What exactly is coaching?

Unlike mentoring where we freely offer answers and advice, coaching provides employees with questions which guide their thinking in order to reach their full potential and maximise their performance.

As a manager, you can use coaching skills to actively listen to your team member’s needs, help them find the right information, spot their blond-spots, and lead them to find ways to increase confidence, performance, self-awareness, proactive self-care and self-improvement.

Why is it important?

Workplace coaching has the following benefits:

  • It invites better and more ambitious goals

  • It encourages learning and development

  • It drives performance and productivity

  • It boosts employee engagement

  • It makes you more resilient

  • It helps deal with change

  • It deepens relationships

What's more is that 99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the experience and 80% of coaching clients say that they improved their self-esteem or self-confidence thanks to coaching (LuisaZhou)

Alright I’m sold, what are the three coaching skills I should learn as a manager?

1. Active listening

Developing active listening skills as a leader can help you strengthen the quality of your relationships and interactions in the workplace. It demonstrates you possess empathy, understanding, and it makes you more effective at giving feedback. The three As of active listening are having a positive attitude, giving someone you full attention, and being flexible to make room for adjustment. According to CCL, active listening skills are paying attention, withholding judgement, reflection, clarification, summarising, and sharing.

How good of a listener are you? Check out Coach Foundation’s free quiz here.

2. Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation

From money, status, fulfilment, to social impact, everyone gets out of bed for different reasons. That’s why it’s crucial as managers to be able to pinpoint what motivates our team members, and how we can use it to bring out the best in them. Organisational behaviour divides motivation into intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic refers to an internal desire to grow, and it tends to be a personal factor like autonomy, satisfaction, career progression, purpose and belonging.

Extrinsic motivation is more external, tangible, and heavily relies on positive reinforcement and negative punishment. As managers we can use this to introduce rewards and threats such as bonuses, promotions and material recognition.

Did you know that in our course New Manager Bootcamp we show you how to motivate your team? For more info, click here: New Manager Bootcamp

3. Powerful questions

Coaching wouldn’t be effective without powerful questions, which are designed to help you guide your coachee in finding the answer they’re looking for. Powerful questions are open-ended, curiosity-based, and help coaches explore new insights which wouldn’t come to the surface with closed questions. You can also use a structure for shaping your questions starting with a desired goal, their current situation and what’s working/what isn’t, their possible options, and the action.

For example, instead of asking ‘what are you working on?’, you could explore powerful questions such as ‘what’s really important to you this week?’, ‘what challenges are you facing?’, and ‘what do you think is stopping you from achieving your goals?’

Here’s a great find to bookmark for your next 1-1: 70 coaching questions for managers

4. Non-verbal communication

Did you know that words are only 7% of communication, and a staggering 55% is nonverbal? As a manager, it’s crucial to recognise ways to leverage body language, tone of voice and nonverbal cues especially when it comes to coaching. A crucial benefit of mastering non-verbal communication is creating a psychologically safe space for your coachee to express their thoughts and feelings, which can deepen the quality of your interactions, and boost their confidence in their abilities.

One skill to harness is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) which is the ability to perceive, understand, use, and manage your emotions. A high level of EQ allows you to maintain a smooth flow of communication, and thanks to higher self-awareness and regulation of emotions, coaches are perceived in a more positive light therefore their feedback tends to be better received.

Want to take your coaching knowledge and skills further?

We’d love to see you at our Coaching Skills for Leaders development course.

To book, click here: Coaching Skills for Leaders

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