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The Power Of Coaching In The Workplace: How To Unleash Your Team’s Potential

Coaching in the workplace is a powerful tool that can help employees reach their full potential and maximize their performance. It provides employees with feedback, guidance, and support to help them reach their goals.

Coaching is one of several investments companies can make toward developing their people. This concept often falls under the broad umbrella of learning and development. This can include mentoring, training, and career planning.

What Is Coaching In The Workplace

Coaching in the workplace is a collaborative and empowering approach where the leader acts as a “thinking partner.” This strategy helps employees self-discover to reach their goals and objectives. Therefore, coaching differs from giving orders or dictating how the employee should work. This approach allows employees to take ownership of their development and feel more motivated and engaged.

Key Takeaways:

  • Leaders who coach are thinking partners to collaborate rather than dictate.
  • A coaching approach can help employees take ownership of their development and feel more motivated and engaged in their work.
  • Asking questions can help leaders coach teammates more effectively.
  • A coaching culture can support a positive environment and foster growth
  • Each situation and employee is unique.

How Is Coaching Employees Different From Traditional Management

3 Ways Coaching Is Different From Other Management Strategies:

  • Coaching focuses on discovering rather than controlling
  • Leaders who coach are thinking partners to collaborate rather than dictate
  • A coach is goal-oriented rather than process oriented

One big difference is that coaching focuses on helping employees develop their conclusions to reach their goals, rather than simply managing their tasks and work output.

This means that a coach will work with an employee to identify areas for improvement, set goals, and create a plan to achieve those goals by serving as a thinking partner rather than commanding and controlling every step.

Coaching is a more collaborative and empowering approach. Therefore, leaders who act as coaches work with employees as partners rather than giving them orders or dictating how they should work. This approach helps employees to take ownership of their development and feel more motivated and engaged in their work.

Coaching leads to success because it facilitates psychological capital, a positive psychological resource that coachees can apply to their day-to-day work

Traditional management often solely focuses on improving the team or organization’s performance. Coaching focuses on helping individual employees self-discover and reach their potential.

A coach will help employees to set and achieve goals, whereas a manager will focus on maintaining processes and procedures.

How To Implement Coaching In The Workplace

Companies continue to increase their investment in coaching as a leading form of developing their talent. Recent studies indicate that 9 out of 10 companies plan to increase their investment in coaching over the next 12 months.

Coaching can happen with trained professionals contracted from outside your organization, or they could be dedicated professionals that work inside the organization (often in HR or Talent Management groups), or it can be managers acting as coaches by using a coaching approach.

A recent Harvard Business Review Article advocates that successful leaders are great coaches by discussing this concept and urging for leaders to act as coaches.

You can introduce Automated Coaching to your team by incorporating the Cloverleaf Team Dashboard into your daily workflow. This will help you and your team gain helpful insight about one another and coaching tips to increase understanding, collaboration, and performance.

Talent Development in the Age of AI



How To Develop Skills To Be A Better Coach As A Leader

While coaching may come more naturally to some leaders than others, there are effective ways that everyone can try to hone their coaching skills to be a more collaborative teammate.

Below are some of the best questions and prompts for leaders to ask when they are seeking to help coach a team member.

  1. Tell me about your goals and objectives.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Describe the challenges are you currently facing.
  4. What resources or support do you need to achieve your goals?
  5. How can I best support you?
  6. What do you think should be our next steps?
  7. What are your thoughts about how I help you to improve?
  8. How do you feel about your current progress?
  9. How do you think this situation could have been handled differently?
  10. What are your thoughts on your role in the team?

It’s essential to be flexible, adaptable, supportive and encouraging in your coaching approach.

When coaching team members, leaders should ask questions that focus on the following:

  • Identifying goals and objectives
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Challenges
  • Resources or support needed to achieve goals.

Asking questions that empower employees to take ownership of their development, reflect on past experiences, and learn from them and their role in the team can also be insightful.

Examples Of Successful Coaching Moments At Work

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to believe coaching is valuable. Managers and leaders need not only to know how to coach but also to match the coaching technique and approach with the needs of their people. And people are complicated with needs that are unique and varying.

