Often, we say that one of our roles as a leader is to coach our employees. What does that mean for your organization? What does it look like for the leader? How does it work for the employee?
“Leaders empower individuals by building trust and coaching competence in their job roles and networking skills.” – Kenneth H. Blanchard, Author and Founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies.
There are basically four aspects to incorporating a coaching mindset into our organization. The first is building trust and connection with employees. Second, when we engage with our staff there needs to be a focus or goal to each coaching conversation that leads to the actions being taken. Finally, we need to follow up and review how effective the actions were and what needs to be done next.
So how do we build trust and connection? The most effective way is to actively listen to each individual. By asking for their ideas and opinions, it shows they are valued and respected. Remember, for instance, that the front-line workers generally have a better feel for what is actually happening than anyone else in the company.
We need to listen carefully, so we can discover what is foremost on their mind. What is the most important thing concerning them about their role? There may be a number of issues but using a coaching mindset we need them to determine the preferred outcome of the particular conversation. What do they need to focus on that will have the most impact for the organization or department? What questions can we ask to elicit what they feel are their priorities?
“The power of coaching is this – you are expected to give people the path to find answers, not the answers.” – Tom Mahalo, Author
Third, what are the resulting actions generated from the coaching conversation? What are the next steps? How will they know if those steps are effective? When we are coaching our employees by listening and using effective questions, they will more likely come up with, and commit to the actions if they were instrumental in their conception.
Follow-up and reflection are the final part of the coaching experience. From the conversation, they will have elaborated on the next steps, the actions to be taken. It is imperative that subsequent conversations ask follow-up questions. What worked well for them? If they were to do it again, what would they do differently? What did they learn from the experience?
Most of our staff seek more responsibility and satisfaction from their work. By adopting a coaching mindset, you will find they will be more engaged and happier in their job.
“In a coaching role, you ask the questions and rely more on your staff, who become the experts, to provide the information.” – Byron and Catherine Pulsifer, Authors and Coaches
Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching