While micromanaging has been proven in study after study to demotivate employees, the opposite of that is not leaving your staff to fend for themselves.
Leaders need to find a healthy balance between managing their staff to empower them and looking over their shoulder every step of the way.
A great strategy to effective leadership is being a coach to your employees; providing them with the motivation and direction needed to succeed, yet trusting them to be responsible for themselves.
Unfortunately, not many business owners and managers are trained in effective coaching strategies, and make the following mistakes when attempting to coach:
Not Being Present
Although you’re busy, you shouldn’t wait until the annual appraisal to coach your staff.
Coaching requires your consistent and active presence in your department.
If you wait too long to bring an issue up to your employee, chances are they will not recall what you are referring to.
You want to be accessible and check in with your staff daily, yet give them the space and time to attempt to work out their own problems and use their judgment.
When you take on the role of the coach (which is all the time) you need to remember to listen and not just talk.
While you should be providing advice and direction, the entire point of coaching is to benefit other people, which is not possible without letting them speak.
It’s important to involve your staff in the process, asking them what skills they want to learn or brush up on.
They should feel comfortable voicing their opinions about their shortcomings or areas they want to grow in.
When you’re mentoring, make sure to stop and ask questions to make sure everyone understands you and is on the same page.
Taking The Shortcut
When an employee comes to you with a question, it’s much easier and faster to give them a quick answer.
However, if you constantly direct your employees on what they should do, your job will never be done.
A true coach works to develop their workers, which is not possible without empowering them to think for themselves.
Instead of telling them what you would do, ask them what they think should be done.
Although it will take longer, a healthy discussion about the right steps will make your team members more comfortable in listening to their gut in the future.
Head of Training
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.