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Coaching High Performing Teams

An Introduction by Matt Dale

I am delighted to welcome respected Psychologist, Mark McMahon to the ICP Team. Mark has over 10 years’ experience as a Psychologist. His specialisations include counselling, coaching, working with teams and elite performance, amongst others. He has operated at the elite performance level as well as coached sporting teams at the highest level of their endeavour and competition. As an introduction to the ICP network, Mark thought to share some insights he has in coaching high-performance teams and how to manage your team effectively.

Mark McMahon ICP Psychologist - Coaching High Performing Teams

"The role of the manager has been transformed drastically in early years of the 21st century. No longer is it about command and control. The fast paced and constant changing external environment that surround teams today has forced a shift in management style," Mark McMahon ICP Psychologist.

This new era of management is more about giving guidance and mentorship to subordinates to help them innovate and adapt to rapid change. Published readings from the Harvard Business Review (Ibarra & Scoular, 2019) suggest a manager is no longer a manager, but a coach. To coach, rather than manage, is about asking the important question rather than giving answers, it is about supporting rather than judging and it is about facilitation not direction.

Moreso, studies have shown a high resistance to this new form of management and high overestimation in one’s own ability to coach instead of manage.

The good news is, that as a manager, you can become a better coach if you’re provided with the right tools and support. There are a number of different models which teach how to be an effective coach and manager.

Here are some of my top tips to better coach or manage your team:

  1. Facilitate learning Always be on the lookout for ways to help your team improve and gain better insight. Each person learns in their own way and at their own pace, so you need to keep that in mind.

  2. Openness – To help the team be the best version of themselves, they need to have a level of humility and also be willing to learn from each other. That starts with the manager as the coach being open and humble as well. So check yourself, make sure you are open and being the humble collaborative leader. Interesting … the team then tends to follow that blueprint and they collaborate and build each other up.

  3. Be flexible and OK with ambiguity – A big part of creating an environment of psychological safety where the team can learn, is being decisive whilst flexible. Read the situation and let the team take their own direction and coach them through it, even if the outcome isn’t clear. Funnily enough, I have seen my teams ‘learn to learn’ if you open the door for them.

  4. Manage relationships and boundaries – Maintain a solid understanding of the individuals within the team, how the team operates and the dynamics of the organisation in which the team operates. That way you can deal to individual needs as well as the whole team’s requirements.

If this area of focus is of interested to you or you’d like to explore this topic of managing high performing teams in today’s world, please contact us at or visit our website for further information

For appointments with Mark McMahon please contact (07) 3852 2441 or 0411 113 617. For online enquiries contact: email

Reference List

Ibarra, H., & Scoular, A. (2019). The Leader as Coach. Retrieved 25 June 2020, from

What 'Team Coaching' Means, and Why You Need It. (2020). Retrieved 25 June 2020, from

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