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leadership people

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4 Leadership Transitions – Coaching for Peak Performance

30 second summary:

Coaching is a powerful tool for unlocking potential, building confidence and supporting new action – for individuals and teams. This is especially helpful for companies undergoing transition and uncertainty.

In this article, Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone shares some real-life testimonials from coaching clients.

Coaching at its core aims to raise confidence to unlock peak performance. Rarely is this more important than in transitions, when confidence is up-rooted and new connections must be made.

For individuals and intact teams, coaching provides time for confidential and deep action-orientated-reflection –within contained time-frames. Through a blend of questions, listening, challenge and impartial feedback, coaching accompanies those coached and holds them to account for following-through on decisions and personal change.

Best practice is to always start with the client’s agenda. Even so, coaching is about unleashing potential. It is about empowering and raising confidence to achieve greater things by doing things differently and doing different things.

So what, in the words of coaching clients, do clients take-away from coaching in transitions? That depends on their transition and their context.

Consider four transitions and a few thought-to-action decisions that coaching unlocked – as emailed post-session by clients:

1. Transitioning and Repurposing an Underperforming Team:

a.“The biggest challenge is how spread my people’s focus is, they are without a cohering goal. If I can’t align them to a measure & vision, I’m obsolete.”

b.“Prepare and set up a meeting with my creative individual to agree rules and key deliverables. Prepare separate meetings with the two team factions. Make sure meetings are close in time.”

c.“Make the plan that we have set-up happen; adapt it … add ideas without compromising agreed goals, to create a department with a shared vision, to build an aligned empowered team!”

2. Building a High-Performance Team:

a.“Slow down a little to see the bigger picture and avoid continuous fire-fighting situations before they happen.”

b.“Candidly discuss “What can we control? What can we not control?” – and how can we take responsibility for what we can control?”

c.“It’s good to trust my team and to involve them in setting a common understanding of the situation, to create a shared vision.”

3. Raising Performance of a High-Performing Team:

a.“Fleshed-out how I handle my team fears – and what to do concretely to overcome those fears.”

b.“Helped identify concrete topics that I need to zoom-in on, including what exactly our ‘poor behaviours’ are, following the team assessment work we’re undertaking this coming week.”

c.“Clarified high priority actions – e.g. the team roles that need to be played – and agreed these with the core team this Friday to get them thinking about next week’s corporate offsite.”

4. Personal Transition - Changing Cultures:

a.“Too often I give the team instructions to resolve tension and crisis. Need to give fewer instructions, instead make time for coaching the team to come up with solutions.”

b.“Asking others their opinions is my preference. However, too much listening, not taking decisions, is perceived as weakness. Being more affirmative in well selected moments can help!”

  • c.“As a team we needed to do something different together – that engaged all stakeholders. By widely and publicly canvassing stakeholders’ opinions, we’ve ensured their buy-in.”

To be continued …

Feedback welcome!

To explore how your organisation might benefit from coaching for peak performance, email cora-lynn@rathboneresults.com

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Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone

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