How Can New Leaders Build a High-Performing Team as a Business Coach?

How Can New Leaders Build a High-Performing Team as a Business Coach?

Stepping into leadership can be daunting, but with the right advice, new leaders can build teams that excel. We've gathered insights from seasoned Executive Coaches and Leadership Trainers, focusing on everything from cultivating tailored empowerment to becoming a curious deep listener. Here are the top seven pieces of advice these experts offer to help you foster a high-performing team.

  • Cultivate Tailored Empowerment
  • Listen and Develop Action Plans
  • Know and Use Your Strengths
  • Value Individual Team Strengths
  • Hire for Cultural Fit
  • Set Clear Goals and Communicate
  • Become a Curious Deep Listener

Cultivate Tailored Empowerment

One pivotal piece of advice for new leaders aiming to forge high-performing teams is to cultivate a culture of deep listening and tailored empowerment. It's about more than just hearing your team; it's about understanding their unique strengths, aspirations, and how they envision their path to success. This approach requires creating an environment where psychological safety is paramount, enabling every team member to feel confident in taking risks, sharing ideas, and learning from outcomes without fear of retribution.

By focusing on what can be, rather than what was, you encourage a forward-thinking mindset that champions innovation and continuous growth. Recognize and celebrate the diversity of talents within your team, leveraging each individual's best qualities to enhance collective performance. This isn't just about achieving goals more efficiently; it's about building a resilient, adaptable, and deeply committed team that thrives on mutual respect and shared success. Through this lens, leadership transforms into a collaborative journey, where every challenge is met with collective wisdom and every victory is a shared triumph.

Allison Dunn
Allison DunnCEO, Head Business & Executive Coach, Deliberate Directions

Listen and Develop Action Plans

As a new leader, make the time to listen to your direct reports to understand what is making their work impactful and what may be getting in their way. Generously listen to what is being said and to the unsaid. Stay curious; ask questions that deepen your understanding. After gathering the information shared, reflect and develop an action plan. Revisit with the individuals, and then with the group, to ensure understanding and that your recommended action plan aligns with the needs, culture, and targeted outcomes. Garner your team's feedback, revise, and together, develop an implementation plan with regular check-ins and an After-Action Review cycle.

Karen SpoffordExecutive Coach, Powerful Execution

Know and Use Your Strengths

My advice to a new leader to help them build a high-performing team is to first know their own strengths. When the leader knows those and focuses on using them, he or she has clarity about what they are good at and what they need to have others on their team do for them. In other words, the leader then has enough self-confidence to hire people who are better than they are at certain things. When a leader has this level of confidence, rather than everyone on the team worrying about stepping on each other's toes or having internal competition, the leader allows all members of the team to perform at their best, and everyone is much happier and more productive.

Ben Eden
Ben EdenHR Executive Coach, Reach Your Ultimate Potential

Value Individual Team Strengths

As a certified high-performing teams coach, I encourage all new leaders to prioritize understanding their team's strengths, both skill strengths and talent strengths. Building a high-performing team begins with recognizing the unique abilities and expertise each person brings to the table. By fostering an environment where individuals feel valued for their strengths, you can harness the full potential of your team.

Moreover, aim to create a team with a diverse and complementary set of strengths. Diverse perspectives and skill sets notably enhance problem-solving and innovation but also promote a culture of inclusion and mutual respect.

Remember, as a leader, your role is not only to guide and inspire but also to empower your team members to rise by leveraging their respective strengths and potential. By doing this, you lay the foundation for a high-performing team that thrives on collaboration, creativity, and success.

Shaina Lane
Shaina LaneOwner, Certified Executive Coach, Premier Professional Coaching

Hire for Cultural Fit

Define your core values and the attributes of the culture you aspire to. Hire for cultural fit. Review your team members' adherence to your values. Be intentional with your culture. Live your culture.

Glen Hellman
Glen HellmanExecutive Coach, University of Maryland - A. James Clark School of Engineering

Set Clear Goals and Communicate

As a new leader, fostering a high-performing team involves several key strategies. Set Clear Goals and Vision: New leaders should articulate a compelling vision for the team. Clearly defined goals provide direction and purpose. When team members understand the bigger picture, they can align their efforts accordingly.

Effective communication is crucial. Leaders must maintain open channels of communication with team members. Regular updates, feedback sessions, and active listening create an environment of trust and collaboration.

Address conflicts promptly and constructively. Conflict is natural, but effective leaders guide discussions toward resolution. Encourage respectful dialogue and find win-win solutions.

Prioritize well-being and take time to celebrate those wins! Modeling resilience to the team will contribute to sustained high performance.

Building a high-performing team is an ongoing process; be open to feedback and get help when needed.

Beth Kennedy
Beth KennedyLeadership Coach, TEDX Speaker & Trainer, Benatti Leadership Development

Become a Curious Deep Listener

Aspiring leaders should prioritize becoming "curious deep listeners." This goes beyond simply hearing; it means actively engaging all your faculties—mind, heart, and intuition—to grasp both the spoken and unspoken. Effective leaders don't just listen to the words; they tune into the emotions and potential bubbling beneath the surface within their team.

Don't get caught in the "know-it-all" mentality; it's okay not to have all the answers, or any of the answers. Embrace a posture of curiosity instead. This fosters an open environment where diverse ideas and valuable insights can flourish. By actively listening and learning from your team, you equip them to contribute their best, propelling your collective performance and fostering a collaborative spirit that drives success.

Dr. Jamaal Johnston
Dr. Jamaal JohnstonLeadership Coach and Facilitator, Leadership Growth & Research Center

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