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Manage Your Team as a Coach-Leader

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Team managers: You're trying to get your team to work out a solution but you sense there's little energy and ownership in the process. Have you tried asking your team members coaching questions?

When you take on the role as a coach-leader, what you're trying to do is help your team members leverage and maximise their abilities. When you coach your team members, you hone your own leadership skills, improve your leadership effectiveness scores and your emotional status.

Leveraging on your team members' strengths, you empower them to overcome the obstacles to attain their own goals and ultimately the team's goals. As a coach-leader, you motivate and empower your team members, drawing more energy from them as they pursue fulfilling the team's goals.

When you take on the role as coach-leader and utilise coaching questions with your team, the team naturally gains new insight into the challenges being faced and be able to overcome them with greater depth. Your brain starts to think more flexibly so to speak as the team sees other perspectives on any particular issue. This is especially important since we face rapid changes in not only customer expectations and technology but also economic, environmental and health challenges. Finally, you'll probably see an enhanced level of performance from your team members as you draw out their strengths and ideas, especially from the difficult and withdrawn team members. And it improves their attitude and ability.

Below are some coaching questions you can use in your team discussions. Before starting a coaching discussion with your team, you might like to strongly consider getting coached yourself!

The 10 Questions:

  1. What is the chief outcome we are trying to achieve at this time?

  2. What resources do we have that could be most useful in achieving this outcome?

  3. What obstacles have we encountered in achieving this outcome?

  4. Have we encountered such obstacles in the past, in similar situations?

  5. If so, how did we try to overcome the obstacle(s)? What worked, and what did not?

  6. What is a tiny step we can and want to do to achieve our desired outcome?

  7. What kind of support do we need? Who can we ask for support from?

  8. What is our key takeaway from this discussion?

  9. On a scale of one to 10, how confident are we with our proposal?

  10. When shall we connect again to check on the progress towards our outcome?

Extracted from an article by Jeffrey Gaines on Positive Psychology.

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