3 steps to help you coach and grow your team members

Over the course of this show we have talked a lot about how to lead creative teams because there are many unique challenges for this type of leadership. One of the biggest challenges is how to effectively coach and grow the members of your team to make them a more valuable part of the team and meet their career goals. In this episode, we will look at how you can apply that leadership to people on your team and get the results you want from them using a simple three step process you can start using today.

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Show Notes

Over the course of this show we have talked a lot about many different parts of leading creative teams. We can talk about leadership till we are blue in the face but it doesn’t do any good if you don’t know how to apply it. Today we are going to talk more about how to apply your leadership by talking about how to coach and grow your people. You need to do it to keep them happy. You need to do it to keep your sanity so you can deal with problem and improve your team.

3 Step process

I have also found that I will never hire the perfect team member – they don’t exist. You hire people who have 70-80% of what you need and then you need to coach and build the rest. The challenge is going to be people are different , their creative processes are different and all of this make it hard to find ways to coach them. Over the years I have developed a three step approach to this that I use every day.

At first you are going to have to think about how to apply this to your team. But the more you do it and the longer you do it the more natural it will become to the point where you won’t even think about it any more.

Step 1: Establish the problem

The first part is to establish the problem.

You want to identity the thinking that needs to change or improve. This isn’t about changing their behavior. This is where a lot of leaders get this wrong. Behavior on old thinking isn’t going to change or improve anything. So I want to look at what is the root cause of what is going on.

Step 2: Desired outcome

Once you have identified the problem then you need to establish the outcome you want. What is going to change and why does it need to change? This is where you leadership comes into play because you have to define this outcome. It can be daunting because you are influencing someones life and so you can never take this lightly. The important thing is that you want to pick an outcome that can be done in a reasonable amount of time. Not too big and not too small. This is where a specific part of your leadership will also come into play – coaching.


Coaching comes in because you can’t just make changes without a plan. You need to figure out the end goal and then you need to break that into a journey of multiple steps. Making any change in a person, your team, your process, your creativity or anything else is going to be like falling in love. A lot of little steps that are going to add up to something much bigger. Each step is going to be going through this 3 step process. But you have to know what that end state is so you can have all of this add up to something bigger. If not then all of this is going to feel random and happenstance without adding up to a real change.

Step 3: Or else

But there is one last important step in this process – the ‘or else’. The ‘or else’ spells out what is going to happen if the desired outcome doesn’t happen.. I create an ‘or else’ because it creates a sense of urgency in the person to accomplish the goal. It puts the responsibility and accountability on them to be the ones to make the change. As leaders we can’t be responsible for everyone happiness and we can’t be the ones who babysit everyone to make the change. Babysitting isn’t a sustainable leadership technique so this makes it clear what will happen.

This is the step too many leaders skip because it leads to hard conversations. And for real change to happen it needs to be up the person to invest in themselves to make it happen. I also like this because the three steps creates a plan and I can share that plan with the rest of the team of partners depending on the scale of the problem. If I need to make this change because the person is causing problems then I can go back to those people and tell them what I am doing to make a change.

This may all sound simple but, like I said before, this is a serious part of your leadership because you are effecting people’s careers and lives. If this is something you aren’t used to doing or you don’t have a lot of experience with then you need to be smart about it. Ask your peers, do some research, read book or listen to a podcast to help increase your knowledge and reference points. Because the more experience and reference points you have the better you will be at all of this.

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