Most bosses have evolved into leadership roles off the back of a good technical skill set (good salesman, good accountant, good footballer etc.) but reality is that managing people requires a very different type of skill set.
One of the valuable and vital skills we need to learn is how to grow and develop our people. If we don’t do this, we get trapped into solving a myriad of problems that we shouldn’t require our intervention.
The art of developing employees is an important leadership skill that involves many disciplines such as coaching, teaching and counselling.
Coaching isn’t just an often misunderstood skill, it’s a mindset…a way of thinking!
So what is the coaching mindset? It is a mindset that assumes that no two people are identical. A good coach works with each employee to maximise their strengths and explore opportunities! There is no ‘one right method’ that can be applied to everyone and expect the same result.
To do this requires you as a coach/boss to work tirelessly to establish trust with the “coachee”. If a high trust relationship is not established between coach and employee, the effectiveness of the coach will be compromised.
The underlying and ever present goal of coaching is to enhance both the awareness and self-belief of the employee so they can achieve better outcomes in their life.
The number one obstacle to peak performance and fulfilment for most people are the self-limitations that people place on themselves… Coaching differs from teaching in the quality of interaction with the subject.
Coaching focuses on asking the right questions and then listening in order to ask even more questions to guide an increased level of awareness. Whereas teaching is more about telling the subject how to do something in order to get a result but the level of consciousness doesn’t necessarily improve.
In my early days as a footy coach, I didn’t quite understand this important coaching fundamental and I was stuck in a teaching mindset. As soon as I grasped the true coaching principle of guiding through questioning rather than pushing through telling my effectiveness as a coach improved exponentially.
Good coaches don’t necessarily know how to perform a task better than the person they’re coaching. For example, all time sports greats like Roger Federer and Tiger Woods both had coaches when they were performing at their peak. Did these coaches know more than their students?
The common ground for all great coaches is that they ask the right questions that raise awareness and lead to an increased level of consciousness of the “coachees”.
So what are these questions? Well they will differ from coach to coach and coachee to coachee however the effectiveness is based on questions that raise awareness with words that seek to quantify or gather facts. Words like “what” “when” and “who”.
How conscious are you at coaching your people? How effective are you at coaching your people? Are you asking the questions or are you pushing the ‘telling?’