In my work with clients as a professional coach and trainer, I have rarely come up against someone who doesn’t think coaching can have a positive impact on a person and company. What I do see more often, are people who are frustrated that their coaching is not having the results they think it should.
They want to get more from their staff, but they don’t know where to start when it comes to coaching in a constructive manner, nor the best steps to successful coaching. They make assumptions about what coaching is and how to apply it, making up their own approach as they go along. What is needed is a core foundation that they can build from.
Coaching is a way to create positive change and it includes providing feedback, asking open ended questions, and with providing direction and encouragement. That’s all very easy to say, but it can be a challenge to implement amongst the many other imperatives of a manager’s job.
Having completed education and training in the field of coaching myself, along with years of experience in coaching individuals, I have found coaching to be a very empowering approach and am a firm believer (from first-hand experience) that when managers apply a coaching approach to their management style, employee performance improves. I’ve seen a number of tools and structures to help managers and one of my favorites for creating a foundation for coaching is this simple format:
This simple, four-step process can work whether you are coaching on a specific skill, mentoring someone through a big project or working to generally create greater self-awareness.
Managers can support this process by asking probing, open-ended questions that will trigger greater awareness for the employee at regular touch points throughout the process. As a coach, your role is about supporting them in taking action for change. It is about assisting them in building self-awareness, especially about their strengths, values, and purpose, improving performance, and advancing.
Your Coaching Toolbox
Coaching is also about building for yourself, as the coach, a tool kit for raising awareness and empowering your employees. In future posts, I’ll explore some of the powerful tools I have used that will help you be a more effective coach, including:
- Acknowledging and championing your employees
- Identify peak experiences
- Listening with intention
- Asking impactful questions
- Offering observations, perspectives, and pathways
- Using metaphors
- The power of archetypes
- Using strength-focused coaching
- Identifying what comes easy and naturally for the employee
- Using self-development assessments
- Setting goals and having targets to aim for
If you take the best steps in coaching and build your tool kit, your return on investment with staff will increase and results will be met.