By using Coaching in your business you will unleash great potential.
Those people you have in your team? They are dying to get their hands on a Coaching style of boss! So you have a great opportunity.
“A good coach will make his people see what they can be, rather than what they are.”
And through the use of this powerful, developmental tool, you and your business or organisation will be transformed. Lifelong skills and development for you, your people and your business. Can it get any better than that?
Top Ten Things About Coaching
Where to start. There are a hundred and one definitions about Coaching – all of them right. So, how can we make it easy for you? Well, like this…
The best at Coaching…
- Build Rapport
They have great relationships with people in general and are trusted, honest and open. They appreciate people for who they are, what is important to them and treat them with respect.
- Listen a Lot
Great coaches let their people do the talking because they realise that in talking, people process, solve, ponder and challenge themselves. Then they learn and find sustainable solutions – in their own way.
- Ask Open Questions
Using ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘who’ and (sometimes!), ‘why’ questions the best coaches draw out open answers and get their people to talk freely. The best coaches leave silences too, as a play area for their people to explore more outwardly and inwardly.
- Build Confidence
All this builds the relationship, creates the culture and bond. In this space, confidence is built. And this confidence allows real potential to emerge into performance. They never miss an opportunity to build confidence and do it consistently within their coaching style.
- Give Praise
Much forgotten. Great coaches give praise for great work done. Too easy? Well how often is it done? Rarely. And building the Feedback loop to include praise, means feedback comes to be enjoyed, appreciated and then gives permission for more challenging issues.
- Are Blame Free
Fault is not a part of great coaches vocabulary. Yep, lessons can be learned; sure, things can be done differently, but there is a ‘Blame Free Culture’.
- Have No Failures
Nor do people fail. Certainly, they may not be the right fit and there will be times where it suits both parties to move on, but people are never failures. The business or the boss may have failed them – but that is a different story.
- Recognise Talent
The very best coaches in business can spot latent potential from a distance. Though it’s not at a distance because they are always close to the action. So they support these people into new challenges and stretch them. Through Coaching, in a close relationship, these people are never allowed to fall – are always supported in finding the path that works. Learning skills that last a lifetime.
- Are Focused
The best coaches in business are not soft. They work to the business goals and targets. They work hard to develop their people and yet are always prepared, when tough discussions are necessary, to grasp the nettle for the benefit of all.
- Learn Themselves
And it is never ending. Great business coaches never stop learning. They model the Coaching process themselves and accept feedback and development from all their people too.
Ten Ways to be Better at Coaching
- Mouth and Ears
This is a big challenge! Use your listening skills in the proportion to the number of ears you have to mouth. That is, speak for less than 30% of the time and listen for over 70%.
- Create Time
When Coaching formally with people, make time to do it. This may mean locking your door and taking the phone off the hook – but it is worth it. It values your people to feel treated this way and cements the bond between you.
- Develop the Culture
And as you take time out for formal development, you create the relationships to allow you to carry it on informally in your place of work – as part of normal dialogue. Just asking open questions anytime, anyplace(see above) is Coaching!
- Become Very Trusted
Keep promises; be honest; keep confidences; give credit where it’s due; tell the truth – and more! This is one area where you cannot make mistakes yourself – and should it happen, get very humble indeed. Apologise and learn!
- Be Open Yourself
Through developing a supportive, generative and Coaching culture, you can be honest about yourself. there are days when we all struggle, so let your people coach you – in the moment. You will experience tremendous results.
- Always Support
Coaching is about development in a safe environment. By taking on such a wonderful role, you need to be there for your people as they experiment with new challenges. Hey, it can be scary! So be there when they need you.
- Learn from Mistakes
And things will go wrong! Trust me! And what an opportunity that creates for you both. Build your rapport by learning when things don’t make it. Take a perfect outcome as 100%. If you only get 70% right, take the time to get back your 30% in the learning. Then everything is gained!
- Smile a Lot
This is challenging stuff, so make sure that you and your people have some fun with it. In the main people love to be supported by Coaching, but keep perspective and laugh too! Life just isn’t that serious!
- Respect People
Although Coaching creates respect in people as it starts to recognise what they already have in them, as their coach, you need to listen hard emotionally too. Sometimes people get too stretched; too out-of-their-depth. Be aware of this and let them have the space and time they need for these big shifts in themselves.
- Encourage Behaviours
Then, by modelling great Coaching behaviours yourself, they pass it on and start using these skills with their people. Creating a wonderful business and organisational culture. PS – if it’s not general organisational culture – don’t fret – you can do this, by yourselves, in teams! Then others will want some!
5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!
- Talk less – listen more. Ask more questions about what you are being told and listen for answers. Remember the ears and mouth rule!
- Create time for your key people and ring-fence it in your diary. Ask them what’s going on with them. Discuss their SMART goals. Ask open questions. Stop fixing things for them – let them process for themselves. Develop your own tactics around this!
- Start asking open questions in the workplace in general.
- Catch yourself saying things like ‘Well, I would…’ or ‘This is what you do…’ Not to get neurotic about it – sometimes it will be OK – but notice those times when you could have asked them. Take the personal accountability to introduce this language shift.
- Be Coached! Create formal practice times where you and your people practice using open questions with each other, including you. Offer to coach someone outside your team. Using the “Coaching for Performance” template below. It is the essence of Coaching in the workplace.
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