In today’s business landscape, one of the best ways to maintain performance and keep up with the fast-paced nature of business is to develop your people. By valuing the progress of your team and yourself as a leader, you’re ensuring that each person involved with your organization stays relevant and up to date with currently business practices, new technologies, and enables you to keep your foothold in your area of business.
One way we see organizations, and the people within them, show their dedication to development is through a shift to a coaching mindset. In times past, leadership had a focus on delegating tasks, explaining what is required of each team member, supervising progress, and so on. While these remain essential to the role of a leader, the professional world is turning toward a strategy of leaders as coaches. Rather than simply telling their people what to do, waiting for a result, then celebrating or berating their teams based on that result, leaders are encouraged to coach, support, and guide employees to achievement of desired results.
Coaching isn’t the same as the annual review, mentoring, or training. These are all very valuable in their own rights, but coaching has its own value. Coaching can be more informal, looking less like a performance review and more like a one-on-one discussion with your people. Some examples of topics for coaching might be how they found their experience learning a new system, or how they’ll apply what they learned following a training session. A people leader, as coach, has the responsibility of checking in with their people, determining if they have any questions needing answers, or any additional needs. Regular check-ins provide the opportunity to improve the individual and, by extension, the team they’re working in.
Providing feedback and interacting with your people in a more relaxed, informal setting, such as during coaching can be helpful in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is a boost in productivity. Leaders who prioritize coaching also prioritize the people they work with. Coaching provides a safe space to grow, ask questions, try new things, experience failure, address sensitive issues, discover and address strengths and weaknesses, all within the context of human connection. Leaders working with a coaching mindset are practicing compassion, caring about the people they lead, in both their professional and individual lives. The development of compassion and interpersonal relationships with your team members is essential to creating loyalty, trust, and overall, employees that feel driven to work with you. When coaching is done right, we see employees and team members feeling inspired and encouraged, as coaching involves discovering strengths and potential as well as areas that need attention or clarity. The best leaders can promote their people to greatness by encouraging their growth in weaker areas and nurturing already strong skills.
The feeling of being appreciated boosts engagement and increases employee retention, bringing productivity up along with it. Happy, inspired teams are the most effective with their work! Leaders who can effectively coach their teams and demonstrate their appreciation create an environment that promotes productivity. When employees feel seen, heard, and valued, their connection to the organization, and their leaders, is deepened. Team members are more dedicated to the roles they fill on the team, work passionately toward the mission of the organization, and are focused on the goals set before them. All this is crafted by leadership choosing to coach their people rather than lord over them. A coaching culture sends a clear message; every person is valued, and their learning and development journeys are important to the leader as a person, and the organization as a whole.
Employees who feel valued and connected to their leaders are more likely to be more productive. The connection to the tasks at hand, their roles within teams, and their roles within the company are clearly defined in coaching sessions. Miscommunications can addressed in consistent check-ins, and developing new skills is supported and encouraged regularly. Coaching leaders are supportive, proactive, and approach difficult situations with ways to learn rather than ways to punish those involved. For quite some time, leadership was focused solely on the management of people, not the betterment of people, and the toll that wreaks on morale can deeply affect the productivity of people. Good coaching from strong leaders can have a direct impact on the productivity of their people! Quite simply, those who are happy and motivated at work are more productive. People who feel undervalued, unheard, and not trusted aren’t going to give more than the minimum effort required. People who feel appreciated, encouraged to succeed, and supported in moments of difficulty, these are the people whose increased productivity and dedication to the organization can make all the difference!
Coaching is a powerful tool for people leaders (team leads, supervisors, managers, senior leadership and, yes, owners) to have in their tool belts and use regularly. Prioritizing coaching and one-on-one connections can increase individual, team, and organizational performance and productivity, just through the creation of a coaching culture! By making coaching an essential part of every day, leaders can make the most of the people they’re working with, bringing out the best and developing areas that need attention. Developing staff and maintaining strong teams boosts morale, increases employee retention, and reduces costs associated with onboarding and recruitment. Overall, creating an organizational culture that highlights coaching from its leaders could be an extremely effective change across productivity!
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