Feature article

Secrets of the new talent scouts

An interview with Team Capital’s International Director David Pierce Hallahan on effective team management and the growing importance of international experience

When David Pierce Hallahan coaches people on how to enhance their performance, he gets them to conduct their own analysis as to what they believe is holding them back.

Rather than solely judging or insisting on specific action items, Hallahan asks them to do their own analysis of what's preventing them from moving forward, and what they need to do to unlock their full potential.

Managers often incorrectly assume that effective coaching should focus on the weaknesses of employees, or instructing them on how to improve, says Mr Hallahan.

“As a coach, whether of your team or of your clients, the key is to see yourself as a true advocate of their potential rather than as a judge of their performance,” he adds.

“Of course, as a manager, there are times when I am going to need to direct and show the way forward as this comes with the territory. Nonetheless, the more you can make your team accountable, the more responsibility you can give them, the more trust you can show them, the greater your chances are of achieving their buy-in. Employees quite rightly expect and warrant the opportunity to develop to their maximum potential”.

Managers who insist on spending most of their time ordering staff what to do and insufficient time understanding what level of support they actually need from management to build on their strengths, risk losing all credibility, and long-term difficulties in retaining their staff.

“The brightest managers balance their employees' needs for coaching with their company’s needs for results” Hallahan adds. “They will manage the long-term strategy of the business with the short-term need for results”.

Hallahan further states that effective coaching skills are an essential quality that leading talent and recruiting experts look for in Grade “A” candidates.

“If you're talking about C-level executive talent, that capacity is central, as is a results oriented mind set and strategic approach. International experience will also give leaders a real cutting edge; there is a significant difference between living, working and breathing a foreign cultural environment and flying in on a business trip”.

Some experts claim that Managers who take executive courses to improve their leadership skills might well understand it in the classroom “but once in the office, they do not always apply that new found knowledge and they balk under the pressure”.

Hallahan says managers who have developed an “on the job” capacity to coach are far more likely to achieve results as their team will now possess the relevant tools to improve their performance.

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