The Top 5 Ways to Coach Your Team to Success

The Top 5 Ways to Coach Your Team to Success

Coaching is one of the key components of managing modern employees. Nowadays, most people don’t just want to turn up to work and complete their daily tasks: they’re interested in both their personal and career development, and expect their managers to align with this and help bring them to the next level. Coaching your employees and helping them progress is the mark of a successful manager, and one that team members are highly grateful for. We take you through the top 5 ways to coach your team to success, and become a great leader yourself as you do so.

Listen: get to know the individual

Coaching isn’t a one-fits-all process. It’s important to tailor what you’re doing depending on who you’re interacting with. There isn’t a formula when it comes to helping someone develop: instead having a genuine understanding of the individuals that make up your team and what they’re needing to work towards will make for a far better and more useful process for everyone. Asking people what they feel they need to work on, how they see their development and what they think their next steps are, rather than simply putting people on standardized plans is far more beneficial. It will allow your team to each work on things which will benefit them and their long-term development plans. People will also really appreciate that you’re taking the time to treat them as individuals and cater to their goals, and in turn likely feel way more motivated to put great effort into their work.

Ask question

Asking people what they want from the coaching process goes hand-in-hand with communicating well. Once you realize what people want from the process, it’s easy to tailor what you’re doing. One fail-safe way to start is by asking people questions. What is it they want? Only once you know what people’s key focuses are can you really start to help them. Just taking the straight forward step of asking people the right questions can make all the difference between a useful process being set in place and people still not being happy with their progress. Really listening to your employees responses and tailoring the next steps around their answers shows you value people, and are in line with their personal values and goals. Asking people what they actually want out of the process is the only way to ensure it’s fully useful: whilst sometimes, as a manager, you have to assign things to people, working on coaching and their development programs can’t just be another one of these tasks. It really requires people to give their input and work collaboratively with you in order to take control of their own development.

Focus on people, not tasks

Make it clear to your team that the conversations and feedback taking place aren’t focused around the tasks or projects they’re working on, but how they can work on their skills, knowledge or practices and build them to improve future performance. When coaching your team, that’s exactly what the focus should really be on: using these skills and points for improvement to shape future practices and personal development. It’s key to have people know that this is all something you can build on together over time, and that you’re not expecting the things discussed to change and improve instantly overnight.

Emotional Intelligence

Coaching employees isn’t just about the employee. A large part of coaching people is the way you yourself deal with them; how you both perceive and in turn interact with them. If you can level with people, try and understand where they’re coming from with any problems in their role, opposing outlooks or personal issues, you’ll be far better equipped to deal with the situation at hand and work with people on a one-to-one basis. Being more aware of and increasing your emotional intelligence will by far improve you as a coach and mean you’re ready to better support and guide people: it’s not surprising that successful leaders seem to have higher than average levels of emotional intelligence.Being emotionally intelligent requires a focus: both on yourself and having an acute awareness of your inner workings, but also on others: empathizing with them and using your understanding as a basis to work more closely with people on a personal level.

Feedback is key

It’s impossible for people to develop without feedback. If your team aren’t aware of what they can improve, it doesn’t allow them to change or really build upon what’s going well. Providing effective, real-time feedback means plans can be tailor made to ensure the most efficient development takes place. Giving people tailored feedback which you’ve built up from closely working with them is the first step towards a useful development process. It’s also hugely important to recognize people’s achievements. Feedback isn’t just limited to constructive criticism: praising people for their successes is equally important. If your team know that you’re both aware of what they’re doing and you support them in their successes, they will be appreciative and likely strive even harder towards their goals as they know both where their strengths and weaknesses are, and that they have the support needed to achieve their upmost potential. It’s a great idea to set up regular 1-on-1’s with team members so feedback is established as an ongoing process.

Coaching is an increasingly important part of a modern manager's job. It’s key to get comfortable with coaching people by building genuine, unique relationships with your team members, using feedback efficiently, and listening to people to find out what they want and where they feel they’re headed. Once you’re collaborating like this and leading your team in the direction they need, you’re well on your way to coaching a happy and motivated team to success.

Steffen Maier
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Steffen Maier is co-founder of Impraise, a platform for actionable, timely feedback among co-workers. He is Y Combinator alum and recognized thought leader in Human Resources ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 24-28

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 24-28

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, April 24-28, 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Implementing a Robo Advisor Strategy

Robo advisors can complement—not threaten—any bank’s business model and improve customer engagement. Regardless of age, income, or gender, 75% of bank customers surveyed by KPMG said they would be likely or somewhat likely to consider a robo advice service from their bank. — Greg Vigrass

2. The Sweetspot of Sales

I’ve had some extremely interesting conversations the last few days. We’ve been discussing sales, sales management, leadership, motivation etc. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with these inspiring business leaders. One question keeps coming up: Why do you love sales so much? — Tove Zilliacus

3. New ETFs That Reinvent Fixed Income Investing—Without Reinventing the Wheel

We all know the drill: the Fed raises interest rates, and the bond market falls. That’s an important equation to consider now that the decade-long era of historically low interest rates is slowly but surely coming to an end. — Salvatore Bruno

4. Alternative Beta Strategies: Alpha/Beta Separation Comes to Hedge Funds

A quiet revolution is taking place in the alternatives world. The idea of alpha/beta separation has finally made its way from traditional to alternative investing. This development brings with it a more transparent, liquid and cost-effective approach to accessing the “alternative beta” component of hedge fund return and a new means for benchmarking hedge fund managers. — Yazann Romahi

5. Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…

I’ve had financial advisors for more than 40 years. Not once in those years have I called my advisor to find out what stock/funds I should buy or sell. But I have called to find out where I should get my first mortgage, when to sell my house, or how much income I could get in retirement. — Paulette Filion and Judy Paradi

6. Outsourcing Investment Management: TPAM vs. TAMP

Many financial advisory firms want the silver bullet solution to outsourcing investment management so the focus can be on client interactions and business development. However the jargon in this outsourced space has become very confusing so here is a brief summary of our understanding. — Jennifer Goldman​​​​​​​

7. How Can Financial Planners Save You From America's #1 Killer?

You probably aren’t aware of this, but it’s true: financial planners are heroes. Yep, it's the truth. And when you think of the America's top killer, you might think about smoking, cancer or obesity. Or maybe even a serial killer. — Ronald Sier

8. How to Stay On Clients' Minds

How to effectively stay on your clients’ minds (for all the right reasons), even though they may not see you for months. — Paul Kingsman

9. 20 Reasons Why Your Company Should Do Less Better

Do Less Better practitioners are fanatical about focus and de-complexity; herein lies the secret of their success. Yet, do less better isn’t something most leaders embrace. The seemingly more attractive (and logical) option is to do more and more — John Bell

10. Advisors: Where Should You Start with Content Marketing?

Often advisors ask us, “How should I get started in marketing?” It’s a fair question. They just want to make sure they’re putting their time and resources in the right place. — Jud Mackrill​​​​​​​

11. The 11 Best Steakhouses in the World

Serious carnivores will go to the ends of the earth to seek out a perfectly marbled, expertly seared steak. And so, it seems, will we. We've visited the best butchers in France, reacquainted ourselves with the idea that everything (steaks included) is bigger in Texas, eaten at celebrated parrillas of Argentina, and enjoyed the elegant ambiance of metropolitan steakhouses. — Andrew Harper

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio