I’ll resume my tips for effective team coaching here with a further five core tips that shouldn’t be neglected.

  1. Know your non-verbal behaviour habits. Concentrate on staying as physically composed as possible during team coaching. Coaches need to be aware of habitual non-verbal behaviours. As systems theorists have long understood, all non-verbal behaviour is simultaneously non-verbal communication, which always functions as a distracting accompaniment. If you fidget or glance at your watch, you’re indicating that you’re not fully present to your audience as your mind is wandering onto something or someone else.
  1. Clear your mind before starting. Most of us have multiple things on our mind. However, they mustn’t intrude during a coaching session. They break your focus and attentiveness to the team – and a team is equipped with multiple sensors for detecting when you’re wandering away from them mentally. Before a session, identify your preoccupations and “park” them for coming back to later.
  1. Sustain patience and keep questions open. Interrogating your trainees with closed questions conveys an impression of irritability and impatience. To unlock potential in your trainees, they have to feel valued and attentively listened to in the coaching session itself. Hurrying something that inevitably takes time will sabotage what you’re seeking most: growing their talents.
  1. Keep benevolently neutral. One of my main tips for effective team coaching: criticism has no place in coaching. It makes a client feel blamed and judged, undermining a willingness to use the session to explore their emerging potential. Coaches are involved in a joint endeavour to create new realities and truths, not to pass judgement and admonish. Open-minded neutrality is the optimal stance.
  1. Ask open questions. “What might some solutions look like?” is far less “leading” than, “Do you think you could help Dan with that?” The latter strongly suggests that the coach believes it’s a good idea to help Dan. However, in coaching it’s what the trainee thinks that matters. Leading and closed questions foster compliance, not creativity and growth.
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