Below are several examples of coaching scenarios to help you better understand how each situation is unique and why the needs of each team member are different.


An experienced sales manager has been struggling with closing high-value deals. The manager’s leader works with them by asking questions to help identify their specific challenges, such as a lack of confidence in their pitch or difficulty building trust with potential clients.

Together, they set goals to improve the sales manager’s communication skills and create a plan to practice and build their confidence. Through regular one-on-one sessions, the leader seeks to help the manager discover practical ways to close more deals and exceed their sales targets.


A new employee is having difficulty adjusting to the company’s culture and workflow. Their leader identifies a project they can work together on to help better understand their strengths and weaknesses.

The leader helps the new employee to create specific goals by asking them what actions they believe are most important to help support the team’s overall objective. The leader also provides consistent input on the employee’s progress by focusing on the goal rather than the process of completing it.

3. A Team Leader Faces Communication Challenges During Remote Work

A team leader is responsible for managing a remote team. The team leader’s boss asks questions to help clarify what is currently working and where there are challenges. Identifying these pain points has helped the team leader discover which areas to address first.

There are tremendous impacts of incorporating coaching in the workplace. Still, organizations often only roll out models or methodologies for coaching. They may even provide some basic training on effective coaching. However, this often stops short of providing valuable tools that help managers and leaders coach the individual needs of their employees.

Why Is Coaching So Important In The Workplace

Coaching in the workplace can significantly impact employee performance and development because it empowers them to self-direct and discover ways of working that lean into their strengths.

Leaders can help team members better understand their strengths and weaknesses and prioritize personal development in the workplace, leading to greater job satisfaction and employee retention.

Additionally, coaching can support a positive work culture and foster a sense of growth and development among the employees, which can significantly benefit the organization.

5 Benefits Of Utilizing Coaching In The Workplace

1. Improved Performance

Coaching can help employees identify areas of improvement and set goals for themselves, which leads to improved performance. Coaching also helps employees stay focused and motivated to reach their goals, providing the necessary support and feedback to help them get there.

2. Increased Morale

Coaching in the workplace can help create a positive working environment and increase morale. Employees who receive feedback and support from their leader are more likely to feel motivated and engaged.

3. Improved Communication

Coaching helps teammates develop communication skills and express their ideas and thoughts effectively. Strengthening this skill can help build strong relationships between team members, even in remote collaboration environments.

4. Conflict Resolution

Coaching can help employees learn how to manage and resolve conflicts at work effectively. Reducing stress and creating a more productive work environment make for a happier workplace.

5. Increased Retention

Coaching can help employees feel valued and appreciated. This can help improve employee retention rates and create a happier and more productive workplace.

Coaching in the workplace is an invaluable tool that can help employees reach their full potential and maximize their performance. It provides employees with the necessary guidance, feedback, and support to help them reach their goals and succeed.

Next Steps To Provide More Coaching At Your Place Of Work

As an enterprise leader, just believing or saying that coaching is an integral part of your learning and development investment is like asking your managers to be a carpenter but not giving them a hammer and nails.

Cloverleaf can be the tool that is an essential part of any manager’s toolkit. A perfect example of this is recognition. Some team members may need public recognition- this could happen by giving a shout-out at an all-team meeting, a mention on the company website, or a shared channel in Slack.

Other team members may want a more private, personal recognition. This could include a simple email, handwritten note, or MS Teams message that indicates you saw their contribution in the meeting and appreciated it.

Knowing these differences and how to use them for the right person in the right situation is the key to effective coaching, and Cloverleaf can provide you that insight daily within the tools you use every day.

Start a free trial today to learn more, discover its features, and experience the power of coaching at your workplace.

Picture of Darrin Murriner

Darrin Murriner

Darrin Murriner is the co-founder and CEO of - a technology platform that brings automated team coaching to the entire enterprise through real-time, customized coaching in the tools employees use daily (calendar, email & Slack / Teams). The result is better collaboration, improved employee relationships, and a more engaged workforce. Before starting Cloverleaf, Darrin had a 15-year corporate career that spanned Munich Re, Arthur Andersen, and Fifth Third Bank. Darrin is also the author of Corporate Bravery, a book focused on helping leaders avoid fear-based decision-making.