New developments require new leadership approaches. “Being a good coach” was a crucial capability according to an internal review at Google in 2013. Since then, coaching has become an increasingly essential part of the leadership toolkit.
With retention rates at an alarming rate in companies around the world, the modern manager needs to rethink traditional strategies. Work is no longer conducted in bureaucratic or authoritarian environments.
The boss and the employee have a more collaborative understanding of the responsibilities at work. And with more work being done remote than ever before, the face-to-face nuances of traditional leadership require some changes.
Coaching Allows People To Find Answers
One of the solutions is to allow employees to experiment and find answers on their own. In other words, let them learn from their own mistakes.
But to make mistakes, they need first be empowered to take on responsibilities that are one level above what you are expecting from them.
A coaching approach empowers your team to come up with their own ideas. It enables their intrinsic motivations.
Show Your People How To Be Better Coaches
Understanding what coaching is can be a challenge. Most bosses instruct their team leads to “just coach” without any formal instructions.
Coaching is not yelling at your team from the sidelines.
It involves developing listening skills and asking the right questions. Ask open ended questions that get your people thinking of solutions.
What are your observations, tell me what is not working and what are some alternatives we can explore?
Here are some tips on developing a coaching mentality:
- Ask appropriate questions instead of prescribing solutions.
- Provide constructive feedback.
- Assisting your teams with goal setting and keep them accountable to the goals they set.
- Develop effective listening skills.
- Identify the strengths of your team members and work with their strengths.
- Help your teams to align their individual values with those of the organization.
- Help your team members develop new perspectives and new ways to look at obstacles.
You need to model the right behavior for your teams to understand how coaching works.
It takes an initial investment of time this way but it is much more effective in the long run as your teams are able to manage themselves. And this frees you up as a leader to focus more on strategic issues instead of being tied down with day-to-day operations.
Focus on Feedback & Reflection
Coaching provides a strong focus on feedback and reflection.
When asking a question, sometimes we tend to nudge others towards a decision we think they should make. When you ask someone, “Don’t you think option A is far better than options B,” you are simply disguising an instruction as constructive feedback.
Such leading questions are referred to as motivational micro-managing.
In contrast, you are allowing the other person to come up with the answer when you ask someone, What do you think is the way forward?” Let them decide the best-course of action rather than hinting or giving away the answer you want to hear.
Sheevaun Moran is a business advisor, master coach, quantum energy thought leader and the founder of Energetic Solutions. She uses business principles with energetic techniques to help more than 25,000 entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders bring instant focus and shifts to clarity, purpose, and profits.
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