Conjoint Coaching:

Because coaching teams and organizations is fundamentally different from coaching individuals.

John Muir said, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." I see this phenomena when I coach teams and organizations. For an individual to change the way they work, they must also change their relationship with their co-workers. This implies a change in the co-workers, or else a disconnection from them. Either way, the relationship changes. The same happens when a team within an organization changes the way they work.

Most coaching models are built around a one-on-one relationship between the coach and client. This is appropriate for life-coaching, but I find it chafes when I'm coaching teams and organizations.

Conjoint coaching offers support, guidance, and insight to the entire group, in the context of their interactions with each other. The coach observes the interactions of the group, and can call the group's attention to significant aspects—aspects that may be so common the group does not notice them. The coach offers information that the group lacks and may find helpful. The coach facilitates conscious choices by the group to adopt behaviors that work better for achieving their goals and meeting their needs.

The term "conjoint coaching" is new, but the ideas are not. They're built on the concepts of Virginia Satir's "conjoint family therapy," the constructs of Systems Thinking, and other sources.

George Dinwiddie, iDIA Computing, LLC
@gdinwiddie on Twitter.