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Coach your team to their A-level

16.11.2017

Coach your team to their A-level

Krauthammer consultants best coaching practices

Organisational success comes down to great managers who know how to lead. But being a great manager isn’t easy. It involves more than just setting goals and supervising a team, or simply ensuring that a strategy is followed and targets are met.

 

Instead, today’s most successful managers make sure that each member of their team delivers at their top level. And they achieve this by effectively using the power of coaching. These management stars are masters at motivating each member of their team to reach their personal A-level.

 

But how do they do it? We had an interesting exchange with some Krauthammer consultants and managers*.

 

Read the summary of our discussion here and find out how to get each member of your team to contribute at their highest level:

Coaching is key

Good managers become great managers because they understand the value of their role as coach. By simply turning managing into guiding they are able to lead their team members to higher levels than they thought possible. From the beginning, they establish a supportive, collaborative setting where both learning and working are at the centre of everything their team does. Fair and realistic expectations are also set according to the individuals and their roles. They manage to create a safe environment where each individual knows that it’s ok to experiment and fail, and where complexity, as well as task or project ownership are only increased step by step after success. Great coaches also make sure that every success is acknowledged, celebrated and shared.

Get to know the person

The best managers take time for their roles as coaches. They put the necessary time aside to get to know each member of their team. As attentive observers, they watch each person closely to understand the individual personality (e.g. through a DISC-assessment) and its learning styles. And they make it a point to find out what each team member is good at and what they are willing to do. This makes it possible for them to identify the strengths of each individual. By knowing the person better they can also see whether to apply a push &/or pull coaching style. Investing time in the person is also the starting point to building a good relationship. Making every team member feel valued and appreciated is key to establishing a solid basis of trust for moving forward and keeping the individual engaged.

Asking not telling

By asking questions, an effective coach helps team members articulate what their personal goals and challenges are. Rather than providing the solutions, they also encourage the person to find their own answers. They know that people who clarify their own priorities and devise strategies that are in tune with what they care about most are more committed to putting them into action. And this commitment is essential for reaching that A-level.

Listen intently

One of the most important things that a good coach does is listen carefully. They know it’s essential to understand the person and what motivates them. By listening with their full attention, they’re able to create a high-quality connection that invites the team member to open up to them and to think more creatively. Focusing on what they have to say is the best way of discovering their “sweet spot”, which is directly linked to where the person’s A-level lies.

Make it enjoyable

The best coaches keep the rhythm and energy of the coaching sessions as challenging as possible. They use their fantasy and vary the length, style, exercises, questions and approaches, as well as the where the coaching takes place. By making the coaching sessions memorable, they know that the topic or theme that was dealt with will also be more memorable. And the person’s willingness to implement the actions, changes or improvements will also be higher. Although serious issues call for serious behaviour, there are also plenty of opportunities to have fun. Successful coaches don’t miss the chance to make coaching fun for themselves and their team members.

As a manager, coaching is one of the most powerful tools you have. By investing time and energy in coaching you will positively support the overall performance of your team and their contribution to the success of your organisation.

Top tips for coaching to the A-level

1) Make it your long-term investment

Results don’t often come quickly, so be prepared to invest your time and energy in each team member. Above all, be persistent and don’t let other seemingly more important things keep making you change your coaching plans.

2) Keep an open atmosphere
Always stimulate open but positively confrontational communication Make sure your team members know that there are no taboos and that experimenting is welcome.

3) Plan the journey together
Assess the team member’s current situation and challenge them on the vision. Define small steps together and set smart goals. Agree on expectations and how to proceed, then follow up with constant feedback and support.

4) Have coaching sessions yourself
Having your own coach gives you the possibility to have your coaching processes supervised.  This is healthy as it can provide new refreshing angles and will also help you to challenge your own perceptions.

*Isabelle Auroux, Pascale Bauer, Agnes Galambos, Motoaki Goto, Jan van der Linden and Maarten Poot.

 

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