Why a Coaching Culture is Essential for Building High-Performance Teams 

with Shanna Goddell, Head of Global Learning and Development at Druva


Interview by CT Leong, Host of the HR Impact Show podcast.

Interview Key Takeaways

  • An elite team is one that drives for results, has high engagement and trust, and ensures that each individual is thriving.

  • Team coaching involves understanding the team's goals, strengths, and dynamics, and working with the team to overcome challenges and develop strategies for success.

  • Building trust and creating a safe space for open and honest conversations is crucial in team coaching.

  • Video call platforms allow for broader reach and more frequent coaching sessions.

  • Focus on grassroots efforts and find teams that are eager and willing to engage in team coaching.

In today's episode, we have Shanna Goodell, the Head of Global Learning and Development at Druva, discussing how to build elite teams through coaching. Shanna brings years of experience in building high-performing teams across different companies and industries. Let's dive into the key themes she explores in this episode.


Defining Elite Teams

According to Shanna, an elite team is one that consistently drives for results, fosters high engagement and trust, and ensures the thriving of both the team and its individual members. When approaching team coaching, it is crucial to identify the common shared goal that the team is striving for and align the coaching around that objective.


"An elite team is a team where team members are willing to support each other and also challenge each other in a way that is respectful."

Shanna Goodell


The Process of Team Coaching

Shanna emphasizes the importance of understanding the dynamics and culture of the team before diving into the coaching process. This involves building trust with each individual and gaining a deep understanding of the business they operate in. By speaking the language of the team and relating to their specific challenges, the coaching becomes more relatable and actionable.


Tools for Effective Team Coaching

Shanna's preferred tools for approaching team coaching involve getting to know each team member individually and understanding the business they are in. This enables the coach to tailor the coaching sessions to the specific needs and challenges of the team. Additionally, setting clear expectations and guidelines for the coaching sessions, such as confidentiality and a willingness to engage in tough conversations, ensures a successful coaching relationship.


Coachability and Resistance to Coaching

Shanna acknowledges that not all teams may be initially open to coaching. However, she believes that even teams that resist coaching can benefit from the process. By focusing on building trust and understanding the individual motivations of team members, a coach can address resistance and work towards creating a more receptive environment for coaching.


"There's an element of, is this team or these individuals, do they have the coachability or coach mindset where they're willing to have the tough conversations?"

Shanna Goodell


Balancing Business Priorities and Coaching Commitments

One challenge in implementing team coaching is balancing business priorities with coaching commitments. Shanna suggests that the coaching sessions should be valuable enough for team members to prioritize them, even in the face of customer escalations or other urgent matters. The involvement of the team leader in the coaching sessions is also crucial, as it demonstrates their support and commitment to the coaching process.


Tailoring the Coaching Program

When advising other heads of learning and development on building team coaching capabilities, Shanna recommends focusing on grassroots efforts. By starting with a team that is eager and willing to engage in coaching, the success of the coaching program becomes contagious and spreads to other teams. This organic approach ensures that teams actively seek out coaching rather than it being pushed onto them.

In conclusion, building elite teams through coaching requires a comprehensive and tailored approach. By understanding the team dynamics, setting clear goals, and leveraging individual strengths, a coach can guide teams toward higher performance and engagement. The success of team coaching lies in building trust, addressing resistance, and aligning coaching with the specific needs of the team. With the right approach, team coaching can have a significant impact on organizational success and employee well-being.

The future outlook for team coaching is promising, especially with the advancements in technology enabling remote coaching sessions. The ability to connect with teams across different time zones and locations expands the reach and frequency of coaching engagements. As more organizations recognize the value of team coaching, it is likely to become an integral part of talent development strategies.


"When you're able to do coaching, whether it be individual or team coaching, leveraging the platforms that we have, we are really able to have a broader reach."

Shanna Goodell



Note: This article is based on a conversation with Shanna Goodell. All quotes are verbatim from the transcript of the conversation.



Shanna Goodell

Head of Global Learning and Development, Druva


Shanna Goodell


Over 20 years of experience in Talent Management, learning and development, and organization development. Shanna develops data-driven solutions that unlock the potential of teams, leaders, individuals, and organizations to achieve desired business results. She's worked in various industries from gas and electric utilities, e-commerce, digital payment technology, and for over two years now in the data management and cyber security industry.

Connect with Shanna on LinkedIn



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