REGROUP: How To Help Your Team Win by Being a Coaching Leader

“What’s the game plan, coach?”

That’s the question that a good coach needs to answer when his team is losing, the players are huddled around him and the clock is ticking.

If you are a team leader, then consider developing a coaching leadership style to help your team bounce back after defeat which is a normal part of teaming. After all, a good coach sees defeat as an opportunity to reflect, assess, and reassemble the team for the win.

In my experience, team leaders with a coaching leadership style often use a team regroup to fight defeat or a setback. No pointing fingers, only “positive intent” and making the most of each other’s strengths.

Think About It.

Team regroup is like a huddle for the team.

If you have ever played a team sport, then you know the power of a coach’s timeout when the team is losing. In basketball for instance, 1 minute and 15 seconds is all that a good coach needs to give his players a break, remind them to play into each other’s strengths, and give them clear instructions on executing a new plan.  

Studies show us that when a team leader is not a coaching leader, his team members often give in to feelings of frustration and a toxic lack of respect for one another. The entire team suffers as its engagement and productivity are affected. 

On the flip side, when a team leader leverages his coaching leadership style, team members tend to honor one another and lead with positive intent. Their engagement increases. Higher engagement has a direct effect on business outcomes such as:

  • 41% lower absenteeism
  • 24% lower turnover (high-turnover orgs)
  • 17% higher productivity

Just Do It.

So, how can you use your coaching leadership style to help your team reassemble after experiencing a temporary setback or defeat? Based on my work with leaders and their teams, I have gathered a few principles that are surprisingly simple. Warning, I said simple, not easy.

  1. Coach your people. Ask questions. Listen. Remind them what strengths you see in them. Coach your team members to come up with their own solutions, without offering yours, so they can grow and stretch as leaders.
  1. Let your team “fail small.” This short phrase originated in the IT industry but has now taken over the business world because the principle behind is winning. Let your people fail but let them fail small. That means when a setback occurs, coach them through it. Specifically, talk about the setback right away, course correct, and get your team back on the court.   
  1. Step up your team meetings. A coaching leader will look for frequent opportunities to help his people accept and honor one another. Your team huddles don’t have to be long, a 5-minute tag up with your team will do. After all, if a coach can rally his losing team in 90 seconds, you can too. Use the time to assess what’s going well, what needs to be improved, and what strength each team member should leverage for the win.

Take The Challenge

Here is a challenge for you. Next time you find your team needs a regroup, a small course correction that will help them see and honor each other’s strengths, lean into your coaching leadership style.

Ask each team member this question, “Which of your strengths can help our team to address the challenge we are facing?”

Capture your team’s answers, then send them "out on the court" to execute on their commitments.

This stage is crucial in our High Performing Team Program; I am confident that it will make a difference in your team too.

 

If you’re looking for more ideas around getting the most out of your team by reassembling it after a setback, download a copy of the Executive Guide to Healthy Teams.

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