Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

"Coaching to Become a Better Manager"

Newsletter November 28, 2013
Coaching to Become a Better Manager
There's little room for followers in today's fast-paced world. Whatever your role, you're responsible for getting something done. And the way to meet that goal is to be a good coach. A manager can tell people what to do, when to do it, and how to do it but only a good coach can motivate them to give the job their full attention. While others may point out problems, a coach is there to help solve them. Many in leadership positions will hold a carrot out for people to go after. But a coach will motivate the individual to want to achieve the highest performance possible. Below are some guidelines to help you be a better leader by coaching your employees:
1. Listen.
Conduct an "innerview." Get to know the individual better. Discuss the family situation, the high points and low points in their lives. Find out how they survived low points. Discover their passions, interests and values. Your communication and team work will improve immediately.
2. Ask insightful questions.
Whenever your employees complete an assignment, ask them three things they felt were accomplished effectively in the project and find out which one area that could be improved. If they were on target with the area that needed improvement, praise them for the good work.
3. Don't avoid the negative.
An effective team considers every member's input and ideas. Although it is sometimes easier to dismiss negative or contradicting feedback and comments, take into account that the team members who are in the most disagreement, can also be a strong advocate of the solution and can provide valuable insight from a different perspective. By definition, by being the boss, you are kept away from the front line of business and have to rely on your team for their insights into what is really happening in the marketplace. Don’t squander that opportunity because of your ego, position or lack of time management.
4. Don't pretend you're perfect.
It is important to realize that there are times you need to criticize as a leader. Criticism need not always have a negative connotation to it. You can build rapport. Try relating similar issues you faced and talk about how you resolved them. Focus on the behavior or action, not the individual. Reassure the employee that he or she isn't a bad person. Talk about your own mistakes and how important they were as learning opportunities. Remember you were once where they are now, in the early stages of your career, and you were not perfect!
5. Build self-esteem.
What we are actually and frequently coaching most of the time is really reducing fear and increasing self-confidence. Recognize the employee's achievement. Or encourage people by telling them how valuable their work is. By the way, don’t fake this and use flattery. Find something real to recognize and be specific about what you like and why.
6. Believe in what you do.
Coaching is hard work. It's rarely given the limelight. Yet, by being a strong coach, you can move your team to work wonders while giving individuals the sense of accomplishment they need. Your job is to develop people and that takes time. Make time in your busy day to coach people.
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