Leading teams in an uncertain world


Teams are having to respond to the demands of an increasingly volatile environment, and as a result need to become more agile and flexible. They need to constantly develop their skills, build collaboration, take initiatives and support each other to succeed. Your role as a team leader is central to their success.

Added on 18 July 2016 by Pam Jones,Viki Holton

Leading teams

Building a team fit for the future requires leaders to develop their coaching skills, not just to coach individual team members, but to coach the whole team and encourage team members to coach each other. The answers to today’s challenges lie in the collective contribution of the whole team, who can bring together their unique skills and abilities.

Below are some tips, ideas and questions to help you to reflect on your role as a team coach.

1. Reflect on your own approach  

Team coaching is very much about encouraging collaboration within the team, helping them to develop solutions to problems and empowering team members to take responsibility. This requires a balanced leadership approach with an emphasis on shared leadership and responsibility.

  • How much do you involve team members in the decision-making processes?
  • How much time do you allocate to coaching and developing your team?
  • How comfortable are you in delegating tasks and decisions to others?

2. Develop shared understanding  

In order to develop an environment of trust and collaboration, team members need to have a shared understanding of the purpose and objectives of the team. They also need to understand each other.  An appreciation of the roles people play in the team, their skills, personalities and working preferences, will go a long way in helping to maximize team potential.

  • How well do your team members know each other?
  • Are they aware of each other’s strengths, abilities and working preferences?
  • Are they aware of the purpose and objectives of the team?

3. Create a culture of development and growth

It is important to develop the skills of your team in order to build their agility, stay ahead of the competition and build their resilience. Much of this development can take place on the job through peer coaching, mentoring, and feedback. However it does take careful planning to ensure that the team is developing to its full potential.

  • Are you aware of the capabilities and skills gaps in the team?
  • What future capabilities will your team need to develop?
  • Do each of your team members have a clear development plan?

4. Enable the team to perform 

As a team coach your role is to facilitate the team to work effectively and create an environment for them to succeed. The way you engage with the team, provide feedback and define clear roles and accountabilities will help them to understand what “good” performance looks like. In addition creating the opportunities for your team to communicate and share ideas will help to create a winning team culture.

  • What are you doing to enable your team to succeed?
  • Does your team have clear processes and opportunities to work together and share information?
  • How often do you provide feedback to the team and celebrate success?

What makes the difference between good and outstanding teams is the ability to reflect on your performance and a willingness to recognize your role as team coach, so that you can harness the potential within the team.

If you are interested in this subject take a look at our open programs Performance through People: Into action and the Advanced Management Program.

Pam Jones and Viki Holton have a new book 'How to Coach Your Team: Release Team Potential and Hit Peak Performance'

How to coach your team