How to Use Business Coaching to Become a Better Team Leader
Are you frustrated when your team doesn’t respond the way you expect?
Have they missed a deadline because of a misunderstanding?
Managing people requires an entirely different skill set than managing projects.
You can’t control everything – and everyone.
Being a team leader is difficult.
But partnering with a business coach is easy. And it has huge benefits.
Business coaching can help you lead and build a team that is able to run your business without you.
Coaches, like Mark and Rick Phelps of ActionCOACH, have a framework in place to help you resolve your team’s issues, and help you become a more effective communicator, delegator, and overall better leader.
Here’s how they can help.
Becoming a Better Communicator
There are a number of key skills that an individual needs to learn to become a good manager.
One of them is you need to be able to understand the different communication styles of the people who work with you, for you, and the people who you work for.
And to be an effective manager, you must first be an effective communicator.
By partnering with ActionCOACH, you’ll learn the DiSC profile system, which will teach you how to communicate effectively with your team.
DiSC is a non-judgmental tool used for discussion of people’s behavioral differences. It includes a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your personality and behavior.
The DiSC profile system is made up of four different personality traits (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) that categorize how people inherently think, operate, and communicate.
ActionCOACH will administer the DiSC assessment to you and all members of your team.
You’ll then receive the reports for each of your team members and learn their individual DiSC styles, which will help you communicate in the way that resonates with each person.
And by taking the assessment yourself, your direct reports will learn your primary personality style, as well.
A win-win for all involved.
Motivating Your Team
Being a good leader also requires you to understand what motivates your team — to understand where your people are at and how to get them to take a new step forward.
You can use DiSC as a framework for identifying each person’s motivational factors and if they are in roles best suited for their personality styles.
For example, individuals who have a primary personality trait of “C” are conscientious. They are analytical, often motivated by information and logic.
People with the C-style respond well and perform well when they are given detailed expectations and the “why” behind a project. These individuals excel in roles where they research and analyze data.
Conversely, people with a primary trait of “I” prefer to not focus on details. These “influencers” excel at aligning people together to get things done.
They focus on the “who” of projects and are often in roles where they communicate frequently with other people. Influences are motivated by praise, popularity, and acceptance of others.
A coach can help you assess each team member’s personality style and guide you in determining whether each person is in the right seat in your organization.
If you don’t conduct a skill assessment on your team, your employees might not stay in their roles long term.
For instance, if your direct report enjoys interacting with other people but he or she is in a job that requires solitary work in front of a computer screen all day, that person won’t go the distance in that role.
Delegating the Right Way
Another important element of sound leadership is delegation.
There’s a big difference between proper delegation, where you clearly give an assignment to an individual and as a manager actively follow up on it, and when you toss the project to a direct report and fundamentally abdicate your responsibility from managing it.
This is a very common form of management (and mismanagement) in business.
Many managers assume that once in a supervisory role that every task assigned to their direct reports should be completed – with or without specifications – simply because they told them to do it.
In this scenario, the lack of direction and clarity on the “how” and “why” demonstrates poor communication and bad delegation. The individual contributor will likely fail to complete the task correctly because he or she was given little to no guidance.
Through business coaching, you’ll learn how to delegate the best and most productive way for your team.
One of the challenges of being a team leader is: there is your team, and there is you.
You are on your own, especially if you are leading an organization.
Everyone on your team is looking to you to set the direction and the vision.
Sometimes there’s not enough external feedback from your team on how well you are doing as a leader or manager.
A coach provides an outsider’s perspective, and can show you as a leader where the opportunities are that subordinates may not be able to show you.
For instance, when a leader gets a poor response from their team, a coach can come in and take a third party view on what’s going on with their response and provide feedback.
Perhaps, there’s something about the leader that needs to change.
Acting as a mirror, a coach helps a leader self-reflect – to take another look at themselves, and then help them and guide them through the internal change process.
Oftentimes, the leader is challenged to look internally and ask, “where are there opportunities to change?”
Having the awareness is step one, and coaches can help drive the awareness.
Step two is identifying what to do about the change and how to get through it. A coach can also help guide on this front with goal setting.
And lastly, a coach can act as the accountability partner so the leader does not lapse on their efforts toward making the change.
The coach is there for the leader step-by-step to continually audit, engage, track, and make sure that the change is taking place.
Coaching produces faster results for a team leader – positive individual change, personal action, and ultimately, organizational success.
Managers can lead better if they understand their own personality traits as well as the personality styles of their employees. A business coach can help develop a leader by offering an outsider’s perspective on his or her performance, driving awareness, and holding the leader accountable to making long-lasting change.