How to Coach for Amazing Results
By Dave Stearns, Maine.DaleCarnegie.com
In today's fast-paced world, there's little room for followers. Perhaps you're a homemaker trying to motivate the kids to clean their rooms and walk the dog. Maybe you work in a volunteer organization and have to ensure that other volunteers carry their share of the workload. You might be a corporate manager trying to get a team of high-level employees to meet a deadline.
You're the Coach
Whatever your role, you're charged with getting something done. And the way to meet that goal is to be a good coach. A manager can tell people what to do and when to do it, but only a good coach can motivate them to give the job their full attention. Others may point out problems, but a coach is there to help solve those problems. Many in leadership positions will hold a carrot out for people to go after. But a coach will motivate the individual to want to achieve the highest performance possible.
Some people are natural coaches. Even if you feel you are not, you can learn the tactics for coaching. Let's consider the following:
I encourage coaches to conduct an "innerview." Get to know the individual better. Find out about the family situation, the high points and low points in their lives. Find out how they survived low points.
Often what we have to coach on is really based on fear and lack of self-confidence. You can build confidence and help people face fear by telling them how much their work is valued.
Ask Insightful Questions
When I make joint sales calls with others, I debrief the call afterwards. I ask for the three things they did well on the call and one area that could be improved. If they were on target with the area that needed improvement, I may not even have to discuss it with them.
Don't Pretend You're Perfect
As a leader, there are times you need to criticize, but there are ways to make that work. You can build rapport. Relate similar issues you faced and talk about how you resolved them. Reassure the employee that he or she isn't a bad person.
Believe in What You Do
Coaching is hard work. It's rarely given the limelight. Yet, by being a strong coach, you can move your team to work wonders, while giving individuals the sense of accomplishment they need.
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Dave Stearns is president of Dale Carnegie Maine, a training organization located in South Portland. With over 30 years' experience, Dave has conducted programs in Greece, Portugal, Japan and Korea; as well as performance projects for companies such as IDEXX, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Martin's Point Healthcare, and Delhaize America (Hannaford). For more information, please visit his website at Maine.DaleCarnegie.com.