Coaching Teams for High Performance – Allowing People to Fail

Coaching Teams for High Performance - Allowing People to Fail


Coaching is a skill that is rapidly becoming highly sought after in leadership positions such as project managers or team leaders. Your leadership style, i.e. Your beliefs influence what you do as a leader, i.e. how you behave. It is important for coaches to believe that their coachees make the best decisions at all times. Because this is the mindset the leader should adopt, I will refer to him/her as a coach and his/her follower as a coachee.

People make the best decision they can.

As this builds trust, it is crucial for coaches to support their coachee. The coaching relationship can be a powerful and powerful force that improves the performance of the coachee when it is nurtured and fostered. What does this have to do with making the right choice? You as the coach may be aware that your coachee may make a better decision and that their current choice may have limited or no impact. What should you do? What should you do? What would happen if the coachee continued on their current path? This is an ethical dilemma for coaches because we all want the best for our coaching students. Is it okay to let them fail?

Failing is okay, but failing quickly is not.

Coaches know that failure is not an option. Only feedback can help. Experiential learning is a powerful tool. I’ve found that my experience has taught me more than people telling it. Although I wish someone had told me the faster or more productive way, who am I to listen to when everyone is right? Fear of making the wrong decision would often keep me from moving forward if I received contradicting advice from more people. It was my personal psychology at the time that kept me from making the right decisions. Being perfect was important to my family. Reflecting back on my past experiences, I realize that failing faster is better than inactivity.

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We will all have to face the reality that not all our decisions have led us to the desired results at some point in our lives. Instead of playing the “if only”, we can remind ourselves that the decision that we made at the time was based upon the facts at hand. My role as a coach is to help my clients reflect on their decisions and identify the factors that led them to make the choices they made. Because I believe that regret is not useful for them. It is important that they take action based on the feedback received. I will praise them for taking action and not becoming paralysed by uncertainty. If I facilitate their decision-making process, I will continue to ask them open questions to help them think through or dig deeper. I ensure that they feel satisfied that they have fully explored all of their options. This should allow them to make the best decision for themselves, regardless of my disagreement.

Failure doesn’t make someone a failure

We must also be cautious about people who start to see their failures as part their identity. It doesn’t mean that someone is a failure just because they have failed. A coach might ask the following question after a coaching experience they believe to be a failure: “What does this failure say about you?” Or better yet, “What does this failure tell you about yourself?” It is crucial to support our coaches in this phase of their learning process. This will allow them to draw useful conclusions about themselves as well as their experiences, which will help motivate them to continue their pursuit of excellence.

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