< Back to Blog

Coaching Through Nurturance & Vulnerability: An Essential Element to Building Great Teams

By Shay Hughes

Every business strives to have a “dream team” that has incredible work ethic, amazing customer service, and infectiously positive personalities to keep the good energy flowing. As a leader of a commercial real estate firm, I work with businesses on a daily basis and have learned a lot about team synergy over the years. You can hire the most talented individuals in the world, but without cohesive teamwork, unified goals and values, and a genuine appreciation for each other, you risk falling short in cultivating that dream team. Cohesive teamwork can be identified in many ways. In sports, its chemistry, in business, its culture. Regardless of what you call it, this special connection between teammates can be achieved on the field and in the office, and it all begins with high-nurturance coaching as the essential element to unlock the true potential in any team.

Since day one at Hughes Marino, we have always made the happiness and positive culture of our team one of our highest priorities. In focusing on building our rich company culture with hard working, amazing teammates, it has paid off beyond our wildest dreams. Aside from making Fortune, Entrepreneur and Inc.’s coveted best workplace lists, we’ve seen top talent and clients knocking on our doors. But I must admit, it hasn’t been easy, and dedication to cultivating a unified company culture is something that needs to be worked at every day, starting with a commitment to coaching our team with a focus on high nurturance and vulnerability. These two focuses have entirely reshaped our company culture, are having a drastic effect on our industry, and resulted in a domino effect of positive results for our clients! With results like we’ve had, we can’t afford to neglect the effects of coaching with emphasis on nurturance and appreciation, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


By emphasizing nurturance, we have been able to create a culture and team that exudes support and positivity toward one another. We want all team members to feel uplifted when they walk into our doors, like they are walking into a second home with people they love to be around. We are very intentional about spreading positivity and take each obstacle as a challenge that can be solved with proactive communication and professional (and personal) growth. I remind our team on a regular basis that if they trust their instincts and are committed to always doing the right thing (our Core Value #1), they can never go wrong. If I can leave our offices knowing that our team members feel confident and empowered in their roles and with each other as their greatest support, then I know our entire company can lead with nurturance and with a unified goal to win as a company.


Vulnerability in the workplace may seem completely foreign to some businesses, but at Hughes Marino, it’s just another part of everyday life! It’s not unusual for a few heartfelt and happy tears to be shed at meetings, and our team members are always eager to recognize each other for going above and beyond for our team and our clients. It breaks down the walls, and opens the floodgates of communication like no other, not to mention bonds us in a way that feels much more like family than a group of coworkers!

Outside Coaching

Not only do we coach internally, but we also look to outside experts for counsel too. Since the beginning of our company, we have had famous author and business coach Mike Robbins to speak to our team about appreciation, recognition and vulnerability on a regular basis. In addition to speaking to companies across the globe (including Google and Microsoft), Mike also speaks to professional teams, like the San Francisco Giants. As a former professional baseball player himself, Mike has experienced (and witnessed) the incredibly positive results that high nurturance teams can achieve, including World Series titles!

This year Mike Robbins published his fourth book, Bring Your Whole Self to Work, and we were humbled to be referenced as his example of a team with a high level of nurturance. “When you walk into a Hughes Marino office, their commitment to both high expectations and high nurturance is on display physically, in the beautiful design and impeccability of their office space and the personal touch of team-member photos, as well as intangibly, via the energy and attitude of their team. When you talk to their employees, there’s a passion, enthusiasm, and gratitude for being part of a company like theirs that is infectious.” We are definitely committed to working hard and rewarding our team, so to see what Mike shared about his positive experiences with our team in his book, we were floored!

As one final example of the true potential that excellent coaching and nurturance can unleash, Mike recently shared a rare example he witnessed by the Houston Astros’ World Series winning team, and their manager A.J. Hinch, a personal friend. In Game 5, outfielder George Springer missed a catch, causing the Dodgers to take the lead. While a critical mistake, Hinch and the team encouraged Springer, picking him up instead of tearing him down. One inning later, Springer redeemed himself by hitting a home run to tie the game. The moral of the story? Despite making an error that could potentially cost the Astros a game, the team rallied behind their teammate to provide support and encouragement, which blossomed into a redeeming moment to eventually help to win the World Series title! Their dream team was built upon mutual respect, hard work and love for one another, and it was definitely a moment of outstanding coaching.

Regardless of what business you are in, the key to building a successful team can be unlocked through a commitment to coaching, backed by high nurturance and vulnerability. While the process may be uncomfortable and challenging at times, the reward will be well worth it!

This article originally appeared in CSQ Magazine.

Shay Hughes is president & COO of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

hughes marino what millennials truly want from their companys office space
Previous Story

What Millennials Truly
Want from Their Company’s Office Space

hughes marino construction roundup july 2018 2
Next Story

Construction Roundup: Vistage Worldwide, Tocagen, Bayside Fire Station No. 2 and More