The executive coaching business is estimated to be an over $1.5 billion industry in the United States. However, many firms and organizations have had varied results. This is not an issue with coaching as a discipline. It is a proven method to improve the performance of people. However, sometimes the coaching is solely directed at the wrong target: individuals. You should coach TEAMS first.

As we have mentioned before, all individuals can benefit from coaching if the proper culture is in place, they are receptive to feedback, and the coach knows what the heck they are doing (EDITOR’S RANT: They are not trainers or mentors! That is a whole different discipline!)

However, if you take a handful of high performers or low performers, which is how most organizations assign coaching resources, and immerse them back into the organization, what changes? Usually nothing. It is a colossal waste of time and money. That is because it is TEAMS that get things done in our interconnected, interdependent world.

Companies and teams full of superstars with underwhelming results know this firsthand. Having the best people is just the start. Getting them to work together and perform is the goal. That means that the TEAM must be coached as a system. A well coached team of average people that can make decisions, communicate, and resolve conflict will always outperform a team of rainmaker/stars that do not trust, respect, or share information with each other.

Some people may think they operate alone. They don’t. Even the biggest star athletes, business professionals, or artists depend on a collection of support people and peers to satisfy the needs of their clients/customers/audiences. They are able to do their best because the other members of the team do their best. The world is too big and the competition too stiff to think otherwise.

Coach the team first. The performance of the individuals will follow automatically. Listen to this edition of the HighPer 7 podcast to learn more.