Resources for changing the game with great coaching


Slalom Presents is a virtual event series that brings the world’s leading voices into exclusive conversations on the topics that matter most to business and community leaders today. Our second event gathered perspectives from athletes and coaches who led their teams through challenging times to extraordinary outcomes—in and out of the game. 

Arshay Cooper shared the incredible story of the first all-Black high school crew team in the US. We heard from Earvin “Magic” Johnson, coach Jill Ellis of the US Women's National Soccer Team, and Wing Commander Andy Green, who holds the world land speed record, in a panel hosted by award-winning ESPN anchor Hannah Storm. We also talked with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a leading authority on the global COVID response, about how the life sciences industry is rallying through this crisis.

As a follow-up to these powerful conversations, we offer these insights and resources to help you build more resilient and agile teams.

It can be as simple as a kind word, exercising patience, encouraging someone, connecting with someone—we all can impact the environments we’re in.

coaching in adversity

Step confidently into the unknown.

Adapt as you go.

Great coaches know that adaptation and forward movement can happen at the same time. It’s okay not to have all the answers right away. Part of building a great team is figuring things out together, one step at a time, while doing the work that needs to be done.

For example, when COVID hit, healthcare providers had no choice but to find new ways to support workers, manage resources, and keep operating—fast. We continue to be inspired by what we’ve seen on the frontlines.

Read the stories
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Person loading boxes

Build experience agility.

Person loading boxes

In business, adapting to evolving customer needs is always a priority, especially in times of rapid change. So why were some companies able to adapt their customer strategies faster to respond to COVID-19? 

It comes down to three innovation capabilities: a company culture focused on customers, truly Agile teams, and speed of delivery. Experience agility is the sum of these three factors, factoring in dollars invested to achieve customer value.

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Enable team members as leaders.

Encourage autonomy and creativity.

Person on computer

Productivity isn’t always nine to five, especially in a crisis. In these days of remote work, many team members are working harder than ever to stay relevant and continue to make an impact virtually. The most effective leaders trust their people to work independently, at their discretion. Rather than enforcing schedules, they focus on optimizing communication and inspiring creativity. And they lead by example.

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Make learning a priority.

Many teams have been forced to manage unprecedented levels of personal and professional stress through the COVID crisis. But teams that focus on innovation and agility have always been more resilient, even before this crisis—and they'll only continue to grow in value after this crisis fades. That's why the best coaches reinforce the importance of life-long learning.

As every coach knows, gaining new skills is energizing. It’s the opposite of burnout. By making employee learning a strategic priority, you can keep your team charged up to innovate well beyond this crisis.

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trust and empathy

Customize your approach to your team.

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Forget one-size-fits-all.

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Effective coaching requires continuous investment in building strong relationships, and the process of building or breaking trust accelerates in a crisis. Trust grows if you consistently demonstrate empathy and keep your word. Trust fractures when you don’t treat people as people.

That means a personalized approach—staying curious to understand what motivates your team members and what they need to be successful.

Listen and learn.

When it comes to optimizing employee experience and helping large teams thrive in challenging times, data is critical. Reach out regularly to find out what people need—and what needs they’re seeing with customers. Compassion translates directly to innovation and resilience. People will do their best work if they feel seen, heard, and supported.

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remote call

Stay attentive.

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Be mindful of the asks, priorities, and challenges impacting your team members. Work to ensure that new asks are aligned with your shared vision and previous asks—as well as recognition and reward systems, individual and team bandwidth, and what’s actually realistic. Heroic efforts are commendable in tough times, but not sustainable.

Need some backup to coach your team to success?