Coaching in business is similar to coaching a semi-pro athlete. Much like an athlete, most people in the business world already have the basic know-how and tools to do their job. They’ve trained, had experience, and are comfortable enough with their industry-related skillset to do their job. But much like a trained athlete, fine-tuning can always improve their game. This is where managerial coaching comes into play. Coaching helps fine tune a person’s skills and abilities to take them to the next level as well as remedy major issues and challenges that impede one’s success or ability to perform to their full potential in the work environment. There four main methods a leader can employ to coach people are Teaching, Advising, Giving Feedback, and Offering Suggestions.
Each of the four methods can take a bit of practice to master, but an overall non-directive coaching approach is an asset all managers can learn to get greater results and commitments from their team. Learning how to coach is as much about listening as it is about managing. The act of teaching, for example, isn’t about leading a conversation. In fact, the best teachers trust that their students have the ability to take information they already know, combine it with new ideas and concepts, and can extrapolate a different set of strategies to complete a task when provided with open-ended questions and the ability to speak openly. A strong leader who listens will find that people oftentimes find new solutions to old problems and have a greater sense of accountability when it comes to project realization.
Learning how to be an effective coach can be as easy as remembering that each person has the potential to GROW. The GROW model focuses on a simple approach to coaching that keeps a consistent framework for coaching success.
- G for Goal
- R for Reality
- O for Options
- W for What’s next?
Within the realm of successful coaching, asking opened ended questions derived from these concepts will help both a manager and employee create a path for success. Sample questions to get GROW-ing might include:
- What result are you trying to achieve?
- What progress have you made so far?
- What has worked already so far? How could you do more of that?
- What obstacles are in the way of you reaching success? What do you need from me/others to support you and achieve your goal?
The beauty of successful coaching relationship exists in a leader’s ability to routinely follow-up and foster an environment focused on accountability. Oftentimes coaches get so wrapped up in the goal setting and coaching phases that they lose sight of the most important part of the process, holding people accountable. Instead of viewing accountability as a last step, it should be an integral part of each step throughout the coaching process. It’s a simple and effective way to ensure goals are broken into smaller, more manageable pieces, touting quantifiable progress which can be accounted for. In the case of handling underperforming members of one’s team, accountability will help set benchmarks for both success and action. Measured actions more often get accomplished resulting in better performance and a stronger sense of self-confidence for all members of a team. Self-empowered people tend to be more inclined to think outside the box and be willing to discuss and attempt new methods and strategies for growth which can strengthen an organization. This important step in coaching fosters better communication and a greater overall sense of effectiveness from not only team members, but also leadership staff.
Learning to become a better coach will make any leader a greater asset to any business. For more information on Leadership Coaching and how the Front Line Leadership Program can transform your organization, contact Robert Winter at 832-483-5535 or fill out the contact form on our contact page. Impactful strategies for successful leaders starts at Front Line.