A company’s reputation depends on how well its leaders guide and coach employees to achieve excellence. But only those with well-developed coaching skills can successfully lead employees to greater productivity.
Skilled coaches know that sustained superior employee performance is achieved through regular coaching that recognizes and reinforces good behavior, helps employees recognize problem areas in their own performance, and empowers employees to improve in those areas. A person’s individual coaching style must be known and developed in order to perform the best coaching possible.
What is Coaching?
Many professions have a specific set of skills that a person uses over and over throughout their career. However, coaching itself doesn’t have a specific set of skills that are repeated in every coaching situation.
Each coaching relationship comes with new challenges and presents different opportunities to learn new skills. This is because no two coachees – or coaches – are alike. Each coachee goes to their coach with different needs and aspirations, so no two coaching relationships are the same. Consequently, coaches need to be skilled in a variety of areas in order to achieve positive results. Some of these skills include goal setting, action planning, problem solving, decision-making, listening, and behavioral change techniques.
The Four Coaching Styles
There are different types of coaching styles that leaders tend to have. Everyone is different, and some coaches are more “take charge and direct” while others may be “warm and empathetic.” One style isn’t necessarily better than another, and someone may have a few styles they exhibit. The four coaching styles are:
- Direct. People who take charge, in control, competitive, fast-paced, authoritative, leaders.
- Spirited. People who are enthusiastic, friendly, motivators, high-profile, decision makers.
- Considerate. People who are warm, counseling, cooperative, reliable, caring.
- Systematic. People who are accurate, objective, factual, organized, problem solving.
So what does your coaching style say about you? It shows who you really are as a coach. If you are a direct person and your coachee is considerate, for example, you will want to flex your style to meet theirs in order to be a better coach to them. You can make the experience better by being more counseling rather than authoritative.
Improving Your Coaching Skills with a ‘Meeting Model’
A manager’s coaching skills can be improved with a “7-Step Coaching Meeting” model. The steps and skills in this model are all based on behavioral science research and distinguish managers who are effective at conducting coaching meetings from those who are less effective. An effective coaching meeting can be viewed as a process consisting of seven steps:
- Building a Relationship of Mutual Trust. Mutual trust is the foundation of the coaching process and directly rooted in a manager’s day-to-day relationship with an employee. Build it up so both parties are comfortable.
- Opening the Meeting. In opening a coaching meeting, it’s important for the manager to set a direction for the discussion and to get the employee involved in the conversation.
- Getting Agreement. The manager’s goal during the meeting is to get the employee to agree verbally that a performance issue exists.
- Exploring Alternatives. The manager and employee together explore alternatives that will improve the employee’s performance. The manager should begin by encouraging the employee to identify alternative solutions.
- Getting a Commitment to Act. The next step is to get the employee to commit to implementing the alternative that will best improve his or her performance situation.
- Handling Excuses. A manager should avoid arguing with an employee over the validity of an excuse, but rather try to disarm the excuse or turn the excuse into a problem-solving discussion.
- Closing the Meeting. In closing a coaching meeting it’s important that the manager emphasize the developmental nature of the discussion so that the employee views the meeting as more than a reprimand.
If a manager follows these steps, they will have a successful coaching meeting with their employee, leading to better performance and a more positive relationship.
More Help with Coaching
To learn more about coaching, attend the “What Does Your Coaching Style Say About You?” webinar on December 9, 2019 at 2 p.m. US ET. Participants will learn how to use What’s My Coaching Style? as part of their personality style and coaching training, identify personal preference for one of four behavioral styles, develop an awareness of personal behavior patterns, and see how one is viewed by those he or she coaches. Click here to Watch the free webinar: HRDQ Webinar “What Does Your Coaching Style Say About You?”
This webinar is based upon research from What’s My Coaching Style?, a coaching assessment that measures personality style and explores how it relates to coaching and interpersonal relationships. Coaches and managers identify and understand personality traits, learn how to capitalize on personal strengths, and minimize potential weaknesses. Learn more about What’s My Coaching Style? by CLICKING HERE.