Coaching the team through uncertain times

A leader is a person who brings a whole organization to reach the goal and also has to be a good coach, especially as the world is not the same as before. Covid-19 has left a scar and anxiety for many people. So, overcoming these changes and troubles that happened, everybody in the organization needs to collaborate and has the same vision and goal because only the leader alone could not make it happen. How to encourage the team to support a whole organization to reach the same goal and two-way communication with trust are the important factor. The right “Coaching” to prepare employees to be more proactive and grow together with the changing of New Normal. Let’s hear some good coaching tips and how to win from Ajarn Jeab, Achara Chaicharoen, Ph.D. from ACCOMM Group, who received the medal of Learning & Development and Coaching, and Women Leadership from CMO Asia. 


How important is coaching to bring a team to reach the goal during this crisis? 

Ajarn Jeab told us that coaching is also important in a normal situation, but it gets doubled while being in a crisis. It can be summarized in 3 topics as following, 

1.  “Future-oriented”

“Future-oriented” which is the looking-to-the-future, new opportunity, and bringing the team from “Comfort Zone” to new hopes.

2 .Connecting the whole team together creates two-way communication. 

There should be a human interaction at the time of crisis with social distancing which makes people stress and lower those human interactions or communication. Although the crisis is gone, the remaining of those are still there. We cannot let that happen because team management needs to have two-way communication. Ajarn Jeab gave us an example of an IT company that most employees are working with computers and low communication either between employees or superior and employees. Since the Cybercrime happened, they could not work via computers anymore, but they still need to go to the office. Hence, their behaviors shifted to more talking and human interaction with more new ideas coming up and a more friendly environment. Therefore, the management team is trying to build a communication and human interaction organization which results in a higher score of customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Coaching is important because it helps create a friendly and innovative creative environment to let the whole organization overcome the crisis. 

3. Moving from strategic thinking to strategic acting; 

During the crisis recovery period, every entrepreneur wants their businesses to grow as V-shape or U-shape, therefore, strategy shall be implemented. However, the problem is they have a good strategy, but it could not be practically implemented, and the main trouble comes from employee’s behavior. The organization wants to change but its employees do not. From the Harvard Business Review Analytics 2019 research shows the result of what value should the company has which says that 80% of the success factor is the team and a coaching skill of leader.   


What kind of team will be the winner in this New Normal period?

How to be the winner? 

  1. Enter to win the whole team must be ready to compete.

  2. Wanting to win The important point is the more you desire, the higher success chance. 

  3. Needing to win Sometimes in the crisis period, we have to shift from wanting to need because it is necessary to change, and we need to win due to the survival sense of urgency is coming right up. 

  4. Can Team need to have the capability to achieve, so the leader has to create a Safe space for learning because employees are anxious and stressed? Hence, a safe learning area is needed. 

The most stressful things for people are “Change”, “Lost” and “Spreading disease” which make us need to control ourselves. There was a comparative experiment about facing and solving these difficult problems by dividing people into 2 groups. The control factor is the same environment but different food. They allowed group A to eat cookies, but no spinach, and group B must eat all spinach but no cookies. This means group B needs to control themselves to not take what they want. Then both groups have to solve the problem to see who will give up first. The result is group B who took all spinach, gave up first because they already used all their energy to control themselves and no energy left to solve the problem. This is why they gave up so fast. Hence, to support people to be Can, a safe learning environment is required.  

SAFE Learning environment 

S = Security Communicating to employees about what should be included for the future competency

A = Autonomy Giving employees the freedom to learn whether topics or type

F = Fairness The fair return for employees work and effort

E = Engage Be a part of the team and feel included

Coaching emphasizes on two-way communication, building a safe learning space, building trust, and letting employees commit by themselves. Do not force them to do so.

How Coaching helps the team to win? 

Coaching helps unlock skills of the team. Team must have the want feeling by themselves and also must know what is holding them back from moving forward because no one knows what is truly inside their minds. They better known themselves. Coaching only helps them better understand themselves as known as “A good coach introduces you to yourself”. A good coaching is not about forcing and telling them what to do. It is about two-way communication that lets that person know themselves more. If the leader wants to eliminate the negative thinking and fear, coaching need to make them understand themselves because if they do not know themselves, they cannot demolish their weaknesses. It is also known as "You cannot get rid of something you don't know". Coach Needs to make other people understand what is holding him/her back. Also, making them know what the unvalued skill for the team is. Actually, 85% of our thinking is from emotions not rationalities. So, a good coach needs to be a good listener that is their emotion and rationality bad for the organization or not which are as following,

  • Stuck with the fear magnifier;   Sometimes, it is not a big deal but somehow, we are overthinking it and afraid to take a risk as they said, "The worst fear is being afraid and doing nothing".

  • Stuck at an expired place;  Using the old techniques to solve new problems although the world has changed.

  • Stuck at a high self-esteem Having too high self-esteem and not taking someone else advice.

These 3 thoughts cannot let a team win. A good coach will not blame any person but will tell a good way to reflect their negative thoughts. This is a hard feeling, hard to resolve, and needs a lot of effort from the coach.

In this new normal world, many things have changed, and we have to see everything as beginners’ eyes. Because those eyes see everything fresh and new, so they tend to study more and find new opportunities greater than those who think they are experts with less possibility. Ajarn Jeab told us an example of an automotive company since the money crisis in 2008. They had to reduce the selling price to be no benefit. However, Hyundai thought that it was not the right method, so they changed to see things as beginners’ eyes. They started by doing customer surveys and found that it is not about money, but it is about their fear of being unemployed in the next year. Hence, Hyundai started the campaign of buying a car and can return in case they are unemployed. In the end, there were only 5 returning cars. This is an example of beginner's eyes that do not judge from the past. 

Do and Don't in coaching

Do with 3 C

  • Communicate
  • Connect
  • Commit


  1. Asking and answering by yourself 
  2. Terseness 
  3. Following the script      
  4. Keep asking 
  5. Too many advice 
  6. No plan estate to give feedback 
  7. Up in the air target      
  8. No follow-up results 

A team can reach the goal only by the effort of leader and team, to build a strong power and the same focus especially after the crisis, and at the beginning of the new normal era that everything has changed. Two-way- communication, trust in each other, and a safe learning environment will induce new innovations and reach a sustainable achievement in this new world. Therefore, the coaching role of a leader is important to pull an employee's performance and positive thoughts and bring the whole team to the goal. 

Reference: SCBTV, how to coach and recover the organization via Facebook SCB Thailand on May 27, 2020