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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coaching Tips for Managers


Many managers struggle to find the best way to encourage, motivate, enthuse and develop their staff. The myriad of personalities that we have to deal with on a daily basis makes it difficult for us to determine how to get the best performance from such a diverse group of people that we happen to have on our team

Still, it’s your responsibility to create the climate and environment for your people to thrive. Without the growth that’s necessary for improved performance and target-achievement, your people lack the spark and creativity that will ultimately set your business (and, indeed, yourself) apart in a highly-competitive world.

By far the best way to build this platform for growth is through the development and nurturing of a style of management that encourages creativity, inspires participation and facilitates growth. Devoting time to this style is paramount if you want to tap into your people’s potential.

Most managers find that when they coach their people effectively, they get better results than with most other styles. Here are four coaching tips that really work and lead to greater achievement.

1) Encourage self-evaluation

Getting the person to evaluate their own performance against a set of agreed parameters and criteria helps them to identify where the improvement in performance lies. Of course, you have a great idea what they need to do and how they need to do it, but when they proactively uncover areas that they know about themselves, it encourages personal responsibility and accountability as to the level of performance they are willing to achieve.

This personal responsibility drives them to look for opportunities themselves, rather than having to be told what to do. Self-evaluation leads to self-awareness, which in itself increases their emotional intelligence and adds spirit and focus to the tasks they have to accomplish.

2) Create a vision that inspires

Many people appear to be lazy. The real fact is that they don’t have goals that inspire them. Take a lazy person and give them something that motivates and drives them, and the laziness seems to dissipate very quickly!

Creating goals, objectives, targets and results doesn’t in itself inspire. They have to be worthwhile goals, things that get the person jumping out of bed in the morning. Simple doing a job isn’t inspiring for most people. So there has to be end results that they want to achieve, objectives that drive their performance, targets that get them juiced up. Without them, the job is just a job.

If you find your people moaning, whining or complaining more than they should, check out whether it’s them being demotivated or the job that’s uninspiring. One will impact the other.

Having a creative vision develops people’s proactive initiative and drives action toward a desired goal. Without it, people perform to a mediocre level because it’s comfortable and means they don’t have to take responsibility for performance.

3) Set challenging expectations

When the inspirational goals have been set, place milestones on the way.

If you were going on a long car journey, you wouldn’t expect to see signposts for your final destination early on your travels. You would look for locations and cities along the way that would give you confidence you were going in the right direction.

The milestones you set on the coachee’s journey need to convince them they are progressing and achieving effective results. The best way to do this is to set realistic and challenging expectations of performance levels as you work toward the agreed goals.

These expectations, related the final results you wish the person to achieve, are like small bites from a large pie. The progress needs to be measurable, just like the car’s mileometer shows you eating up the miles on the long journey.

The coachee needs to feel that their strengths are being utilised, their ideas are being implemented and their achievements recognised. Setting challenging and achievable expectations encourages them to look for alternatives themselves, rather than having to ask for your direction and guidance at every step.

4) Build ownership & commitment

Some of the purposes of coaching are to enable your team member to take risks, make decisions, solve problems and build confidence in their own ability to get the best out of themselves.

When you coach them to take on these responsibilities, you encourage them to own the results they are achieving. The person starts seeing their hard work paying off, their attention to detail proving effective and their resourcefulness paying dividends.

Excuses become less frequent, moaning is pushed aside and creative problem-solving becomes a pleasure for them. By owning results, they start to thrive under pressure and build momentum towards results.

This ownership sparks commitment because they realise that they are in charge and they start viewing their work as their own autograph of excellence. They become creative as the rule instead of the exception and they start generating options and come up with the best solutions. And they commit to excellence in everything they do.

By using these four tips, you will see a noticeable change in the way your team members accept coaching assignments, and the results with be impressive and far-reaching, as you release their potential and send them on the road to discovering more and varied destinations.

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