Leaders as Coach

As a leader one of your responsibilities is to get the best out of your team. There are several ways that you can get that done. One way is to set clear goals and hold people accountable to achieving them. The problem that will crop up sooner or later is that there are times when people aren’t meeting their goals, or their performance is suffering. How do you get them back on track?

A great way to help redirect someone is to provide coaching for them. As their leader you will need to put on a coaches hat and work with them. To make the most of this opportunity to help someone improve their performance you will need to step back from being their boss and the needed performance numbers. To really help someone grow through coaching you need to take the approach of being there to help them succeed. The goal is still to meet performance criteria, but by stepping back and coaching for improvement you can help the employee get there quicker.

To effectively coach the key is to focus on asking questions that trigger the person to think of new ways to get things done. A coach does not provide solutions; they create an environment where new solutions are discovered by the person being helped. When a person develops their own ideas on what to do differently they will own the solution and thus be more engaged in executing it. This increases buy-in and improves the likelihood of reaching the goals and sustaining performance.

Some questions to get the ball rolling in a coaching session are:

1. What is your understanding of the goals for your position?
2. What are some of the challenges you are encountering in reaching these goals?
3. How might you get around these obstacles?
4. What strengths do you bring to this position?
5. What tools or training would help you improve your performance?
6. How can I, or someone else, help you succeed?
7. What steps will you take in the next week to reach these goals?

There are many, many more questions that can be used to inspire new thoughts and trigger new solutions; these are just a few to get you started. Keep in mind that the questions are best when open ended and not judgmental. Assure the person that they are capable of reaching the goals and finding solutions to the issues. Remember there are no right or wrong answers to these questions as long as the person is taking responsibility for creating solutions to improve.

What have you done to help coach someone for improved performance?

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Filed under Coaching, Leadership

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