Can a manager be an effective coach? Some (often, professional coaches) say that they can’t and shouldn’t, because they have too much of a vested interest in the outcome of the coaching and couldn’t possibly be neutral enough to hold back on their opinions.
Then again, a lot of managers think they are already coaching when what they are really doing is a lot of teaching, advising and telling — or, worst case, micromanaging (think Pointy Haired Boss from “Dilbert”). They use the phrase “coaching” to describe just about any conversation they have with an employee.
Both are valid positions. It all depends on how you define what “coaching” is. I like to think of it as the skill and art of helping someone improve their performance and reach their full potential. There is a spectrum of coaching skills — from directive (teaching, advising, giving feedback, offering suggestions), to asking questions and listening — the real magic of coaching is when the coach takes a more non-directive approach (asking questions and listening) and the person can solve his or her problems. (read more…)
The following answers and images are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert-content library and e-mail lessons.
A mistake I made early on was thinking that our employees had the same thought processes and learning tactics that I did. Explaining something, walking away and expecting them to execute the task as I saw it in my head proved unrealistic. Now, I ask employees to tell me what the end result will be or explain the process so I can figure out if we are on the same page. — Kim Kaupe of ZinePak
Employing sixes [of 10s] at a startup can sink your business. (read more…)
One hundred and fifty years ago this summer, the Battle of Gettysburg turned from a potential Confederate victory to stunning defeat due to Gen. James Longstreet’s poor negotiating skills.
At the beginning of their classic, “Getting to Yes,” authors Roger Fisher and William Ury note that we are all negotiators, every single day. But most of us lack an actual method for negotiations.
In our daily work lives, we deal with colleagues more than folks on the outside, and it seems downright mercenary to approach our interactions with them as a negotiation. But what happens when we become convinced that a colleague or boss is taking the organization down the wrong path? How do we convince them to change their plan?
To bring this question alive, how might our world today be a different place had Longstreet been able to persuade his boss, Gen. Robert E. Lee, to rethink the attack we call Pickett’s Charge? (read more…)
Coaching your employees requires commitment. It must be planned in advance, not done off the cuff.
Management today is really about enabling people to succeed and that means providing them with the guidance, resources, feedback and support they need to do their jobs.
Coupling feedback with expectations is the foundation of manager-to-employee coaching. It’s also the method by which managers can help employees and teams get the work done and promote higher levels of engagement and productivity. (read more…)