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Coaching Team Members

As the leader of a group of people you will need to be conversant with three forms of coaching:

  • Personal evolution coaching: Helping your team members to deal with issues that relate to their personal mastery.
  • Professional evolution coaching: Helping your team members to deal with issues that relate to their professional growth, and
  • Performance coaching: Helping your team members to deal with issues that relate to managing resources so that they can achieve their targeted performance outcomes.

Coaching demands the highest qualities of a manager: empathy, integrity, and detachment, as well as a willingness to adopt a fundamentally different approach to staff.

There are two key concepts to coaching: creating awareness by helping people to interpret in a more meaningful way what they are hearing, seeing, or feeling; and helping people take responsibility for their work, their actions and their behaviours, thereby increasing their sense of pride in themselves, in the team and in their individual and collective performance.

The first principle of coaching is to ask lots of questions. Your job as the leader of a group is not to provide answers. In the new leadership paradigm managers teach their people to think for themselves by increasing their awareness and becoming more responsible for their actions. A starving man will always be starving if you just give him fish. When you can help him figure out the whole process of fishing, so he can do it himself, he will never starve again.

In addition to asking a lot of questions a good coach:

  • Listens really hard
  • Spends a lot of time getting a clear understanding of what the person he or she is coaching is thinking
  • Summarises frequently by feeding back their understanding of what is being said
  • Guides people in making their own choices
  • Avoids telling people what to do

These are not difficult skills to learn, but are essential for leading and managing others in the new leadership paradigm.
 

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