Coaching is one of the key components of managing employees effectively.
Coaching your employees and helping them progress is the mark of a successful leader. Here are 5 ways to coach your team to success and become a great leader in the process.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Coaching isn’t just about the employee. A large part of coaching is also about the way you interact with each member of your team. If you can level with people, understand the issues they may face in their role, and be sensitive to possible opposing outlooks, you’ll be far better equipped to help your people overcome barriers and work together as a team.
2. Knowing Each Individuals’ Strengths
Coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. It’s important to tailor your focus to the person you’re interacting with. Each member brings something unique to your team. Your job as a manager is to find out what each person’s strengths are and help them develop these skills with a tailored coaching plan. Having a genuine understanding of the individuals that make up your team and what they need to work towards, will allow you to more efficiently plan and execute projects. People who use their strengths every day are found to be six times more engaged.
3. Ask questions
Rather than creating a development plan for your people based on strengths, include them in the conversation by asking what it is that excites them, what they’d like to learn, and where they want to go in the future. While helping employees develop their visible strengths is key, don’t forget that they may have hidden talents which are yet to be discovered.
Really listening to your employees' responses and tailoring the next steps around their answers shows you value your people and are prepared to help them reach their goals. The coaching you provide should aid them on their road to professional development process.
However, the most effective strategy is ultimately to use these conversations to help them take control of their own development.
4. Empower them
Once you know what your employees’ skills are and where they want to go, it’s time to help them put those skills into practice. Begin by giving each individual responsibility over tasks which will help them develop in their key areas. This can include providing stretch assignments, letting them take the reigns on a new project or pushing them to take the lead on a sales call. The best way to learn is by doing, and the more autonomy you give them, the more you’ll demonstrate your trust and confidence in their abilities.
It’s key to make sure your people know that you’re not expecting them to improve instantly overnight. Development is a process and there will be setbacks on the way, but that’s why you’re there to help. Checking-in with them regularly will show that you’re available for advice and feedback, without encroaching on their sense of autonomy.
5. Feedback is key
It’s impossible for people to develop without feedback. If your team isn’t aware of what they can improve, it doesn’t allow them to change or really build upon what’s going well. It’s not only important to be timely with your constructive feedback, but also in recognising and celebrating achievements.
Coaching is an increasingly important part of a modern manager's job. It’s key to get comfortable with coaching people by building genuine, unique relationships with your team members, using feedback efficiently, and listening to people to find out what they want and where they feel they’re headed.
Once you’re collaborating like this and leading your team in the direction they need, you’re well on your way to coaching a happy and motivated team to success.