared purpose and agreed upon strategies and procedures.
In Team Coaching, the coach works with the unit so that it can reach its maximum potential. In contrast to Group Coaching which focusses on the performance of individual members, Team Coaching begins and ends with the team. The coach will want to know the following:
* What makes this a team?
* What is the purpose of this team?
* What goals does the team need to accomplish and in what time frame?
* Who are the players on this team?
* What official roles do these players hold?
* What are the players' individual strengths and weaknesses?
* How well is the team utilizing the players' giftedness?
* What challenges is this team facing?
* How has the team addressed these challenges in the past?
* What is undermining this team's success?
* How long will this team be an entity?
* To whom is this team accountable?
* Who will assess the performance of this team?
* How will the team know when its work is done?
What is Ministry Team Coaching?
Ministry teams function like secular teams; they can include pastoral teams, chaplaincy teams, hospice teams, liturgical teams, religious communities, archdiocesan teams, religious formation teams, retreat teams, religious education teams, domestic violence teams, and so forth. In addition to focusing on the questions listed above, a Ministerial Coach will help teams explore their mission, vision and core values. How does faith feature in this team's mission? How does the team manifest its calling? Where is God calling this team and what is blocking the team from responding? What internal transformation does this team require if it is to accomplish its purpose? How can the coach best serve the team and how can the team best serve its constituents?
From 2019-2023, I taught in ThrivingTogether, a ministerial coaching program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago (CTU). In my private practice, I work with ministers and ministry teams that are trying to define their purpose, become more successful while staying faithful to their calling. Together, we examine the tough questions so that the right answers will appear!
Every team is different and so each team requires a different coaching approach. Contact me for a FREE assessment of your ministry team's needs; I will then send a "no obligation" proposal for your consideration.
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