Coaching for Success

Image of chalkboard with coaching-associated words written on it in chalkLeaders are constantly being asked to come up with ways of improving productivity, increasing retention and enhancing the levels of engagement in their organisations. In order to achieve these improved outcomes, leaders need their people to be performing at their full potential. So now the development of our people is looking more like a strategic imperative – a key ingredient to our success.

So how do we get our team to perform at their peak without blowing the budget? We become their coaches.  We commit our time, energy, emotion and experience to helping them enhance their capabilities and reach their full potential.  Creating a culture where all leaders are coaches is critical if we are to help our people realise their true potential.

But not every leader is a natural coach, some are actually quite apprehensive at the notion of being responsible for coaching someone else.  I was reflecting on this situation when I came across an article titled ‘The 5 Essentials to Effective Coaching’ by Marty Fukuda.  The article recognises that some people find it quiet daunting to coach another person and he suggests that breaking the process into smaller objectives can help us all become more comfortable with this critical role. The five essentials of effective coaching according to Fuduka are:

1. Build trust. Trust is the foundation of every relationship. A true leader will not expect nor demand trust, they will understand that it needs to be earned over time. So what do we need to do to build this trusting foundation? We must build strong respectful relationships, be honest and transparent, deliver on our commitments and extend trust to others.

2. Listen. Listening is a skill that requires constant attention. Effective listening not only helps you develop strong relationships and build trust, it also helps us better understand the context of what is being said. Active listening can also show your team that you care about them, value their point of view and value the relationship.

3. Be positive. I have spoken before about the importance of being a positive leader. By using positivity as your corner stone, you will find yourself able to bring out the best in others. So, seek to inspire those around you with your positive behaviours and actions.

4. Aim for one. As a leader and coach, it is important to not stretch your team members too thin by asking them to take on too much, too soon. Recognise the fact that they are busy as well and focus on one development activity at a time. This will not only help you be a more effective coach, it will help your team members taste success in a timely manner and build their self-confidence.

5. Be consistent. Your behaviour, tone, manner and attitude will have a significant influence on your team members. If you’re all over the place with your approach, this can seriously affect your credibility which in turn affects the foundation of trust. Presenting a consistent temperament and message is essential if you wish to convey a message of strength and retain the trust of your team members.

So step up and take on the role of coaching your team to help them reach their full potential.  By doing this you will also increase productivity, drive up retention and improve engagement.  As Tim Gallwey states ‘Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.’