What is one of the least used tools in a leader’s toolbox? Management.
Business leaders have the opportunity every day to inspire, empower and engage their crew or team members by being an effective coach. Why is this important? Because every inspired, empowered and engaged employee is an asset to your business.
When problems arise, leaders often deviate from coaching and revert to a non-coaching approach. They solve the problem themselves or tell someone else what to do in a given situation. Although this approach seems to work, it does not make a significant contribution to an employee’s development. It does not empower or engage the workforce for the long term.
More than that, leaders who effectively use their coaching skills in their day-to-day business become the leaders everyone wants to work for. As a result, employees enjoy time spent on general issues while being less chaotic in the workplace.
What is training?
• Developing the skills of others
• Demonstration and teaching
• Be positive and supportive
• Promote and anchor good habits
• Be patient and give advice
What is training Not?
• Do it yourself
• Decrease people
• Tell people what to do
• Being negative or derogatory
What are the essential coaching skills?
Being an effective coach requires developing coaching skills and constantly refining them.
What are these skills?
Start with these three techniques that effective coaches use.
1. Develop the art of asking big questions.
Properly implemented, asking big questions leads to these three outcomes:
• They make people think before they answer.
• Answers lead to engaging conversation.
• Engaging conversation leads to action.
For example, when discussing a project update, a Coach might ask:
• “What three things could keep this project from finishing on time?”
• “What three things could cause this project to go over budget?”
• “If we had had the chance to repeat the activities of last week, what action could we have taken to make more progress? »
The answers to these questions lead to positive actions (now or in the future) such as preventing a project delay or avoiding a budget overrun.
In addition to scheduling and budget items, big questions can be asked in a multitude of areas: labor relations, conflict, teamwork, productivity, morale, working conditions, and/or problem solving.
In this example, a great question a leader would ask someone who doesn’t know how to handle problem XYZ is, “If it were up to you, what would you do to solve problem XYZ?”
Or the leader may ask, “What options do you see available to solve problem XYZ?”
Once a response is received, good follow-up questions might be:
• “What do you think are the main differences between option 1 and option 2?”
• “What do you think a third option might be?”
• “Which of these options would provide the most practical solution?”
Every big question can lead to another big question which can lead to a big conversation which can lead to a big result.
2. Eraise listening skills.
Effective coaching requires leaders to improve their listening skills. This requires working diligently to:
• Be available. Leaders cannot coach if they are not available to listen.
• To be accessible. Leaders cannot coach if they are not accessible to listen.
• To be present. Leaders cannot coach if they are not focused on listening.
When leaders don’t listen well, they won’t know what questions to ask, and they won’t know what lessons to share or advice to provide.
Leaders need to be open to coaching opportunities. How? ‘Or’ What? By listening with their ears and eyes and observing their surroundings. When leaders go above and beyond to add value to an employee’s development, that person’s loyalty and commitment increase dramatically.
3. Provide positive reinforcement and encouragement.
Employees respond to positive reinforcement and encouragement – as long as they present themselves authentically.
Using positive words and phrases tends to produce higher levels of engagement than negative words and phrases. Saying “thank you”, “I appreciate it”, “awesome”, “brilliant”, “nice job”, “glad to have you here” will add more value than negative expressions.
Using these words, exceptional leaders expand on their comments. For example, after observing an impressive achievement, a leader might say something like “nice job”, while an exceptional leader might say, “Nice job, and I really appreciate your attention to delivering a high level of quality on this. project”.
Gestures are also essential. A well-meaning thumbs up, wink, smile or high five goes a long way in providing encouragement and positive reinforcement.
When mistakes are made (and they will be), an effective coach uses them as learning opportunities and teaching moments. They learn supportive lessons by first asking big questions and then pointing out different techniques to avoid future mistakes. In addition, an effective coach aims to boost morale by leaving any negative situation behind with a message of encouragement.
Leaders who are exceptional coaches clearly understand that if they choose their words wisely, excitement, enthusiasm and commitment result. If they choose them incorrectly, valuable learning opportunities are missed.
Why coaching is essential
Whether you are leading the business or striving to achieve this goal, you will find plenty of opportunities to learn and grow by taking advantage of the key moments of coaching.
It’s easy to tell people what to do and how to do it. Exceptional leaders inspire, empower and engage employees through the practice of coaching – and succeed in retaining the best!