‘Coaching’ is a concept that can be hard to grasp and get a handle on sometimes isn’t it? Put simply, coaching is a process to improve performance and maximises a person’s potential to perform. It is helping someone to learn, rather than teach them.
In my experience, managers know how to do their job and do it extremely well, but often find it difficult to navigate the complexities of managing others. Coaching is an integral part of being a manager or leader, so how do you stack up as a coach? What is it like to be coached by you?
There are 3 important skills you need to be good at coaching:
This can be a tricky competence, as it’s something that either comes naturally or has to be consciously considered. It is a critical skill that supports the accurate understanding of your team, their perceptions and concerns. It fosters communication with your team too, as you can sense what your team wants to know and if they are getting it from you or not. The essence of empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and approaching a situation without judgement.
As a naturally empathetic person, this can sometimes lead me to be too empathetic, and I remind myself of the need to balance others point of view, with what it is I need to achieve too as a leader. I can let the big softie in me overpower sometimes when I’m coaching others and I have to keep this in check!
The art of holding yourself and others responsible, sets the manager/employee relationship up as one that is productive and respectful. In coaching terms, this can help you agree some measurable targets with your team.
Integrity and trust is also built from being accountable for your own actions. It’s about taking responsibility of results and outcomes, and doing what you say you’re going to do.
As a manager/leader it’s important to balance this with the need to give your workforce autonomy in their roles, and ensures they feel empowered and trusted to do their jobs.
This is about acknowledging or being aware of knowing what your team does on a day to day basis, and what it takes for them to be successful in their job. Understanding goes hand in hand with empathy, in that it forms the grounding for being able to find a way forward and progress.
Of course coaching doesn’t have to be a big formal process, and can be used in any situation where something needs to be addressed in the moment. I prefer coaching to be ‘live-time’ rather than something that’s done every quarter for example.
So how do you think you fare in these 3 area?
Written by Louise Loon, Director at HR For You