Great Teams have Great Coaches: Does yours?

Every person and every team needs a good coach. It makes it more fun as well as 3X as successful!

Every person and every team needs a good coach. It makes it more fun as well as 3X as successful!

How many times have you seen projects deliver less than you think they could have? Or people on your team be less effective than the could be? Or entire business teams never quite gel? I ‘ve seen it quite often. There are many reasons why this happens – and today I’ll explore just one:

The team does not have a coach.

Sports teams always have a coach, and the coach can make a major difference, especially with those who are not professionals. If you played sports, think about a team where you had a great coach and contrast that to some of the other coaches you had. What makes for a great coach?

Here are a few that I can identify as characteristics of a great coach:

  • More concerned about each person’s and/or the team’s performance than getting glory or recognition
  • Keen observer to understand each team member’s strengths & passions
  • Clear on how to use each team member’s strengths effectively
  • Empowering people to find their own best way, not trying to force people to do it one way
  • Innovative and able to support teach team member in finding various approaches that might work
  • Open and agile to change the plan based on changes in the situation or new information
  • A guide to help the team member see where their beliefs may not match reality
  • Stoker of each person’s passions and dreams
  • Confident in each team member and demonstrates that confidence
  • A constant listener to hear each person’s ideas and needs as they achieve

Take a moment to consider how well you currently embody these characteristics. I know I am weak at several of these. I’m getting better, however, since I learned how to become a performance coach.

The program is Coach2Lead, and I am now certified to facilitate others in learning this skill. In fact, research shows that leaders who coach (who are in the minority) gain 3 times the team and business performance as their peers who do not. (Source: Deloitte Bersin research.)

What the founders of Coach2Lead are finding is that once one person is trained, entire management teams will want to also coach their teams. It spreads like other best practices. Performance coaching is a skill few managers have studied, but anyone can learn. (My associate Tom Rausch is the founder of Coach2Lead, and Susan Alexander has been instrumental in developing the program as well.)

Just raising your awareness of your own style and where you are weak and strong is a good first step. The Coach2Lead program does more. It allows you to learning some key principles and processes. The fieldwork is thought-provoking and includes having regular coaching conversations in a safe environment.

Coaching with everyone on your team can change the entire culture of your organization. However, most people want to pilot something before they roll it out.

Would you like to become a better coach for your teams? Or to do a 1-person trial of this approach to leadership? This is your opportunity. My associate Jonathan Reynolds and I are leading a Coach2Lead public class starting in January.

Let me know what you respect most about a good coach. And consider where you might need to do more work to be the best coaching leader you can be.

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