Seven Pointers To Being A Great Coach

Coach And Develop Your Way To Success

One of the skills of great leaders is their ability to coach and develop others; to be able to draw out the best in them and see them grow and thrive in their roles.

Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t as easy as we might like to think to do this. For many, deadlines, competing priorities, and other challenges push them back into the thinking of, “it easier to just do it myself”. We all fall into that trap, once in a while and it is a trap.

If you are the one doing something today, there is a pretty good chance you will be the one doing the same thing in the future. One of the first lessons to learn in coaching others, is being able to recognize when you must stop being the doer and force yourself into becoming the coach. Telling yourself you will shift yourself into the roll of coach the next time, is like telling yourself you will start eating healthy next Monday. As soon as things get tough, you will fall right back into being the doer.

The easiest way to get over to the side of being a great coach is to get a plan, so here are some pointers to help you expand your skills as a coach:

  • Know the outcome In delegating, it is easy to explain “how” you want something done (because you know how to do it), rather than explain “what” the outcome should be. It is like telling someone all the ingredients of a recipe, but never telling them whether they are baking a cake, cupcakes or a loaf. When both of you know the outcome, it makes it easier to get there.
  • Don’t take responsibility for the outcome – Coaching someone requires you to let them figure it out. You want them to take ownership and to demonstrate their commitment to the task or roll. If they ask you for your opinion, it is your job to ask all the questions you can to help them work it out themselves, not to take back the ownership by telling them how to do it.
  • Keep open minded and non-judgmental – How you would do something, might not be the way they handle something and that is not necessarily a bad thing. When you think something is going off, rather than jumping in and taking over, remind them (and yourself) what outcome you are driving at and question the person in what their plan is to get there. They may have a different approach, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get to the same end point.
  • Leave your ego at the door – Likely you already know how to get to the outcome, but telling them how good you are, doesn’t help them. If anything, it does the opposite, because it implies, they will never be as good as you. Focus on their needs and support them, all along assuming they have the answers if provided with the right questions.
  • Be supportive, while challenging them – They need to feel that you care, but not that you are going to make everything okay. Challenge them in a supportive way if they are in denial or avoiding something. Reassure them you are on their side, and the reason you are challenging them is to help them achieve the overall outcome.
  • Believe in people and their potential – We are all a work in progress. In order to develop someone, you need to believe they are capable of being successful in achieving the outcome. If for a minute you don’t believe this, then you should stop coaching them and ask someone else to step in. Don’t let your limitations, limit them. To limit someone else, is really a lack of belief in yourself to be able to get them there.
  • Celebrate their wins – Recognizing other’s wins helps to validate their potential. The more we demonstrate how capable we are the more capable we believe ourselves to be. As a coach it is our jobs to have our people believe they are capable of anything they set their minds to do.

Just like anything, becoming a great coach takes work, but in taking it one step at a time and reminding yourself of each of these points, it will help you avoid falling into the trap.

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