Apr 1, 2021
Introduction: Lucy Widdowson is an Executive,
Team & Leadership Development Coach. She is also a Director of
Performance Edge and a lead Tutor on Team Coaching at Henley
Business School. Paul J. Barbour is an Executive,
Team & Leadership Development Coach. He is an award winning
student on the Henley MSc in Coaching & Behavioural change.
Together they have written a book to be launched early in 2021
called Building High Performance Teams.
Podcast episode Summary: The book, Building
High Performance Teams informs much of the conversation across this
episode. It speaks to Team Coaching, the role of the Team Coach and
importantly the “why” for collaborative teams. Paul & Lucy
share their combined passion for their work, their unique framework
Creating the Team Edge, developed by Lucy & many vignettes to
bring the book and their work to life.
Points made throughout the Episode:
- Lucy and Paul both met at Henley studying for an MSC in
Coaching & Behavioural Change
- For her Thesis Lucy researched the impact of using “Creating
the team edge” with teams
- A passing comment about writing a book together became a
reality after much dialogue and contracting
- Initially Paul was interested in writing a book about conflict
resolution given his background and experience working in Northern
- Paul & Lucy became a mini team writing the book together
but what surprised them was how frequently they brought in the
wider system, their respective families and their network to
support some of the ideas for the book.
- Paul’s girls were instrumental in creating titles for many of
the books chapters.
- The book was revelatory and confirmed for the authors that
connection before content is paramount.
- Important always to set time to confront vulnerabilities &
concerns upfront even in times of extreme deadlines.
- The importance of the books Purpose and how it shaped the
strategy and collective objectives
- The book is a grounded book that takes in the research and
literature on teams and team coaching but it also is extremely
- Some favourite tools do standout for the authors; Personal
tools, asking people to go away from their desks to identity
something personal and meaningful can be a gateway for real understanding on
teams. A constellation of a swimming pool, an exercise in the book
can help a team ask deeper and get more openness and understanding
of the team & its dynamics.
- The book is a book of two parts. Chapters 1-4 situate readers
in the domain of team coaching. Chapters 4-11 describe Creating the
Team Edge Framework.
- 7 Chapters describe, Purpose, Identity, Values &
Behaviours, Awareness, Relatedness, Ways of Working and
- Of the 7 characteristics; System Awareness, Identity and
Transformation are perhaps the least discussed on teams
- The authors were keen to impress that Team Coaching is not about
the use of Tools and techniques and they devote an entire chapter
to that theme. It is so much more. In fact the role comprises there
states, being, knowing and doing.
- In terms of being a Coach or Team Coach needs to consider their
quotient of Courage, Connection, Confidence and Continuing
- Whilst the book outlines the approach that informs the authors
framework it is not to be considered a mechanistic process. Paul
& Lucy provide a bespoke per team approach that combines some
combination of Diagnostic, Co-design of the program, combination of
1:1coaching, Observation, Team Interventions and Evaluation at the
end the program.
- Contracting and re-contracting is an important feature of Team
Coaching & it comprises one of the called out competencies as
provided by the International Coaching Federation.
- Teams are often too embroiled in task and short term delivery
to notice the wider system in which they operate as well as the
need to step back and notice their collective mindset.
- What does the team believe about collective learning,
creativity & innovation, inclusion & diversity and
wellbeing? These are some of the questions addressed in the books
- Team Coaches are vulnerable and apt to make mistakes in
complex, adaptive systems. Lucy and Paul both described situations
where they felt they made errors in judgement with a team
- Lucy and Paul are about to commence a new Team Coaching Program
at Henley Business School in 2021. The program addresses three
themes; The Foundation of Team Coaching, Applying Theory and
Practice and becoming an Advanced Team Coach
- Essentially this program brings the theory and practice
- How do we play in the world of today and tomorrow. So much need
exists especially in the realm of collaboration.
- The book and their program at Henley is for now providing both
authors with considerable excitement and joy.