With increased competition for resources, labor and market share, organizations are racing to find, develop and retain the best. Leading companies know that winning takes smart, dedicated people who are willing and able to work hard and work smart.
The good news is, you don’t have to rely on superhuman talent. In fact, every organization has what it takes to build a winning edge. You just have to create the workplace environment that unleashes it. And that means you have to focus on developing and encouraging leaders to build people.
The right approach and skills have to be developed—and this is just as much about leaders and managers as it is about the employees they’re coaching. A study by Bersin & Associates found that the organizations that effectively prepare managers to coach are 130% more likely to realize stronger business results.
If you want to help your organization reach its business goals and win the performance race, you need to equip your leaders with the right skills, process and attitude to foster a safe, positive environment that encourages growth and constructive communication.
Here are 5 coaching practices to focus on to create a coaching culture that delivers next-level results:
- Ask open-ended questions about goals and challenges.
Instead of asking yes or no questions or discussing baseline expectations, effective coaches engage employees by asking questions to really get to know them and their plans for the future.
- Give constructive feedback on a regular basis.
Frequently giving feedback or forward focused information to employees lets them know how they are doing in the moment.
- Ensure employees know that you are listening.
Building trust is essential for helping employees and the business succeed. Employees who are struggling with a task or have ideas for improvement will only come forward if they know their voice matters.
- Recognize and praise employees when they improve
Put another way, leaders should be reinforcing the behaviors and skills they want to see because that’s what makes people more likely to continue doing them. The most effective coaches are the ones who coach and praise “in the moment.”
- Believe employees can grow and improve.
This is one of the most important coaching practices—and often the single factor that separates the winning coaches from all the rest. Leaders who believe mediocrity is all an employee is capable of, will create or reinforce a barrier that the employee won’t be able to break through.
In my opinion winning in today’s challenging business environment starts with an organizational ecosystem that supports coaching.
Some myths and questions swirl around coaching, like “What makes a coach effective?”, or “Do different generations need different coaching techniques?”, “How can I spread the coach-approach throughout my team?”
A free E-Book is now available with answers to these important questions and more. It provides an outline for using coaching in the workplace, including:
- A strong business case for coaching
- A coaching self-assessment
- 5 practices of great coaches