Mathematics, English, Communication, Economics; the moment you step into the role of a manager, your expertise is tested in each core subject you’ve learned before, as they all continue to evolve into the skills necessary for the job.
Additionally, you’re challenged in a more distinct and emotional way, perhaps in an area you have had little to no experience before: coaching a team. Recent events and drastic changes within our society and daily operationshave shifted employee focus into a far more progressive one, demanding a lively environment rich with involvement. Coaching is crucial to keeping today’s employees engaged and productive, and with the fast pace of today’s workplace environments, it’s important they keep current with the new skills necessary to succeed in their jobs.
Managers must be invested in developing their employees and, by doing so, you can keep your employees’ skills sharp while ensuring they’re capable of producing at their full potential. With the skill lifespan shortening and millennials dominating the workplace, a great deal of weight falls on the shoulders of people just like you.
Here we are going to provide you with 5 tips to integrate coaching into your management style:
Coaching is all about learning and letting the team members figure it out on their own. So when there’s a team meeting and you need to discuss how to complete a certain task or come up with ideas,make sure you’re the person who speaks
One example of this is dealing with a problem in performance management. If you speak first and start talking aboutthe number of meetings needed to conduct a performance assessment properly, what do you think will happen?
Most of your team members will start thinking that the number of meetings is the problem.
What they won’t do: think about other aspects of performance management that could also be problematic. Forexample:
- They won’t think about upgrading the technology used for the meeting
- They won’t think about the Idiosyncratic Rater Effect
- They won’t think about the methodology used for the performance assessment
- When you speak first, you limit your team members’ scope of thought to a single “lane” of thinking about the
2. Ask about their thought process
The thought process distinguishes a good decision from one of luck.
Sometimes, we can make a wrong decision but be lucky enough to see favorable results. But if you, as themanager, want to develop and coach your team members, you must make sure that they have a good thoughtprocess behind their decisions.
To do that, ask them about their thought processes directly:
- How did you come up with this solution?
- What variables did you think about when coming up with this idea?
- Why do you think this is the right decision to make in a situation like this?
This establishes the way your team members think about a particular problem and solution. You’re getting a sneak peek into their mind. Armed with this information, you can provide them with the necessary feedback to allow themto improve.
Teach your team members to have a process behind every decision and make sure that they aren’t just lucky-guessing, but have a process guiding them.
3. Let them decide
This is one of the most crucial tactics for managers. But it’s one of the hardest to implement.
Not because it’s complicated—it’s actually quite the opposite. However, too often, what is simple to do isn’t alwayseasy to do.
When you’re managing, your primary concern is hitting goals and targets. But when you’re coaching, you’re thinking about developing your team members. And the way they develop and gain accountability is through the opportunity to make decisions. Truth be told, those decisions will sometimes prove to be incorrect. Still, empowering your employees is one of the best ways you can teach them critical decision-making and leadershipskills—even if they’re wrong.
When people win, they celebrate. When people fail or lose, they learn from their mistakes. This is why it is important to allow (and sometimes encourage) employees to take risks to make decisions-and to make sure that they stick with those decisions. While it doesn’t have to be anything big, you must find a way to let your team members make decisions and be accountable for the consequences of those decisions.
For example, you could have a team member decide on the next meeting’s topic and prepare in advance to lead the meeting. You could also pick out the next team-building activity. If that doesn’t float your boat, you could create amicro-project regarding education and devote a small budget to it.
Any one of these ideas is an opportunity for your team members to practice decision-making and hold themselvesaccountable. That’s how they will grow up to be leaders.
4. Read between the lines—use emotional intelligence
As a manager, you will always have problems and difficult situations within your team and -as you may know-team members aren’t always upfront when it comes to discussing the root causes of problems.
The real problem is always hidden. When you face difficult situations, it is crucial that you: “listen with your eyesand look with your ears.”
Phrased another way, the words themselves won’t always tell you the truth of the matter. Sometimes, you’ll have todig deeper to uncover why problems reared their ugly heads in the first place.
This is where the “5 Why” technique comes into play.
The “5 Why” technique lets you get to the root problem of why something happened, plus it’s fairly easy to use: Youask “why” something happened five times until you get to the core (root) reason for the problem.
Here’s an example:
Trevor was a star performer on his team. But his performance crumbled over the past few months. We can use the”5 Why” technique to figure out why it happened:
Why? – He doesn’t report to work regularly (the first why).
Why? – He is not motivated to work with the team (the second why).
Why? – The tasks he performs on the team don’t interest him (the third why). Why? – The tasksassigned to him are monotonous in nature (the fourth why).
Why? – The job profile mismatches with his skill levels and aspirations (the fifth why and the root cause).
5. Talk about the future steps
Coaching isn’t just talking. Coaching is taking action.
One of the tactics you can use to integrate coaching into your leadership style is to always focus on the future steps.
Coaching isn’t just about why something happened. It’s about what the person will do to make sure they improve so that the situation doesn’t happen again.To help your team avoid making the same mistakes twice, ask thesequestions whenever things happen:
How did we get here? This helps you see if they understand the causal relationships that got the team into thesituation.
- Where are we at? This helps you understand the accurate picture of
- What will we do to prevent this from happening again? This helps you see whether they have a solution tothe problem and how they might implement
- Focusing on these questions will help you talk about future steps with team members that can help theorganization avoid running into the same problems in the Ready to become a more impactful coach?
Being a manager is no easy task. You’re expected to hit numbers and meet quotas, and in order to succeed, youneed a strong team behind you. By incorporating coaching into your managerial style, it’s much easier to make sureyou have that.
Remember the following: