Most people will tell you that coaching is the fastest, most effective way to improve your team’s performance. Then they will tell you that they don’t have time to coach, even though they know they should. But coaching is a force multiplier, and it pays dividends far into the future. Saying you don’t have time to coach means you are also saying you don’t want to perform at the highest level.
These are some of the key reasons you should commit to coaching:
- Set Expectations: Coaching allows you to set expectations. It allows you to share goals, targets, and outcomes. There is an enormous difference in sending an email, making an announcement, speaking to a group of people, and a coaching interaction with a single individual. It’s personal. You are asking them to help you, and you are offering to help them.
- Allow for Collaboration on Outcomes: If you want your people to give you their hearts, their minds, and their best ever performance, then you need to invite them to help work on the goals, targets, and outcomes. You may know what needs to be done, but they will have ideas as well as to how it can be done. If you invite them to collaborate on the how, you will engage their hearts and minds, and you’ll learn something in the bargain.
- Build a Culture of Accountability: There is a massive lack of accountability for results in business today. Coaching allows you to elicit plans and strategies, and to establish accountability for their execution. By asking when something might be accomplished and when you should follow up, you have an agreement on what will be done, when it will be done, and when you are going to meet to review.
- Require Resourcefulness: Non-directive coaching is a particularly useful tool for helping the person being coached find resources inside themselves of which they were wholly unaware. Many people being coached will struggle with being asked to be resourceful, having worked for managers and leaders who only told them what to do and how they should do it. Once unleashed, resourcefulness is a game-changer for helping people solve their own problems—and yours.
- Encourage Initiative: Coaching also requires that the person being coached takes initiative. They have to decide what they are going to be coached on and what they want to explore. They have to decide what is important, why it is important, and how to go about taking action. Most importantly, they decide when they will take action and when they report back. This is a far more effective approach for developing “independents,” instead of dependents.
- Develops Individual Players: Coaching is what allows you to develop individual players. It is how you help them turn in their best ever performance, and it is also how you become the best “manager” or “leader” that they’ve ever had.
Every manager says they want their team members to succeed, but without action, it is just language, just talk. If you want your people to succeed, if you want them to reach their goals, then coaching is the most effective method available.