The power of coaching has been recognised by leaders and organisations alike as an effective way to develop people and add to bottom line business performance. In fact, a recent study of Fortune 1000 companies using coaching as a development tool reported a range of benefits from increases in productivity, to higher levels of customer service and staff retention.
Essentially business coaching has made the shift from fad to fundamental. As a business leader, it is important that you are prepared for this shift and that you have the skill set needed to effectively coach and develop your team.
Strategies to create an effective coaching relationship
All clients (employees) bring with them a different set of challenges and opportunities so it is important to remember you can’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ coaching model. That said, there are a number of strategies that underline any effective coaching relationship. These include:
- Rapport: there must be good rapport between coach and client.
- Permission: you need to ask and be granted permission to coach a client, essentially creating an agreement between parties.
- Honesty: there has to be an understanding that you both can work in a place of 100% honesty.
- Confidentiality: this is assumed but occasionally it is a good idea to reinforce that everything discussed is confidential.
- Resetting: if to date the coaching relationship hasn’t been ideal, you need to reset the relationship. What have you both learnt from what you’ve done and what can you do differently?
- Apology: you don’t necessarily have to be wrong to say you’re sorry! In some cases you might apologise because you haven’t been coaching in a way that would make a difference to your client’s growth.
- The coaching space: ensure where you coach is the ideal coaching space. Go somewhere where you can focus and not get interrupted. The appropriate coaching space will differ for every client.
- The best way to work together: have a brainstorm about the best way to work together and commit to that.
- Frequency: how often will you meet? Make time to meet this commitment.
Understanding the career cycle
For any coaching relationship to be effective, the coach needs to understand why they are coaching and what specific strategies need to be applied. The conversations and strategies will differ depending on the clients’ career cycle. Career cycles can be categorised into three areas:
- Are well and truly in momentum and know what they need to do
- Monthly coffee catch up is likely all that is required
- Conversation needs to be driven from “you are better than that” and “what are you going to do next?”
- Supercharge them to move in to that direction
- Recognition will be based on results
- Whilst we do tend to spend less time coaching performers, it is important to recognise that a 20% improvement in performers will give you more bang for your buck than a 20% improvement in fast starters. So you cannot afford to not have coaching techniques in place for this group.
- Rising stars:
- Know what they need to do – they need confidence and belief.
- Fortnightly meeting
- Conversation needs to be driven from “you can do it” and “I believe in you”.
- When they hear that they go to another level of performance
- Fast starters:
- Typically in the first two years of the job
- Weekly meeting – more regimented in office
- Conversation needs to be driven from “are you on track?”
- Recognition will be more based on activity
Business coaching is all about growth, development and achieving goals. Yes, at times it may be challenging, but knowing you are helping people create a roadmap for amazing results and success makes it well worth it!
For further information about becoming a more effective business coach contact the team on 1300 273 785.