Book Review: Transformational Coaching to Lead Culturally Diverse Teams

In this book, Dr Sunny Stout-Rostron examines real-world experience and the contemporary literature on group and team coaching. She analyses how team coaching can guide coaches to help leaders and teams flourish in complex, culturally diverse organisations. As well as presenting a variety of team coaching models she also presents her own model, High-Performance Relationship Coaching, the result of many years of working with global corporate teams.

Dr Stout-Rostron illuminates how team coaches can help teams to learn from and interpret their own experiences, and to understand the complexity of the environment in which they work. Her team coaching model is explored over eight chapters, beginning with the role of the business team coach and leadership coaching processes. She evaluates how to work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how to shift culture through transformative leadership coaching, explains the depth of relationship systems coaching, and explores how to apply a variety of methods including Ubuntu coaching. The book encourages team coaches to develop deep self-awareness, team awareness, cultural diversity awareness and wider systemic and relationship awareness. Filled with practical stories and examples, it describes how to work successfully with these models in the real world.

Transformational Coaching to Lead Culturally Diverse Teams is a key guide for coaches in practice and in training, HR and L&D professionals and executives in a coaching role. This is essential reading for all team coaches.

Available as an ebook or in hard copy from Routledge


“Team coaching is increasingly popular and credible as the people-development approach for businesses navigating the complex demands impacting on today’s workplace. We can no longer ignore the global platform of this digital age, further compounded by the unprecedented cultural mix in team composition. This seminal text, contextualised in relationship systems intelligence, offers expertise and knowledge that prepares and elevates your offering as a team coach. You can develop and distinguish your practice, informed by proven interventions implemented by successful practitioners. Current case studies from a range of sectors are reinforced with tangible illustrations and a range of team coaching models. You will be taken on a journey of discovery into every facet of team coaching – transformational leadership, a systemic perspective on culture and human relationships, and differentiation between group and team coaching. A text that I highly recommend you view as a must-have reference in all your preparations for team coaching.” – Dr Lise Lewis, International Special Ambassador of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), London, UK

“In this timely and useful book, the authors draw on their considerable experience and address key concerns and approaches to team coaching, stressing the importance of culture and the role that diversity plays in the process. Systems Theory is fast emerging as the dominant discourse for coaching in organisations, and the models offered here do well to expose its importance. Highly recommended reading for coaches working with teams.” – Dr Marc Kahn, Global Head of HR and OD, Investec Plc; Visiting Professor of People, Organisation and Strategy at Middlesex University, London, UK

“Sunny has this knack. As a top researcher and coaching professional she sees. And then she digs. And then she confirms. And then she writes, giving us the gift of seeing, too. And soon rumblings and shiftings and leapings become the norm, and the world is different. Her latest book does all of that again, and on probably the most important issue of our time: cultural difference. If you transform your team along Sunny’s lines (and that of her very able colleagues), you will, I am sure, feel the gratitude to her that I feel every day. Our differences are music. This book makes sure we build a symphony every time we meet, every time we think together, every time we decide, every time we act. And soon we cannot un-see this sonorous reality ever again. It becomes our own wisdom.” – Nancy Kline, Time to Think, Inc.; author of Time to Think and More Time to Think

“This is a much-needed book in the coaching world. It provides an overview of many team coaching models, summarising the key components and sharing the frameworks, as well as demonstrating techniques within each model. In this way it serves as a text book or resource book. The wealth of knowledge contained in this book makes it a ‘Must Read’, and it is an essential integrated guide to best practices in team coaching. The sharing of theory supported by case studies provides a solid bridge between theoretical understanding and practical implementation. The contributing authors add a diversity and richness to a gem of a book. Highly recommended for coaches wanting to transition to team coaching, but equally valuable to existing practitioners in team coaching. Leaders, HR and talent managers, and those who want to generate higher sustainable performance within their teams will also benefit from reading this book.” – Dr Natalie Cunningham, Executive Board Member of Graduate School Alliance Education Coaching; Research Associate, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

“A powerful guide to lead and leverage the value of diverse teams through coaching. It provides the inspiration, wisdom and tools for leaders and teams to thrive in dynamic, culturally diverse global environments.” – Jeanett Modise, Chief HR Officer, Sanlam Investments, Cape Town, South Africa

