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Coaching Team Members to Solve Their Own Problems

When team members come to you with a problem, what is your response?

Are you quick to jump in with advice on how you’ve approached similar challenges in the past? Do you offer solutions to the problems they bring forward? If your answer is, “yes, always,” there might be an opportunity to lead and coach differently, depending on your team member’s competence and confidence level.

When coaching newer team members who have limited experience and skills, taking a “show and tell” approach can be beneficial. By sharing your own experience, knowledge and advice, you can help them to learn from your success and failures and make sound business decisions.

As they develop more experience and become more competent in their roles, there is an opportunity to adapt your coaching style. By taking a more inquisitive approach, you can help your coachees develop to their highest potential, improve decision-making ability, foster self-discovery and deepen accountability.

This approach is all about asking the right questions. The GROW model is a great tool for staying in question-mode to help your coachees solve their own problems.

The next time your experienced, competent team member comes to you with a problem, avoid telling and giving advice. Instead, ask questions to help your coachees gain clarity on the Goal, Reality, Options and Way Forward.

Goal – Identify the Coaching Opportunity

· What do you want to achieve from this conversation?

· What is the most important thing we should talk about today?

Reality – Clarify the Issue and Impact

· What’s going on? How long?

· What impact does this have on you, the team and results?

Options – Explore Possibilities

· What outcomes/results do you want? What difference would this make?

· What ideas do you have to achieve this? What else? What else?

Way Forward – Move to Action

· What do you think is the next step?

· What action are you prepared to take? By when?

Interested in learning more about taking your coaching to the next level?

Partner with Elsey Consulting Group to customize our Leader as Coach Program for your organization. This program incorporates the Coaching Mindset Index® (CMI) 360 assessment, providing feedback from coachees, and equips leaders to build a strong “Coaching Culture” to empower team members to make decisions, foster career growth, deepen accountability and stimulate innovation.


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