How executive coaching can help you improve team performance

executive leaders coaching team performance

Written by Mary Asante

Last updated: 18/11/2021

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The chance of a great plan executed by a dysfunctional team beating a good plan executed by a good team is zero per cent. Executive coaching equips executives with the tools to engage staff and encourage team performance.

Challenge: Productivity in Teams

For organisations to be successful and to work well, individuals, teams and departments within the organisation need to function properly.

A team makes a greater impact, larger than the sum of individual contributions. But, when designing organisational and reward strategies, a lot of focus is often put on developing and rewarding individuals for their effort rather than the team. This often has an impact on team morale and productivity. Individuals are often too focused on achieving their goals and targets. They forget about the fact that they are working towards a common goal.

Imagine a sport like Football. The common goal is to score as many goals as possible for the team and to win the match. Football is a team sport; you can’t win on your own. It requires teamwork, collaboration and coordination for a chance to achieve the mission.

As an executive leader, you are responsible for certain areas of the business. And as part of the executive leadership team, you work together towards achieving the organisational vision and goals. Yet, the board room is often a battleground for various departmental heads or directors. You will find that so much time is spent proving one individual and their department is better than the rest. The true meaning of teamwork is often lost at the very top.

It is common in most organisations to have a ‘them’ and ‘us’. Is this the case in your organisation? A closer observation of teams within an organisation reveals such strong divides. Teams can forget that they are all part of the same organisation. Thus should be working towards a common goal and vision. Have you ever felt that another team receives preferential treatment? Do you get the sense that one team is more respected than another? This can be merely down to the team’s function. For example, if you work in a technology company, you will find that the technical team and the sales team may be treated differently to the administration team. Sometimes, you get a real sense of one team is more valuable to the organisation than the other.

Team Morale

Individuals may feel overworked and undervalued. Morale can be at its lowest when teams are set up against each other. Bad team morale can create toxic working environments. Toxic environments have a direct impact on productivity. People are not happy to be at work, they dread the start of their workday and can’t wait to finish work. They become disengaged.

Executive coaching can help you to recognise the need to boost team morale and performance through the rewards and systems you put in place for your teams and departments A good team knows it is not over until everyone has finished and accomplished their tasks. Individuals support each other and collaborate to ensure they reach their common goal.

Productivity and Team Performance

A good team member contributes to the best of their ability. The dynamics within a team can sometimes hinder performance or productivity. Through executive coaching, you can become more effective in your role. Executive coaching often leads to change in behaviours. This in turn may affect others around them, sometimes positively or negatively. This is where team coaching can benefit entire leadership teams and organisations. It can help shape the performance of teams, making them more effective and productive.

Empowering teams enables teams to be agile and efficient. Traditional micro-management, command and control centres can be toxic. Many organisations are adopting a more agile and output based environment. It’s important for every team member to be able to perform and contribute to the success of the team. Each need to understand how they contribute to the success of your team and organisation. They should be able to answer how their role contributes to their Team’s performance. They understand that they need to work together if they are to succeed.

executive coaching team performance

In high performing teams, you lead by example. You communicate, delegate, provide constructive feedback and can accept feedback from your team. Objectives are clear to everyone in your team and people feel empowered to do their jobs. Your team shouldn’t feel the need to seek approval from you every step of the way. The team most importantly recognise and celebrate success. All work hard on overcoming any challenges they may be facing. Omit, there is a stronger sense of team working.

Team Coaching

Imagine your organisation in which you and the other leaders understand the goals and direction of the business. You all buy into it and are all working together to achieve the vision. You’re all speaking the same language, synchronising in every aspect of what they do. You complement each other and work together seamlessly.

Team coaching involves working with all the team at the same time. It helps to shape your mindset and develop the team. Overall, each team member becomes better. The beauty of team coaching is that everyone is improving themselves at the same time. You are all growing and developing your mindset, attitude and behaviours. You’ll recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And can lend support to each other. The fact that everyone is going through something similar often makes it easier for you to discuss what you are going through. It encourages a greater degree of openness and accountability.

It’s important to develop individual executives as well as teams. This is because being an executive can sometimes feel lonely. A lot of executives feel they’re on their own. You do not think that you can share challenges you may be facing with other executives.

Team coaching will remove the feeling that you need to adapt to accommodate a singular executive who has been on a coaching journey. It helps the team to grow. You gain a deeper understanding of your purpose, vision and goals. Team coaching can make awkward and uncomfortable conversations easier. It increases trust levels, engagement and communication across the entire organisation. Decision making becomes easier and everyone works together to find solutions to problems.

When Does Team Coaching Work Best

Perfect teams are like perfect families. There are no such things. There will be times you need to make decisions. Times that individuals may disagree with the direction of the business. Times when some individuals may feel that they are carrying everyone else or that others are not doing enough. There will be times where there are no obvious solutions to problems that organisations are facing. Or worst still, live under the false pretence of perfection – everyone is so wonderful! No one is honest with each other.

Team coaching works in situations where your leadership team may be disagreeing on direction, struggling to make decisions or to implement decisions they have made. It will also work for organisations where blame culture is prevalent.

Executive and Team coaching requires ongoing commitment. You and your team must continuously work on maintaining behaviours and developing new desirable behaviours.

Helping you maximise your potential through executive coaching helps you as well as the teams you are leading.

Coupled with team coaching, executive coaching can improve team performance. As a leader, you are not only focussing on enhancing your skills, knowledge and behaviours but also that of the teams around you as well. You come to fully understand that you are only as good as your teams. You can only deliver and achieve your goals if your teams are at their best and performing effectively.

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