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Coach Approach

Today’s organizations are faced with an engagement crisis that can only be fixed by hyper focusing on developing and energizing employees. You can get ahead of the curve by recognizing that we all want and need to feel like we are making a difference in the world, and this includes your employees.  Many top leaders recognize this need and in addition to an executive coaching program have built internal coaching teams within their organizations.

Taking the time to coach your people means you care about them. Because coaching takes time, you must have within you the desire to do it. You also need to have or develop a growth mindset that allows you the latitude to create space to learn, grow, experiment, and change in psychological safety. Your goal as a leader is to look for the gold in a person’s strengths- to align those strengths with organizational needs.  A leader also encourages and supports employees by instilling confidence thereby allowing them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. A coach gives feedback honestly and with compassion with the intent of building the employee up, not tear them down.

Telling is giving direction only and is an integral component of the traditional command-and-control leadership model. 

Mentoring means using your knowledge and experience to guide and nurture another through a process.

Coaching is a collaborative effort to facilitate change and growth in another person. To coach means to lead on a journey of discovery, growth, and intentional change. It is not about telling someone what to do, talking about your own experiences, or giving advice. 

The coach approach begins with training your managers to understand how they can better connect with their people to find common ground even when they do not share the same beliefs. Teach them how to ask clear and specific questions and provide feedback appropriately without raising the other person’s defenses. Start them off by encouraging them to engage in coaching conversations to practice peer coaching in a safe setting to get comfortable before coaching employees. By encouraging more frequent conversations between employees you can and will improve communication companywide as people begin to know and trust each other and share ideas. This very act of becoming friendly will help the workforce coalesce and build a team spirit to give you a competitive advantage and retain your top talent.

TYPES OF COACHING

Executive coaching is generally a company-sponsored perk for top high potential employees to work with an external coach.  In the 1980s and 90s, executive coaching was used to primarily “fix” a leader who was underperforming.  Today, the goal is to help the leader build a powerful vision of the future.

Manager-to-employee coaching is where you as the leader can empower your people through coaching conversations. These conversations facilitate a work environment where your people will recognize that you care about them not just their performance.  This type of environment nurtures relationships with your personnel which resonates in positive emotion, empathy, mutual respect, and caring for one another. It’s what builds a great team.  But this positive interaction cannot happen without a shift in the leader’s style from simply telling an employee to do something, to asking.  It helps to get down to the personal level.  By this I mean, not to be afraid to talk about or inquire as to what is going on in someone’s personal life.  Once you learn the interests, likes, and dislikes of the people you rely on to make you successful you will know what makes them tick.  Actually, getting to know your employees will always make you a better leader.

Peer coaching is where two people of equal status work together to sharpen one another’s skills.  The process is confidential, so the advice is straightforward and candid with the goal being advancement within the organization.  Companies that use peer coaching state they see higher employee engagement and develop the team’s camaraderie.

Do you use coaching techniques within your workplace?