As team leader, you have a unique opportunity to build your team into a high performing team. By sharing your expertise, listening to their concerns, asking powerful questions, providing timely feedback, advising and supporting them, team members can develop their team skills and improve overall team and individual performance.
Look for “coachable moments” throughout your workday to share a compliment, ask a thoughtful question, or give feedback. Some team leaders like to walk around at the beginning of the day to “check in” with everybody; others like to grab a quick cup of coffee with a team member, or other situations where the opportunity presents itself!
A golden moment for team leaders to coach team members is at the end of a team meeting. Rather than dashing off to your next meeting, allow a few minutes to connect with other team members. Share what’s working well and what you would prefer to see next time. Remember, you don’t need tons of time to coach team members. Take advantage of coaching in the moment rather than waiting for their formal performance review.
When taking the time to coach a specific team member, consider:
Your Purpose. What is the issue or opportunity you think/feel needs coaching? What results are you looking for? How do you think they will react to your coaching?
Draw Them Out. Before launching into what you think they should do, ask open ended questions to draw out what their perception is.
Agree on the Issue. Both the team leader and the team member must agree on the basic issue before anyone can move forward.
Give Specific Feedback. Tell the team member what you observed or what your concerns are. Be specific and describe the impact of his actions, as you see it. Allow time for him to respond.
Identify Solutions. Brainstorm possible solutions that will be mutually acceptable. Select the solution(s) with the highest probability of success and the one your team member is most committed to!
Create an Action Plan. Determine how the solution will be implemented. Make sure you are both clear about what the next steps are. Ask if there is anything you can do to help and make sure the team member is successful. Set a specific date and time to follow up and check on progress.
Follow Through. Do what you say. If you promised support, do it. If you promised training, fund it. Let them go. Don’t go back on your word.
Question: How has coaching paid off for your team?