In a previous article I shared, ‘5 questions that will forever change the way you lead’ the aim was to help you create more focus, more courage and more resilience, helping your team members do their best work. In the work context, we can consider coaching as a tool in the leader’s toolkit. In the same way as a craftsperson selects the right tool for the task, leaders can use coaching as a tool.

Here are some opportunities to apply coaching at work.

  1. Motivating team members – find the reasons for the team member to be on the job, and link learning to his/her fulfilment. You can also identify their motivational needs and aspirations, and find ways to focus on new challenges and goals.
  1. Appraisals and assessments – identify the challenges that provide opportunities for personal and career development and support the team member to set achievable actions. You may like to refer to ‘5 tips for effective 1:1 meetings’.
  1. Delegating – find out if the employee is being stretched and begin to establish trust by delegating, recognising the team member and celebrating success.
  1. Task performance – give directions on how to achieve a task at first, then ease off and encourage the employee to find their own way as they develop confidence.
  1. Problem solving – listening to the team members’ assessment of the problem, encouraging ideas, and supporting the team member to evaluate options.
  1. Planning and reviewing – give plenty of direction, create an action plan and be ready to provide time and support within the given timeline for the task.
  1. Relationship issues – address team issues during the different stages of team development and maturity.
  1. Staff development – teach new skills and set achievable goals to build confidence.
  1. Team building – help the team clarify and stay focused on purposes, goals, boundaries, and measurements to gauge success.
  1. Team working – encourages improvements by prompting the team to determine what can be done better. Acting as a sounding board to guide the team when confronted with tough decisions.
  1. Behaviour issues – help the employee improve and become successful.

Coaching is emotional intelligence in practice’ – leaders with emotional intelligence can connect, influence and inspire others. Through coaching, your people can benefit from personal and career development, the team is strengthened by having motivated and skilled people, and the coach-leader has more time to be result-focused.

If you would like to have a model to help you lead like a coach, practice ‘Using GROW…’. This is a structured coaching conversation using the model’s four pillars: Goal, (Current) Reality, Options, and Will (or Way Forward).

Earlier this year, I shared ‘10 common mistakes you need to watch out for when using a coaching leadership style’. Skills are developed with practice. Therefore, developing your coaching skills will only come from continuous practice.

Coaching improves overall employee engagement and efficiency and makes a positive impact on a company’s culture. When leaders encourage their team to do the work, they come up with their own perspectives, ideas and solutions, their direct reports become more engaged and take ownership of their growth; this draws out the brilliance in the person or team being coached.

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