Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Think about a coach that had a significant impact in your life. It could be a drama coach, a baseball coach, high school teacher, college professor, and even a boss. What type of impact did he or she have on you, and how did that affect the quality of your personal or professional Life?
Effective Coaches continually look for ways to improve. It’s important to think your role as a coach.
Robert Ripley, in his famous column, Believe It or Not, once said: “A plain bar of iron is worth $5.00. The same bar of iron, when made into horseshoes is worth $10.50. If made into needles, it’s worth $355.00. If made into pen knife blades, it is worth $3,285.00, and if made into balance springs for watches, that $5.00 plain bar of iron is now worth $300,000.00.” Here, Ripley makes the point that there is often more potential opportunity than many of us realize initially. This is especially the case with people. Great coaches love the challenge of helping each person reach his or her own potential. Whether you are trying to make yourself better through self-coaching, help a peer or other co-worker improve, or improve a team of people as their coach, it’s important to consider the benefits that both the coach, and the person being coached achieve from coaching.
So what are some of the benefit of establishing a coaching strategy?
Improve Performance: As you become a better coach, you will improve the performance of those that you are coaching.
Coaching is meaningful: As Thomas Jefferson once said: “Far and away the best price that life offers is the chance to work hard at something worth doing.”
Transfer of Skills and Knowledge: You have skills and knowledge that you can impart to others. Transferring these skills is an awarding experience for both you, and your team.
Increased Job Retention: When you are a coach, you increase job retention of the right people
Weeding out: When you are a coach, you weed out the wrong people quickly. It’s a benefit to you, your business, and to the people that are weeded out.
It makes people better: Coaching vs “Managing” makes your people better than they would be if you didn’t coach them.
Increased Profits/Revenue: Overtime your businesses profits and revenue will soar.
Building a bench a Future Leaders
All the above Is reward to the coach.
So what is a coach?
If you look up the words coach or coaching online, you will find numerous definitions. Sometimes a coach is a trainer. Sometimes a facilitator, or a tutor, or a teacher. A coach could also be a mentor or an advisor, and even a guide. At various times in a coaching relationship, you may find yourself in each of these roles, and potentially others as well. Each person you coach may require different things from you as their coach. One may need advice more often than training, while another made need guidance, training, and direction. What Agency Stations coaching solutions provide, is to help you, as the coach, Inspire, Energize, and Influence others through our 4 key areas of an effective coach: Facilitate Discussions; Raise Awareness; Provide Vision & Focus; Eliminate Distractions. An effective coach helps people think differently, make the most of their talents and tools, bring out their best, and ultimately to get them from where they are now to where they want to be. Let’s look how these characteristics maybe similar or different to a manager.
Manager vs. coach
Many people, regardless if they are in a supervisory or managerial role or not, often confuse coaching with managing. There are differences, some obvious, and some more subtle. In a professional setting, people equate supervisors and manager as people who tell them to do things. We have found that the most effective leaders in top organizations perceive their role as that of a coach, not a manager. So how is coaching different than managing. Let’s do an exercise:
Choose the phrase that best describes the role: A manager | A coach
The main difference between a Manager and a Coach is that a manager focuses on the activities that benefit his or own goals and objectives, and/or the goals and objectives of the company. A coach focuses on the individual they are coaching. Their interactions are all about improving the individual that will help them reach their goals. Typically, the goals of the ones being coached, will help the goals of the coach and the company.
Characteristics of top coaches: Skill and Tactics.
So let’s take at the skills that great coaches apply on a regular basis to achieve their high level of success. What are the skills they have in common?
Enthusiasm: Great Coaches have a positive attitude, optimistic and believe in their people. Rooms brighten when they enter, not when they leave.
People: Communicate succinctly, are perceived as friendly and establish trust and credibility with those they coach.
Questioning/Listening: The most effective coaches ask meaningful questions and listen. They ask deeper questions based on what they have heard and repeat back what they heard to confirm understanding.
Consistency: Great coaches are consistent with their coaching efforts with regular meetings and follow ups.
Knowledge: Effective coaches know the industry, products, markets, technical information, prospects and customers so people the coach can use them as a resource.
Flexibility: Great coaches can adapt to coach top performers, under-performers, different personalities and work through changes in the industry/markets.
Organization/planning: Great coaches plan their work. With systems and processes in place. Others know what to expect which gives them the ability to execute.
In addition to their skills, great coaches use specific tactics every day and utilize a variety of coaching tactics to maximize their results.
Coaching Meetings: The purpose of one-on-one coaching meetings is to review results achieved since the previous meeting, set goals for the following week, month or quarter, and establish and agree upon action steps that will be executed.
Side-by-Side Coaching: Best described as the moment of truth. The team member is actually performing their work in a face-to-face meeting or over the phone with the coach present and observing the activity.
Skill Development Sessions: As gaps in specific skill areas are determined, the coach will conduct a skill development session or direct a team member to an appropriate resource to help improve in that area.
Team Meetings: Team meetings provide an opportunity for team members to come together to share successes and challenges, learn from each other, and improve their skills. This tactic is usually for coaches who are managing a team.
Follow up: Regular formal or informal follow-ups are those touch points between formal meetings and coaching sessions where you check in to see how your team is doing on specific goals. “How’s it going with _____?” is usually all it takes to get an update on their progress.
Now that you understand the skills and tactics used by effective coaches, it’s time to consider improving your own proficiency in each of these areas. Contact Agency Station to help you take your teams performance to the next level be implementing simple, effective coaching principles.