One of the most important, yet often-overlooked skill a manager needs to have is the ability to coach their team members.
Yes, you need to make sure the project on your to-do list gets done with the help of your employees, but you also need to encourage them to grow and move up the corporate ladder.
Ultimately, a good leader is an effective coach; if coaching is not innate to you, try and incorporate the following three questions during a coaching session with your team.
What are three weaknesses that you want to improve?
If you are an effective boss, you are present during office hours, and are always watching your employees at work.
You know what areas your team members excel in, and what areas they need improvement in.
However, a coaching session is not about you, but about the person you are coaching.
Just as a coach of a sports team helps their team members be better, faster and stronger, so should you provide individual attention to your employees.
Instead of telling them what their weaknesses are, ask them what they believe their weaknesses to be, and what they want to improve.
This is a great way to help your employees be more introspective and honest about their shortcomings.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
You may be an excellent coach and truly invested in the future of your employees; the problem is, many managers make the mistake of assuming what the goals of their team members are, and forget to ask them what they actually maybe.
You may have a star player on your team, one that is clearly destined to be a leader one day; however, before training them to become a leader, you need to ask them if that is something that they want.
In general, during coaching sessions, it is advantageous to ask your employees where they see themselves in the next 5 years.
Some people’s aspirations may surprise you, and you may need to adjust how you train them based on their own personal goals.
What can I do to help you be a better you?
This is a fantastic question to ask of your employees as different people need different levels of support.
One person can tell you that they want a mentor, an experienced professional who can provide them with career-related advice.
Another party can ask you to train them in a certain skill, such as conflict resolution or anger management.
A third individual, on the other hand, can simply request a flexible schedule, which would allow them to come into work early and get more sleep.
It’s important that leaders realise that every single employee is unique, and has a unique set of needs.
By asking questions at coaching sessions rather than figuring you know best, you will be able to help your team improve their efficiency, productivity and overall corporate culture.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 6 October, 2017
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