“This book clearly lays out the best approach to improving team performance. With clear practical case studies, the author guides and highlights the many real situations one faces in the corporate world. Managing teams and learning how best to identify skills and talents among your different personalities must be one of the greatest challenges to corporate harmony. Furthermore, the book gives clear guidelines on how to handle conflict and navigate change, and most importantly on how to apportion responsibilities. This book is an all-in-one easy guide to improving the productivity of your key players.” – Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Transformation Director, Pick n Pay, South Africa

“This book is a well-researched synthesis of contemporary literature on group and team coaching, woven together with evidence from recent organisational case studies and the author’s own extraordinary insights. As an immensely practical go-to-guide for any professional in the leadership development space working with teams and seeking to build requisite leadership team capability for any organisation to thrive in a complex, culturally diverse world, this is a must-read!” – Sandri van Wyk, Chief Advisor Leadership Development, Human Resources, Eskom, South Africa.

“The book includes practical cases and an introduction to the latest team coaching approaches. You will find relevant concepts of team coaching, and how to cope with the challenges of the technological revolution, starting with the effective and robust concept of transformative leadership, together with approaches for transforming organisational cultures and even on management of diversity and culture in modern international teams. Have you ever heard of Ubuntu Coaching? Certainly not, but if you read the special chapter, like me, you can learn from African practices how to use a very pragmatic transcultural approach to working on themes in teams. In addition, you will find a concept of Relationship Systems Coaching and a High-Performance Relationship Coaching Model.

You will not find a more comprehensive integration of individual and team coaching. Sunny is completely right in her conclusion that ‘the core competence we are working with in team coaching is that of learning – and the learning must always start with the coach’. I will use her book for my coach trainings. I am sure that this inspiring book is needed by the field for visionary and integrated team coaching!” – Prof Dr Siegfried Greif, University of Osnabrück, Work and Organisational Psychology Unit, and Institut für psychologische Forschung und Beratung GmbH (IwFB) (Institute of Business Psychological Research and Counselling), Germany

“By having in mind the rapid changes in our organisational culture and the transformational impact of technology, the authors of this book successfully emphasise the necessity of a collaborative approach relevant to our working environment. The best way to grasp the spirit of this book is by referring to African Ubuntu philosophy that grasps the essence of being human. It literally means that a person is a person through other people. It embraces hospitality, caring about others, and being willing to go the extra mile for the sake of another. As Nelson Mandela said, Ubuntu is a vital instrument to ‘bridge the gaps between people in the workplace, stakeholders within and outside the enterprise and business and the broader society in which they operate’. This perspective on team coaching is the best testimonial and gift that an African-based book can give to the world.” – Dr Reinhard Stelter, professor of coaching psychology at the University of Copenhagen and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

“Team coaching is an area of growing interest, and every effort at a detailed review of experience in delivering these interventions is an important contribution for everyone who cares about the way people work in organisations. Practitioners looking for guidance in this developing field of knowledge will find in this book a wealth of ideas from those who can be trusted. The authors have made useful and thoughtful links between what other disciplines have been working on, and what coaching thought-leaders are currently conceptualising. This book also stands out from others as it brings the topic of diversity of participants into the very focus of team coaching; an increasingly prominent feature of our life in organisations.” – Professor Tatiana Bachkirova, Director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University, UK

“The authors provide a useful introduction for practitioners who work with global teams in today’s diverse world.” – Dr David Drake, CEO: Moment Institute, San Francisco, California, USA

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction: Team Coaching;
  • Chapter 2: Leadership and team coaching;
  • Chapter 3: Transformative leadership coaching: Shifting culture in organisations, Deborah Williams;
  • Chapter 4: Theories, models and tools for informing the High-Performance Relationship Coaching Model;
  • Chapter 5: Diversity and culture in teams;
  • Chapter 6: The case for Ubuntu Coaching: Working with an African coaching meta-model that strengthens human connection in a fast-changing VUCA world, Dr Dumisani Magadlela,
  • Chapter 7: Relationship Systems Coaching, Creina Schneier and Anne Rød;
  • Chapter 8: The High-Performance Relationship Coaching Model;
  • Chapter 9: Final Reflections;
  • Appendix