Busy managers and leaders need to make time to coach staff. Coaching is essential for succession planning.
Coaching develops people. Staff selection only identifies possible potential. That potential still needs to be developed and coaching helps to unlock it.
Good questioning and listening skills are essential to establish a strong empathy right from the start.
Encourage with praise, build confidence with graduated experiences. Give honest and constructive feedback.
Correcting bad habits is harder than learning new routines, that’s where coaching becomes important.
Five of the best coaching tips
* At the start
Good coaches establish an early trust and a rapport with the people being instructed. Make sure they fully understand what is expected of them. Explain the possible rewards for their achievements.
Get them involved in their learning right from the start.
* Set challenging assignments with goals for each session
Arrange for systematic on-the-job coaching. Set times and a place on a regular basis.
Guide conversations through good simple open-ended questions. Challenging questions are important!
Challenge people you are coaching with graduated step-by-step experiences to build their confidence.
Use different training ways to make coaching more interesting. See the book “Training Secrets” for suggestions.
* Feedback is the key to improvement
Give regular feedback and helpful constructive reports on progress. Be positive and supportive. A good coach gives corrections without causing resentment.
* Reward effort and achievements
Be generous with your praise. By praising good work you encourage people to improve.
If you give small rewards it can be an incentive when each step has been completed satisfactorily.
Try to make training fun and enjoyable. We learn best when we are challenged to perform and we are enjoying our role.
* New skills must be practised
As soon as possible make use of the new skills learned. People become frustrated if the new skills are not used to the advantage of the organisation or the learner. Above all, build confidence!
“Increased business profits are the rewards of sound coaching.”
SOURCE: “Training Secrets. Helping adults learn” 190p., Moss Associates. Ltd, New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com. Learn 49 ways to train and how to assess and improve your own training skills.