Unlocking the Power of Coaching: How Leaders Can Transform Their Teams Through Coaching


Coaching has become an increasingly important tool for leaders who want to develop their teams, increase engagement, and drive organisational success. However, many leaders struggle to incorporate coaching into their leadership style, or they may not fully understand the potential impact of coaching on their team’s performance.

Coaching can help a team member to develop their skills and knowledge, improve their performance, and achieve their personal and professional goals.

Benefits of Coaching

Coaching can have a profound impact on your team’s performance and engagement. Here are some of the key benefits of coaching:

1. Increased engagement

Coaching can increase engagement by providing employees with the support and resources they need to achieve their goals. Coaching can also help employees feel more connected to their work and more invested in their success.

A study by the Corporate Leadership Council found that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organisations (Corporate Leadership Council, 2004). (This seems very old??) By using coaching to help your team members identify their strengths and interests, and align their work with their passions, you can help them feel more engaged and motivated.

2. Improved performance

Coaching can help employees develop the skills and knowledge they need to perform their jobs at a higher level. Coaching can also help employees identify and overcome obstacles that may be hindering their performance.

Coaching can help your team members perform at their best by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. A study by the International Coach Federation (ICF) found that coaching can lead to a 70% improvement in work performance and a 61% improvement in job satisfaction (ICF, 2009). For example, a manager who used coaching to help struggling team member improve their performance saw a 20% increase in their productivity (Benson & Dundis, 2003).

3. Better communication

Coaching can improve communication by providing employees with the tools and techniques to communicate more effectively with their colleagues and managers. Coaching can also help employees develop stronger relationships with their colleagues and managers.

4. Increased motivation

Coaching can increase motivation by helping employees develop a sense of ownership and accountability for their work. Coaching can also help employees identify their strengths and interests and align their work with their passions.

5. Enhanced leadership skills

Coaching can help leaders develop the skills to lead effectively, including active listening, powerful questioning, and providing feedback.

Incorporating Coaching into Your Leadership Style

If you want to incorporate coaching into your leadership style, here are some practical tips to get started:

1. Set clear coaching goals

Setting clear coaching goals is an essential step in effective coaching. It provides direction and focus for the coaching sessions and helps both the coach and the coachee to track progress and measure success. In our experience, the tighter a goal or purpose, the better the performance or outcome.

Identify specific coaching goals that are aligned with your team’s needs and the organisation’s objectives. Use these goals to guide your coaching efforts and track progress over time.

Understanding and focusing on the right goal can be challenging.

For example, In Red Team Coaching methods, a question is asked even before we set the goal – “is it the right problem that you are trying to solve?”

The following process can then be followed to help the client understand their clear goal.

  • Start with a needs analysis: Before setting goals, it’s important to understand the coachee’s needs and challenges. This can be done through a needs analysis, which involves assessing the coachee’s current performance, identifying areas for improvement, and understanding their personal and professional goals.
  • Define the goal: Once you have a good understanding of the coachee’s needs and challenges, it’s time to define the coaching goal. A clear coaching goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, a coaching goal could be “Increase sales by 20% within six months by improving customer engagement.”
  • Identify the actions needed to achieve the goal: Once the goal is defined, it’s important to identify the specific actions that need to be taken to achieve it. This involves breaking the goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, the actions needed to increase sales by 20% might include improving customer service, developing new marketing strategies, and providing sales training to staff.
  • Determine the resources needed: Achieving the coaching goal will likely require resources such as time, money, and support. It’s important to identify these resources early on and ensure that they are available throughout the coaching process.
  • Establish a timeline: To ensure that progress is being made towards the coaching goal, it’s important to establish a timeline with specific milestones and deadlines. This helps to keep the coachee focused and motivated and provides opportunities to assess progress and adjust the coaching plan as needed.
  • Get buy-in: Finally, it’s important to ensure that the coachee is fully committed to the coaching goal and the actions needed to achieve it. This involves getting their buy-in and agreement to the coaching plan, including the goal, actions, resources, and timeline.

2. Build trust

Establish a strong relationship of trust and respect with your team members. This can be achieved through active listening, being open and transparent, and demonstrating empathy. To learn more about Trust in the context of a coaching relationship we recommend you read this article: “The Coaching Relationship” by Erik de Haan and Judie Gannon

3. Use powerful questioning

Use open-ended questions to encourage your team members to think deeply and explore their thoughts and feelings. This can help you uncover hidden issues and identify areas for improvement.

To learn more about powerful questions we recommend you read: “Humble Inquiry” by Edgar H Schein

4. Provide constructive feedback

Provide constructive feedback that is specific, actionable, and delivered in a supportive way. This can help your team members develop their skills and knowledge, and improve their performance.

To learn more about powerful and constructive feedback methods we recommend you read: “Radical Candour” by Kim Scott

5. Encourage self-reflection

Encourage your team members to engage in self-reflection and identify areas for improvement. Provide support and resources to help them achieve their goals.

6. Foster a coaching culture

Foster a coaching culture within your organisation by encouraging your team members to share their coaching experiences and best practices. Recognise and reward coaching excellence to reinforce the importance of coaching.

A great simple and straightforward entry into the world of coaching at work can be found in the brilliant book by Michael Bungay Stanier: “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way You Lead forever…”

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