“What’s with this coaching stuff?” asked a young manager the other day. ” Can you tell me briefly what it’s about?” I explained that firstly a coach is not necessarily an external expert. As a manager, he too has responsibility for coaching his team.

Coaching seeks to close the gap between the current and desired performance of an individual or team. Help develop your team members by :

  • mutually assessing goals and current performance
  • understanding the present situation
  • exploring possible solutions
  • drawing up specific, achievable goals
  • supporting them in their action plans

I clarified that as an external coach, it is not necessary to know everything about people’s work to coach them well. It is indeed advantageous to take an objective view of an employee’s goals without being bogged down by details.

Coaching succeeds when you help employees learn from their mistakes, identify their performance targets and take responsibility for implementing corrective actions.

Good coaching avoids telling people what to do. The worst word a coach can use is “ Don’t”. Instead help them understand consequences of their actions. Instead of saying ” Don’t be late” try “ Have you seen the benefits of coming on time?”

Look at the effect of coaching on delegation. If you don’t take the time and effort to coach, the capabilities of your team and the trust you have in them will be limited. This results in your doing most of the work yourself. You feel under stress and you cannot delegate.

On the positive side, by coaching for skills, you make your team members more competent. This makes trusting them to deliver more easy. You are able to delegate more to them resulting in higher challenges for them and less stress for you. It frees your time to concentrate on more important tasks.

“All said and done” I said “Coaching is a practical and useful way to develop skills and talents in your team”.


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