How Leadership Team Coaches Can Evoke Awareness Within Their Organizations

How Leadership Team Coaches Can Evoke Awareness Within Their Organizations

Written by: Jedidiah Alex Koh, Forbes Councils Member

Jedidiah ‘Jedi’ Alex Koh is the Founder of Coaching Changes Lives, Asia’s leading Coaching Firm Specializing in Team Leadership Development.


To get through uncertain times, teams must develop a greater sense of agility and flexibility. With a more distributed workforce and changing styles of working, traditional ways of engagement and performance structures must evolve to meet the needs of the future of teams. Coaching is a quintessential professional competency for all leaders and teams to have to thrive and excel in this new economy.

I often share with senior leaders, board members and boards of advisors that “Coaching is conversational mastery.” For your organizations to succeed in the changing economy against a backdrop of changing consumer needs and wants, if we don’t communicate well, we won’t be able to address the real needs of clients—and we’ll become irrelevant to the marketplace. 

Organizations that adopt a culture of coaching cannot just do coaching; they have to be and breathe coaching in every conversation across the various hierarchies. Problems plague organizations daily; however, many have fallen to the trap of being so solutions-focused, trying to solve problems and anticipate solutions to problems that are to come, that they have missed an important element in the piece: the problem.

The problem often isn’t the real problem. Many leaders lack the ability to take time and help their team define and gain clarity on what the real problems are. Underpinning every challenge and performance in leadership is communication. It takes a coaching conversation to help leaders and teams gain clarity about their true problems. When problems are well defined, it doesn’t take long to see the opportunities and solutions there.

Many leaders and coaches take the presenting problem at hand and work with their teams without first exploring and diving deeper to gain clarity about the real problem. The need to “get doing” often blinds leaders and teams to just taking action without taking time to broaden their awareness about themselves and the problem at hand. This leads to a lack of innovation and creativity in organizations.

To overcome that, I formulated a practical and efficient way team coaches can partner with teams and leaders to evoke awareness. This approach is called “VIBE.” Very much like being able to vibe with each other in a team, the secret of what makes great teams great is the level of rapport and chemistry they have with each other—the trust and skill levels to accomplish tasks collectively.

How does VIBE help teams improve?

• Intuitively Making Sense Of The Situation. With a myriad of challenges faced, leaders who coach their teams must be able to tap into their intuition and gut to quickly make sense of the situation and take appropriate steps toward a particular outcome.

• Increasing Situational Awareness. To the degree teams have awareness, to that degree they are able to have better foresight and reduce any blindspots. Situational awareness allows for a better grasp of the entirety of the situation rather than just pinpointing a single vantage point.

• Cultivating Trust. Trust-building is almost an afterthought in most teams. But to grow a well-oiled and efficient team, trust is a process that must be cultivated continuously. This can be done through engaging teams in the office and outside of office hours.

What is VIBE, and how do you use it in conversation?

Value. Bringing to awareness each person’s values and how those values are aligned as a team and organization. Finding commonality of values rather than focusing on differences will help teams better appreciate the interworking dynamics and harmony that need to be sought in order to work as one.

Identity. The traits and unique talents of each individual and their affinity toward the team. Identity creates a sense of inclusion and familiarity for each person in the team.

Beliefs. Underlying thoughts, assumptions and presuppositions around a particular topic or person. Our beliefs often accompany a set of emotions and behaviors. Understanding our beliefs will allow us to appreciate others’ way of thinking and have unconditional positive regard for another person.

Experiences. Our individual and collective experiences that will influence and shape how we think about things and that influence our behaviors. These often either reinforce a certain cognitive bias or a certain heuristic approach.

Knowing these four elements of VIBE, coaches can coach teams to evoke a deeper sense of awareness about the problem or performance challenges at hand. It allows for team coaches to be sensitive to the individual’s and the team’s worldview. Understanding our respective worldviews will give us a better appreciation of how we approach a particular matter from a certain direction and why we feel strongly about other matters.

To utilize VIBE in a conversation, the leader can vibe with their teams from any one of these four areas by being curious and exploratory about the team members’ ways of thinking about their values, identity, beliefs or experiences. To vibe with the team is to create that connection and commonality that will be needed to create rapport and trust.

A simple way to open the exploration is to start by saying, “Hey team, before we dive into figuring out the solutions and answers, let’s explore our (values/identity/beliefs/experiences) around this problem/performance issue.”

Acknowledge and honor the response by saying, “I appreciate your comments and inputs. I hear your thoughts around (highlight one thing that an individual has contributed from the lens of VIBE). How could we adopt some of our team member’s perspective to expand our ways of thinking about this matter?”

Whether you are an internal or external team coach, VIBE will help you rapidly get teams moving in alignment, improve their working relationships and produce more sustainable results and actions. Teams need to be able to vibe with each other to build greater camaraderie—especially across distributed teams where team members do not see each other in person, the ability to vibe will allow members to trust each other and perform.

Evoking awareness isn’t about imposing our own worldview but allowing each member of the team to own their collective discovery and inputs toward a greater level of performance. 

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

via Forbes – Leadership “”

March 7, 2022 at 05:11AM

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Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman