One of the most difficult tasks for a leader is team development in rapidly changing environmental and busy days. Bersin estimates that today’s skills only have a life of 2 ½ to 5 years and employees are overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient. They are open to learning from peers, managers, and experts however, they need flexibility and more control over their development.
Coaching can address these needs, however, very few leaders make coaching conversations part of their everyday schedule.
Here are some simple practices to be adopted for increasing coaching support:
1.Allocate Time In The Schedule
Schedule a coaching session, once per month and stick to a developmental conversation. A one-on-one conversation in person or over video is useful, as non-verbal communication builds engagement and rapport. During the three weeks in between these sessions, schedule 15-minute “touch base” meetings or calls to check in on progress. In a busy schedule, urgency supersedes importance. However, if you ignore the need to developing a team today, it would become a critical issue tomorrow.
2.Identify A Simple Coaching Model
There are various effective coaching models that leaders can choose e.g. GROW, CLEAR, OSCAR, to structure their coaching discussions. Models are helpful to guide team members through a logical sequence and provide a framework for coaching discussion. The structured approach improves the efficacy of the conversation as well as saves time.
The best coaching conversations are usually bite-sized – two or three questions that unlock new thinking or that increase motivation to act on an idea. Effective coaching conversations requires the leader to stop jumping to solutions and start asking their team member questions. On a busy day, leaders can find time between meetings or as a quick desk chat for these conversations.
4.Help Employees Apply What They Learn
Do not close a coaching conversation without developing an action plan and providing support to make the transition easier on employees. Establish a follow-up plan that will establish a cadence and structure. Use simple documents, online platforms, or apps to document conversations. It is important to create an environment and system that helps team members apply what they learn, and check in on it regularly.
Today’s ever-changing business landscape necessitates ongoing coaching support to the team by leaders. Coaching does not take a lot of time however, the little time it does take ends up giving you time back.