If you are a leader, stop thinking of yourself as a manager and start thinking of yourself as a coach.
If you are bold enough, put a sign on your door that reads “Coach.”
Here are some quick coaching tips that you can start implementing today, from the new book The Culture Solution, by New York Times best-selling author Matthew Kelly.
- Make every interaction with your direct reports count. Teach them something you learned in your career, tell them a story about how you failed at something and what you learned, or show them one specific way they can become better in their roles.
- Students don’t give their teachers homework to do. Don’t let your people bring you half-finished work for you to complete. Coach them on what needs improving and have them try again and again until they get it right. It is not your role to do their work.
- Be coachable yourself. Invite your people to bring your attention to ways you can grow. If you have children, you are already well versed in how this works. They don’t wait to be invited and are not suppressed by political correctness. They just tell you straight up.
- Become a student of people. Increase your awareness of fruitful and unproductive social interactions. What is the key to becoming, say, a great writer? The answer: Develop an intimate knowledge of people. What inspires and engages them? What takes the wind out of their sails and demotivates them? In art and business—and life—nothing takes the place of knowledge of the human person.
The bottom line: The most important piece of all this is to start to see yourself as a coach. Take coaching opportunities seriously, never waste an opportunity and remember coaching isn’t always correction; often the most powerful words we hear from our coaches are words of encouragement. This encouragement drives engagement and enthusiasm.
Managing people isn’t easy, nor is coaching. But coaching people is so much more enjoyable and rewarding than merely managing them. There is something enormously fulfilling about helping people grow. There is a great satisfaction to be gained by seeing the men and women you lead accomplish things they never thought possible because you coached and encouraged them.