3 Coaching Essentials New Managers Need to Know to Inspire

A cartoon business woman is leading a business man through the dark with a flashlight

We believe that leaders and managers are a primary factor behind both employee and organizational performance.

One of the most critical skills for new managers is the ability to encourage their team to perform at their peak and to use their skills collaboratively toward reaching common goals. In other words, one of the most critical skills for new managers to improve team performance is the ability to be an effective coach.

John Wooden, famous basketball coach at UCLA, said that “a coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”  We think it means a bit more than that. We think it means lighting the way for a person to become the best version of themselves in a way that makes sense for them, the team and the organization as a whole.

Here is what good coaching is NOT. It is not an excuse to tell people what to do.  Instead, good coaches work on helping their team members learn how to do things better. A batting coach can point out some of the specifics that make hits more likely…the correct stance, the right grip, how to anticipate a pitcher’s throw, etc. But the best coaches support the batter as he finds his own rhythm and timing. They typically focus on a player’s strengths, rather than their weaknesses.  We believe that leaders who help people play to their strengths, rather than try to improve inherent weaknesses, are more likely to create a high performance environment.

Here are three essential tips from new manager training on how to coach your team more effectively:

1. Emphasize the how, not the what.
If you aim to grow your team members toward ever higher levels of performance and commitment, encourage an attitude that values learning and accepts reasonable risks. Mistakes will be made, but this is your chance to have teachable moments, guide reflection on what went wrong, and identify lessons learned. Ask your team members how they would proceed next time. 

2. Focus on real-time on-the-job experience.
The majority of coaching should be done on the job, not in the classroom. The best learning opportunities occur in the moment in real life experiences. If you are coaching a new salesperson, for example, accompany them on sales calls. Then let them debrief the experience themselves. You may have some advice to add, but a skillfully guided self-assessment can teach more than you can while developing stronger levels of self-awareness.

3. Learn as a group.
Bring your team together on a regular basis, not just for administrative purposes but for learning. Are you a sales team? Talk about what works and what doesn’t in winning, engaging and serving clients. Role play the most critical scenarios and discuss them afterward. If you are a customer service team, talk about different ways to handle the most frequent service scenarios and the most difficult customers. Ask lots of questions that push the group to think about different approaches and the associated benefits to them, the customer and the organization as a whole. What best practices make sense for your unique business strategy and organizational culture? See how many they come up with on their own…without your having to tell them. This is learning at its most efficient and effective.

Remember, effective leaders and managers help to positively shape the ways in which their direct reports approach their work and interact with each other.

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/new-supervisor-new-manager-training/