Great Coaching: The Art and Science of Success
With great coaching you can become a great leader. Unfortunately, coaching is a lost skill. If you walk the halls of the corporate world, you won’t hear or see much of it going on for two reasons.
- Managers are inundated with reports, data or analysis.
- Managers are in too many meetings.
When I talk to managers about coaching, the #1 thing they tell me is I don’t have time or they look at me like I am an alien. One manager even said, “Today’s employees don’t need it.” That’s like saying a bird doesn’t need wings. Maybe that’s why this manager was failing! Or, that many others are, too. Way too many managers are seriously lacking in the willingness and capability to coach, so little gets done. It often is not an expectation of what managers do today. It is one of the reasons for poorer employee engagement, customer service and productivity throughout the world.
Leadership is a dynamic partnership in which coaching can significantly empower employees. This involves clarifying goals, creating action plans, moving past obstacles, and achieving crucial results. The manager supports the employee with a focus on possibilities, and accountability. A study by the Personnel Management Association found that training alone increased productivity by 22.4%. Training plus coaching increased productivity by 88%! Another study found a return on investment of coaching to be 529%. My own experience proves it works as I have helped companies improve 22%, 58%, 122% and 223%!
Why Don’t Managers Do a Better Job?
Four reasons separate out the poor managers from all the rest.
- Most don’t know what to do.
- Many don’t know how to do it.
- Some don’t want to do it. Unfortunately, don’t believe in people enough to invest the time and effort.
- They can’t do it.
Through thorough education and training, most managers can learn better leadership skills and effective coaching techniques.
Coaching is an art because it involves a creative process. While certain steps are important, each person that a manager coaches is unique. A good manager learns to facilitate the dynamics of positive interpersonal relationships. This skill is not automatic for most folks but can certainly be learned. In summary, it involves good people skills.
However, there are two key values to possess if you want the art of coaching to work for you.
- Believe in the people you work with. It’s not about you, it’s about the team. Certainly, all employees have untapped personal potential.
- Engage people with integrity and care.
- Furthermore, make the time to coach-it has to be a priority.
The Science of Great Coaching
One definition of a science is “proficient skill, especially reflecting a precise application of facts or principles.” With a trusting relationship you can apply step by step procedures and to begin to make a difference. Too many managers focus on the mistakes. They catch people doing things wrong. Consequently, this demoralizes people over time. While you may need to give negative feedback at times, it’s how you phrase it that matters. In contrast, great coaches leverage the strengths! Also, they give plenty of positive learning and support.
One of the greatest sports coaches of all-time, John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins, was studied and found to be 99% positive. His teams won 10 NCAA titles in twelve seasons. Above all, he taught that genuine praise powers progress. Therefore, apply these concepts to your team and you will discover how to electrify employee engagement and better performances.
Finally, do you want to elevate your coaching effectiveness and success? If so, check out this complimentary eBook, Coaching for Results.
Also, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website. Micro-learning and career advancement at your fingertips!