How can Coaching lead to creating high performing employees? Part 3 – Skills needed to coach.Tags: coaching, employee engagement, employee motivation, motivation, performance, skills, soft skills development
Surprisingly, managers do not coach their charges – well, not effectively anyway. In Part 2 of this series on Coaching as a function of Management we looked at the excuses managers use for not coaching. Even those managers who do coach, often do not have the skills. At least willingness is good start.
In this, the 3rd part of my coaching series, I’ll share with you the skills managers need in order to be effective coaches.
In coaching, listening is more important than talking. By listening, people can be helped to overcome their fears, be offered complete objectivity and given undivided attention and unparalleled support. This leads to the intuitive questioning that allows the client to explore what is going on for themselves.
Coaching is a two-way process. While listening is crucial, so is being able to interpret and reflect back, in ways that remove barriers, pre-conceptions, bias, and negativity. Communicating well enables trust and meaningful understanding on both sides.
Coaches are able to communicate feeling and meaning, as well as content – there is a huge difference. Communicating with no personal agenda, and without judging or influencing, are essential aspects of the communicating process, especially when dealing with people’s personal anxieties, hopes and dreams.
Good coaching uses communication not to give the employees the answers, but to help them find their answers for themselves.
A coach’s ability to build rapport with people is vital. Normally such ability stems from a desire to help people, which all coaches tend to possess. Rapport-building is made far easier in coaching compared to other services because the coach’s only focus is the client. When a coach supports a person in this way it quite naturally accelerates the rapport-building process.
Motivating and Inspiring
Coaches motivate and inspire people. The ability to do this lies within us all. It is borne of a desire to help and support. People who feel ready to help others are normally able to motivate and inspire. When someone receives attention and personal investment from a coach towards their well-being and development, such as happens in the coaching relationship, this is in itself very motivational and inspirational.
Curiosity, Flexibility and Courage
Coaching patterns vary; people’s needs are different, circumstances and timings are unpredictable, so coaching relationships do not follow a single set formula. Remembering that everyone is different and has different needs is an essential part of being a coach. Ultimately, everyone is human – so coaches take human emotions and feelings into account.
And coaching is employee-led – which means that these emotions have to be tapped into from the very beginning of the coaching process. So, having the flexibility to react to people’s differences, along with the curiosity and interest to understand fundamental issues in people’s lives, are also crucial in coaching.
The coach’s curiosity enables the employee’s journey to be full and far-reaching; both coach and employee are often surprised at how expectations are exceeded, and how much people grow.
All this does take some courage – coaches generally have a strong belief in themselves, a strong determination to do the best they can for their employees, and a belief, or faith that inherently people are capable of reaching goals themselves.
Coaching maxims and principles
Typically good coaches will use and follow these principles:
• Listening is more important than talking
• What motivates people must be understood
• Everyone is capable of achieving more
• A person’s past is no indication of their future
• People’s beliefs about what is possible for themselves are their only limits
• A coach must always provide full support
• Coaches don’t provide the answers
• Coaching does not include criticising people
• All coaching is completely confidential