Five (coach free!) ways to increase your team’s productivity

 Profile image of Corine Hines From Spring Leadership

Corine Hines

Back in 2010, when I was just starting my coaching journey, I began seeing how powerful the process was for individuals. I’ve worked with all types of leaders and managers, from underrated heads of finance and recently recruited high potentials, to directors that were heading for burn out.  Watching them grow, develop better habits and improve their relationships, was incredible. But I was itching to have more impact on the wider business.

Personal transformations are amazing – but I knew that high performing teams aren’t created because one person transforms themselves.

Over the years we’ve developed an approach that helps individuals and teams make huge leaps forward – transformations that set them up for future success, which make a significant difference to them personally and to the bottom line.

Our techniques change businesses for the better. And it’s an absolute privilege to be involved.

Whether your business is full steam ahead or you’re still grappling with local lockdowns, achieving results with people in your team is more important than ever.

But that doesn’t mean it comes easily.

Maybe your Sales Manager is micromanaging her team and they’re finding it stifling, or perhaps your Technical Lead is disrupting SMT meetings and he’s getting people’s backs up.

The team may be functioning OK despite this – but it’s not really the culture you need to propel you into 2021.

So, should you:

  1. Mention it (either very gently, or all guns blazing) and/or add it as an agenda item to their 6-month reviews?
  2. Do nothing because they’ve got enough on their plate and you’re pre-occupied with the next massive tender?
  3. Outsource the “tricky people stuff” to a coach who’ll know how to sort it?

Does Option C appeal the most?

It might do – but before you invest money on a coaching programme, consider the following questions:

Am I avoiding a ‘difficult ‘conversation?

Are you procrastinating and struggling to have the right conversation because you don’t know where to start? Well, consider using a framework to help structure your conversation. Maybe the BID model could be useful:

Behaviour I’ve noticed…

Impact on me/the team/our customer…

Do – what I need you to do is…what can you do?…how can I help?

Practice any conversations you’ve been avoiding. Now book them in.

Is this more about me than them?

When is the last time you asked for feedback?

Be curious about what is blocking the team or person from delivering. Ask for feedback on your part in this. And then be prepared to make changes. Maybe use Stop, Start, Carry On as a framework – what do you need to:

Stop doing,

Start doing and

Carry on doing to help them deliver.

Do we have the right org structure?

We often find the answer to: ‘Why is the operations team reporting to the Commercial Director?’ is answered with: ‘Cos that’s how it’s always been’. And often it’s neither logical nor productive. The reporting structure is often hindering things getting done.

Dig out your org chart, update it, then look at it with a critical eye. Do those reporting lines make sense? What options do you have? Then make sure everyone is clear on what you expect individually and as a team – what is the chain of command for example.

Have I made it clear what is needed and why?

No team or person performs well if it’s not clear what’s needed. It’s not very inspiring to be asked in effect, to ‘do more of the same, but better’.

And don’t just consider what behaviours you want from a person or a team. It’s all too common for us to hear ‘I need them to just step up.’ In the service of what? To achieve what exactly?

Keep drilling down until you’re clear what this new behaviour will allow them to deliver that isn’t possible with their current approach.

Take a moment.

It’s understandable you want a problem dealt with in the quickest way possible – and sometimes it might feel like bringing in an ‘expert’ is the right move. But if you take a moment to ponder these questions first, you might find the expertise is right under your nose  – and then you can use your time with a coach to work on things that will bring you even greater results instead of using them to deal with the “tricky people stuff”.

And if you want to practice your approach to the ‘tricky people stuff’  – then just contact us. We’re always happy to give you some pointers and make sure you’re on the right track.