Coaching is a lot of things, but it isn’t a lot of the things it’s claimed to be:
It’s not a quick fix. It’s not easy. It’s not a magical pill.
AND it’s definitely not about you, the manager.
Successful Managers know unlocking the employee’s potential to maximize their performance starts with listening. Here are 3 reminders to help you get started:
- Create a safe space that encourages conversation without judgment or consequences.
- Get curious, ask questions, questions open doors.
- Get comfortable with silence. If the question seems unanswerable rephrase it and ask again.
I recently wrote an article titled: 14 Coaching Principles All Managers Should Practice where I shared some of my best practices in supporting managers who coach. Here are are a few more critical components necessary to achieve greatness:
Help people to learn, don’t teach. The most powerful lessons are the ones we learn ourselves. Think about a time when you believed you had an elevating insight only to be told by someone that they have been telling you that forever. Being on the receiving end of being told or given advice can be informative. In some cases, advice can result in change, but it doesn’t inspire taking ownership of making a change. BOTTOM LINE: Guide the conversation, don’t run the conversation.
Personal insight is the greatest empowerment to change. For most people, inspiration to change generates from that eureka moment when they discover what you the coach already know. BOTTOM LINE: Great coaches tell people where to look but not what to see.
Turn insight into action. Insight is more than surfacing a thought. Take that thought apart, understand where it generated, what triggers are running their show and the benefits or not of transforming negative actions into actions for success. BOTTOM LINE: Be curious but also courageous in your questioning.
Forgive yourself. Yep, I said it. Think about it. People are creatures of habit. Most of what we do and say are instinctual, habits of responses and actions we have honed over a lifetime. Often, they are habits formed to serve a purpose that no longer exists. The brilliance of insight is that a new perspective can develop and inspire new actions, replacing old habits with better ones. BOTTOM LINE: Be patient with yourself and the process.
Coaching is 90% attitude and 10% technique.
IN CLOSING: As a manager responsible for developing your team, the main ingredient to a successful coaching scenario is focusing on the person being coached. As important as you may feel, think or be, it’s their story and insights that will drive a successful outcome, not yours.
The Floor Is Yours: What makes a good manager a GREAT COACH?
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Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.
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