Coaching Your Team To Success
A coaching style of leadership is effective for helping your team reach its highest levels of success. Yet few people have real experience acting as a coach or mentor. We are more familiar with traditional management styles involving "the carrot and the stick."
Want to improve your coaching ability? Start with these steps.
Key Coaching Steps
1. Clarify Expectations
Coaching should be directed toward specific performance expectations, not based on feelings or personal reactions. All goals should be openly communicated.
2. Define Supporting Behaviors
Under your guidance, the team needs to identify positive behaviors that will help them meet their expectations. Behaviors such as:
- Treat each other with respect
- Participate actively and willingly
- Be open minded and solicit ideas from others
- Share all relevant information
- Take individual responsibility
- Provide reward and recognition
- Teach and train each other (cross-training)
3. Evaluate Performance
Evaluate team and individual performance based on the expectations you set for the team and the supporting behaviors to which the members agreed. If you did provide clear expectations, then hold your team accountable for the outcomes. If you failed to provide clear expectations, then hold yourself accountable for the outcomes.
4. Give Feedback
Lots of feedback. Face-to-face, in-person. Phrased in terms of observed, witnessed behaviors. Do not address motive, intent, or personal qualities of the individual or the team. None of us are mind readers, so don't act like one.
5. Generate Options For Improvement
Involve the whole team when creating alternatives for the team. When addressing an individual's behavior, meet with that individual in private to generate options.
6. Make Corrections
Facilitate team agreement on which option to choose. Remember: everything the team tries is an experiment - if it doesn't work, then try something new. Let the team have input into the decision of which option to try next.
7. Reinforce Or Repeat
Reinforce the behavior if it improved or had the desired result. If not, simply repeat the cycle of creating, choosing, and acting on a new option.