Authoritarian, fear-inducing management is a thing of the past. No matter how big or small your team is, you’ll function better with motivating, supportive techniques that lift people up instead of putting them down.
Innovative companies understand effective coaching by managers is the key to success. With effective coaching and communication, leaders create safe spaces for everyone to give and receive feedback, share ideas, and work as a team.
We want to share what we know as coaches to help you, as a leader, create and support winning teams.
How to coach employees to improve performance the right way
There’s a reason your employees work for you. They’re good at what they do and excited about the company. You hand-picked them from a pool of candidates. They deserve exceptional mentoring and, with the right guidance, will help you and your company reach new milestones.
Guide your employees to foster healthy working relationships between leadership and employees. Encourage idea-sharing and innovation in your team to boost everyone’s professional development, engagement, and success. We’d say the following tips will help you coach “like a boss,” but they’ll actually help you coach like a real leader.
Coaching employees to improve performance
1. Give credit where credit’s due
Recognizing employees’ great work does a lot more than making them feel good (of course, it definitely does that). It empowers them to share ideas and feel like their work matters. Plus, it motivates them to continue doing their best as they know they’ll be given credit when they make significant contributions.
2. Trust your employees and empower them to be proactive
You hired your employees because they’re capable of doing their jobs well. It’s time to let them thrive. It’s okay to check in on your employees and review any work that might need a second set of eyes to ensure accuracy, but trust your employees to fulfill their tasks without looking over their shoulders. Employees will feel empowered and work more comfortably and confidently.
3. Shift your perspective
Before you became a leader, you probably were in the same position as your employees — learning from others and developing your emotional intelligence. You’ll likely empathize with those you now lead since you understand where they’re coming from. When you listen to your employees and put yourself in their shoes, you better understand the roadblocks they face, and you can help them work smarter on their own.
4. Know there’s a lot you can learn, not just the other way around
We learn from everyone on our staff, no matter how new they are. The intern may have a great idea, so listen up. Managers and leaders aren’t the only sources of truth; even if you have a lot of knowledge to share, you still only offer one perspective. Encourage communication and active listening between all employees, regardless of their seniority.
5. Understand employees all bring unique value to the table
Be honest with yourself, and know what you’re not good at. Even if you’re an expert on various topics, your strengths could focus on left-brained tasks rather than creative ones or vice versa.
Everyone uses their special skills to further their team’s success. There could be someone on your team who loves making spreadsheets and someone else who’s awesome at designing visuals. Play to your teammates’ strengths and divide the work accordingly to succeed at complex projects.
6. Genuinely care about your employees
Your employees’ work can make or break your business. Take a step back and remember how important these individuals are — even if a lot of their work is behind the scenes. Your employees are your work “family,” and it pays to go the extra mile to show them you care.
Start by asking questions, listening intently, remembering what makes each team member different, and seriously considering the ideas everyone brings to the table.
3 quick coaching tips to boost your skills
If you like the sound of these coaching techniques to coach better teams but don’t know where to start. Hit the ground running by implementing the following tips:
1. Meet with employees frequently
Scheduling quick daily stand-ups, weekly one-on-ones, or monthly meetings helps you keep up with what’s happening within your teams, prevent issues, and stay on track.
2. Stay curious
Whenever you interact with your employees, remember they may come up with your company’s next big idea. Even if you feel certain about the route forward, check in with the people involved and see if they have anything to add.
3. Listen more than you speak
Good coaches know listening is more important than speaking. Asking questions is another huge component of coaching and provides coaches with more opportunities to listen to their coachees’ opinions.
It’s a coach’s job to help their coachees achieve their goals and overcome obstacles, so creating a safe space and listening to what clients have to say is vital. Apply this logic when you bring your team together. You already know what you want to say, but first, listen to what the other voices at the table have to add and offer your point of view once they’re done.
Nothing’s stopping you from making these small changes, and we think you’ll see big changes in the health and success of your team as a result.
Be a leader, not a boss
Yes, you can be “a boss” at work, but avoid being the kind of authoritative figure people are scared to approach. Become a leader by supporting teamwork and valuing your employees not just as staff but as vital team members.
The best companies focus on creating safe spaces where managers use coaching skills to make employees feel comfortable interacting, communicating their ideas, and growing alongside leaders.
We’re here to help you become capable leaders by teaching you new coaching styles and techniques to engage with your employees, clients, and coachees. Let Practice help you run your business more effectively and learn how to be a better coach and leader.