How to Coach Your Team to Overcome Obstacles

Trying to work everyday with a “business as usual” mindset during a global crisis is sure to cause a lot of confusion within a workforce. The pressures COVID-19 has put on businesses is leaving leaders and teams in a state of wait and see rather than solving issues that have appeared.

Your team might be looking to their leader to simply tell them what to do to get out of this situation, but there is no clear-cut path to achieving previously established results. The state of the workforce has changed, and innovative thinking must stem from these changes.

But how do you get your team back on the road of optimistic thinking and taking personal accountability? Instead of putting accountability back onto the individual who is confused, reengage them and help them see what else they can do to move forward.

Our LIFT Accountability Conversation® can help this coaching process:

Listen for obstacles

Ask the individual or team, “What are the obstacles getting in the way of making progress?” This is a crucial step because it allows the person to willingly acknowledge the reality they are facing. Once they see the obstacle they are facing they can start solving a way to move past it.

Identify the obstacles you can influence

There might not be an option to solve every obstacle at once. When this happens ask the individual or team, “Which of these obstacles do you most need to overcome, and why?” This provides focus and alignment over which obstacles are priorities and allows the person to feel less overwhelmed. When this happens, they are personally engaged in overcoming the issue at hand.

Facilitate the Solve It® question

The Solve It question is a simple way of asking, “What else can I do?” This is not asking someone to take on more work, but instead helping them find a different way of working—that might be different than the original process in place—but will lead to achieving the desired result. Make sure you are not the one answering the question for them. Remember you are facilitating the conversation, not dictating it.

Test for movement

Once the individual or team has identified a solution to their obstacle, have them put the solution into motion. This is a choice to follow through and execute on the commitment made. Identify what needs to be done, by who, and by when. The results of this action should be monitored to see if the person can continue moving forward with this process to achieve the desired result.

Remember, this process is not meant for you to take accountability for solving your team’s problems for them. Instead, it acts as a way you can coach your team back to taking personal accountability to creatively solve their issues themselves.

Practicing consistent listening to your team is crucial during this time of chaos and fear. Simply being a sounding board for your employees could be enough for them to discover the root cause of their worries or issues that are keeping them from moving forward. Having these regular communications with your team can improve operations, optimism, and increase accountability.

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