Victoria Smith-Murphy describes her experience on the ECS Certificate in Team Coaching

I recently completed the three-day Certificate in Team Coaching held in July 2019 with Georgina, Bob and a group of other inspiring professionals.

I should start by saying that I might not be a natural candidate for this programme. Since leaving the world of corporate marketing in 2015, I’ve been running my own life coaching practice, working one-to-one with private clients. Until now, I’ve chosen not to coach within businesses, for teams or for individuals. However, something shifted in me recently and I’ve been more and more curious about re-entering the world of organisations. At this point, I came across Georgina speaking on the Team Coaching Zone podcast, and it really connected with me.

I found myself nodding along furiously to her description of creating a similar type of relational, explorative space for teams as I love creating for individuals, and so I decided to check out the Certificate of Team Coaching programme.

The three-day programme was held in a lovely, light-filled venue overlooking London’s canals (basically my dream view!). I was really curious about who the other participants would be — I literally had no idea what to expect — and as is often the case, this was a highlight of the course. We all had coaching in common, although were a mix of different backgrounds, areas of interest, experience level (with team coaching and coaching in general) and opinions.

Right from the start, Georgina and Bob fully embodied their approach to working with groups of people (as a set of learners, we weren’t strictly a team!). In our initial group discussion on creating a working alliance, dynamics and differing opinions were allowed to emerge without being ‘managed’ by the trainers. This then provided rich material to start exploring how to create safety in a team coaching environment and how to allow conflict to exist whilst also moving forward. It was fascinating to watch and to be a part of.

The real focus of the Certificate is on the competencies of team coaching — creating safety and setting boundaries in particular — rather than detailed tools for the whole process. However, I found there was enough theory and frameworks to give clear structure, supported by a ‘real life’ case study that we developed over the three days. One really powerful aspect for me was deeply understanding what team coaching actually IS — how a team differs from a group and how coaching differs from facilitation.

The learning experience felt spacious — it was as much about noticing our own experience of working in a team and self-managing, as it was about specific techniques. In fact, something I really appreciated was the sense that nothing was being too tightly held on to — when we looked at behavioural models or assessment tools, it felt exploratory rather than ‘this is the way to coach a team’. I always value trainings where the focus is on integrating new knowledge to continually evolve my own understanding of who I am / want to be as a coach, and Georgina and Bob were very clear that this was their philosophy as well.  Take what works for you, leave what doesn’t.

Overall, it was a really powerful training – the content, the warmth of the trainers, and the calibre of the group. And it made me realise what a huge opportunity team coaching represents to positively impact the world — taking the empowerment and self-acceptance of coaching, and unleashing it in an environment which can too often be filled with judgment and disconnection; the teams we work in.

Victoria has her own a practice supporting intelligent, wholehearted professionals to live and work from a place of self-connection, purpose and flow. You can connect with her on Instagram

The ECS Certificate of Team Coaching is the foundation module of a suite of workshops that make up The Diploma of Team Coaching and are designed to build team coaching capability.  This 3 day workshop is delivered in London or Winchester in the Uk as well as globally and has been accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  For more information go to https://www.executivecoachstudio.com/certificate_in_team_coaching/