Building a winning team: Coaching can boost your team’s performance


Correctly regarded as a powerful management improvement tool, coaching enables your people to significantly raise their game.


Coaching is a specialist technique used by a trained person to help an individual achieve his or her objectives, solve problems, or improve performance through structured conversations.


A good coach uses key skills including listening and questioning, building a productive rapport, developing empathy, influencing and challenging the person being coached and delivering insightful feedback.


Careful preparation and planning are essential if the coaching sessions are to succeed, along with setting objectives for review and self-learning.


The art of lending an ear


From Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, comes the fantastic quotation: ‘seek first to understand then be understood’. For coaching purposes, this is an invaluable message because listening is a key skill that is essential to starting the process of understanding.


Question time is time well spent


The purpose of questions is to stimulate and expand thinking. Questions are used to encourage change, achieve results, enable understanding, create clarity, highlight values and beliefs, enable awareness, generate options, change problems into solutions and generate action.


The importance of establishing rapport


Rapport is the basis of communication and could be said to be at the heart of the coaching process. Rapport in a coaching relationship creates a strong sense of trust and mutual respect that allows a free and honest exchange of views.


How to coach your people to achieve a consistently strong performance


A good coach needs to focus on the team, individual and the task. You should establish standards of performance and behaviour. By encouraging your team to achieve aims and objectives you will generate group motivation and provide a collective sense of purpose.


You must also give feedback to the group on overall progress, consult with them and seek honest feedback.


Understanding the team members as individuals is crucial and this means getting insights into people’s personalities, strengths, needs, aims and concerns. Equally important is giving recognition to individuals – acknowledge good work and you will reap the benefits through greater productivity.