5 Tips to Coach your team to Success.

Lisa Thal

5 Tips to Coach your team to Success.

I believe there is a difference between Managing and Coaching. We manage processes, timelines, and our email inboxes. On the other hand, we coach the most important resource, our team. We are coaching each individual to be their best, Coaching progress and growth.

Let me ask you a question. When you think about the managers you have worked with, who comes to mind? Some of you may say the more critical or destructive managers or those who inspired you, cared about you, and focused on your professional and personal growth.

I was getting started in my career. Kim Smith Williams was one of the best managers I was coached by, and she influenced my Success. She cared about me and coached me to my talents and potential. She was a great teacher who invested her time in improving me and cared about my professional growth.

Yes, many managers didn’t care about me or other employees. They were too focused on managing up versus spending time and energy with the people that needed them. One manager was more destructive, and another was more constructive in their Coaching, building me up and teaching progress and growth. In both cases, I learned from both.

Coaching employees can be challenging for any manager. Unfortunately, many coaching sessions can end up being overwhelmingly negative and unproductive.

Coaching is an essential skill that can differentiate average managers from great ones. Even well-intentioned managers can cross the line and become destructive, making employees feel discouraged or defensive. The key is to learn how to challenge employees constructively: one that inspires motivates, and drives them toward Success in their professional growth.

Here are five tips to help you Coach your team to Success!

Start with the Right Mindset
One of the fundamental principles of Coaching is that everyone has the potential to improve. Don’t go into your coaching sessions thinking you’re there to highlight your employee’s shortcomings. Instead, focus on strengths and collaborate on how to build upon them. To be a constructive coach, focus on growth rather than correction. A growth mindset will allow you to provide constructive and impactful Feedback while establishing a foundation of trust and respect.

Listen and Ask Open-Ended Questions
Coaching is not a one-way street; we are in it together, so you listen actively and allow your employees to share their thoughts and Feedback. Ask open-ended questions that invite a conversation rather than shut down discussion.

For example, what are you seeing with your business? What are your thoughts on moving this account forward? This approach shows that you value their views and opinions, and it encourages them to take ownership of their progress. When employees feel heard and valued, they’re more open to Feedback and more likely to act on it. Remember, we are on the same team – team progress.

Give Feedback
Everyone deserves Feedback on how they are doing. Start by asking your employee for their Feedback first to gain their perspective. Offer Feedback close to the time performance occurred so that it’s fresh in both of your minds. This way, you can provide specific examples and ask clarifying questions. Additionally, timely Feedback allows employees to adjust course on a project or task, pivoting to a more successful path.

Focus on Behavior, Not Personality
It’s crucial to approach Feedback focusing on specific behaviors rather than personality traits. Our teams consist of various personalities. Please focus on the behaviors or activities that can help them succeed.

End on a Positive Note
It’s always a good idea to end a coaching session on a positive note. Make it clear that you value your employee’s work and care and are there for their Success. Recognize any progress they’ve made and offer encouragement for what lies ahead. This positive reinforcement will create a healthy coaching environment and encourage employees to grow and learn.

Coaching employees can be challenging but done correctly, and it’s a rewarding experience that can significantly impact your business. A great coach can identify strengths, offer constructive Feedback, and inspire employees to succeed.

Remember to approach Coaching with a growth mindset, listen actively, deliver Feedback promptly, focus on behavior instead of personality, and always end positively. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to being a constructive coach and effective manager.

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