As important as coaches are out on the field, there is also a strong need for leadership coaches in the workplace.
As many as there are coaches in the field, there is also a need for leadership coaches in the workplace.
We have seen how coaches have been crucial in the Olympic athletes’ winning moments. Behind every athlete is a coach who patiently guides, trains, and pushes an athlete to go beyond the limits.
The good thing is coaching has not only being practiced with athletes, it is extending to the office.
The old days of giving orders and expecting results are not advisable anymore unless you are in the military field.
Studies also show how leadership coaching creates employee engagement, boosting their performance and driving productivity and profitability in a company.
Thus, many companies are now incorporating coaching as part of their overall human resource strategy.
Several strategies come into play to gain optimal results from your team.
Leadership Coaching Techniques
1. Know Thy Employee
Though the most basic, this practice is often overlooked by many. Knowing your employees on a deeper level beyond their strengths and weaknesses is pivotal to drive your team’s performance. Aspects such as their goals, setbacks or challenges, and motivations will allow you to connect better and build rapport.
2. Establish Trust
Just like any relationship, trust is vital in coaching as it helps build confidence that drives performance. By continuous coaching, the level of trust increases, and by capitalizing on the received psychological safety, your employees can be more open to new challenges and opportunities. You may have heard of the silent voice that though failure is typical, it is not fatal and that at the end of the day, someone has your back.
3. Foster Transparency
Being open and trustworthy is a two-way street.
You cannot expect your employee to trust or show their vulnerability if you are not disclosing yourself. Accept that you also have shortcomings, just like any normal human being. Be open with how you tried and failed and how you succeeded.
By proactively fostering open communication and being transparent with your team, they are encouraged to do the same thing.
4. Create Clear Expectations
A road may be bumpy and can lead you to different destinations, but a clear picture of what needs to be achieved minimizes flat tires and detours.
The clarity in team goals and objectives ensures alignment among your employees. Involving them to think of the big picture first and discussing ways to get to that state minimizes confusion and mishaps, making the team more efficient and productive.
Creating clear expectations with your team also enhances commitment and accountability. It establishes a deeper involvement and a culture of concern to succeed on your goals as a team.
5. Facilitate Collaboration
In ancient times, survival is the key to thrive, and competition makes one stronger. However, now that we live in a modern world, communication proves to be a powerful weapon in attaining success.
Aim to remove the walls built among your employees while encouraging openness to new ideas and collaboration. Recognize each of your employees’ efforts while highlighting the success you achieved as a team.
Create a safe space to allow various perspectives to flow, even the unconventional idea. You will never know the power it can bring unless you try it. While it is necessary to strive for cohesion, groupthink is also unhealthy in any discussion.
6. Provide Resources
Pave the way for your team to drive performance by laying the proper groundwork. Equip your employees with the right tools that may be essential to execute and improve on their job – like reliable hardware/software, up-to-date training, and other materials or resources.
Providing them access to a mentor or coach outside their teams may be an option as well. A great leader understands the needs and aspirations of their employees and doesn’t hinder the growth as an individual.
7. Give Regular, Frequent Feedback
Employees, no matter how long they have been in their company, continuously seek constructive feedback. Through regular leadership coaching, feedback allows them to adjust their sail and keep from wandering on the shore.
Think back to the time when you were still a regular employee. You probably dreaded those once-a-year performance reviews since this could affect your appraisal in a single blow. What if before, you can opt to have a regular and more frequent one-on-one meeting with your boss to evaluate your performance?
Maybe instead of dreading it, you would have looked forward to it as you see yourself progresses as each month passes.
8. Ask for Opinions
Giving feedback to your employees and asking for feedback is a “combo” to maintain an open communication line.
Asking opinions from your team signals that you may be the leader, but you do not have the correct solutions or answers to every situation. Seeking others’ inputs in an event or project engages your employees that they too can think of ways to make something more feasible or functional.
Also, embark on the culture of 360-degree feedback from employees, other teams, departments, and even customers allowing all stakeholders to be heard. This enriches the dialogue in the company that can potentially lead to more customer satisfaction and profitability.
9. Recognize Contributions
Properly acknowledge employees for their contributions. When you keep track of their mistakes, make sure you do that as well with their successes.
Mere noticing is not enough. Thus, ensure that you recognize your employees’ achievements well promptly. Research also shows that recognizing their contributions is their best driver in doing great work (more than a promotion or a pay increase).
Next time your employee delivers beyond expectations, grab a cup of coffee or send a thank you note. Although it may seem a “small gesture” but it may mean the world to the other to keep them going.
10. Push to Attainable Limits
Have you ever wondered how Olympic athletes break a former record?
While coaches support them in daily practices, there is always a goal to break (at least) their record.
As a leader, you allow them to go out of their comfort zone through motivation. You keep them challenged to achieve their goals but not to the point of making them feel overwhelmed. Strike a balance between creating new opportunities and challenges which will help them grow and reach their full potential.
Leadership coaching can lead employees to strengthen their skills and accomplish their development goals, defining their path to success.