Coaching is an important facet of leadership in the workplace.

How Coaching In The Workplace Expands Employees Potential


It’s an indisputable fact that leaders with strong coaching skills are more capable of helping people to reach their full potential. Strong, effective coaching from people in management positions is not only able to inspire a workforce, but sets an impressive example for those above and below in the chain of command.

Why are coaching skills important?

Having good coaching skills will expand your employees potential and create brilliant performances in the workplace. I remember when I was in low level management, a respected supervisor took the time to take me and the other managers in our department under his care, spending just a few minutes with us each morning to encourage us to dive deep into our current mindset to find solutions to help us work more effectively.

We all found that our ability to perform was enhanced, and eventually all managed to find a path to promotion, simply because of that one man’s interest in our potential and willingness to coach us. It became my goal to be such a leader, able to inspire and motivate.

Practical coaching skills that can be leveraged in the workplace

As a leader, it is important to build trust among those who follow you. By honing specific coaching skills, you can find ways to reach people on an individual level, recognising their potential and finding ways to nurture them and improve their performance.

Investing in emotional intelligence

Great coaching starts with emotional intelligence. What is the “feel” of your workplace? Have you successfully created a positive atmosphere, where honest communication and transparency are valued? There may be ways you can improve opportunities for mindfulness and empathy. By giving of yourself to your team, you can develop relationships that be beneficial to both sides.

Providing timely, constructive feedback

When you need to talk to an employee, think about your approach, If you take the opportunity as a chance to coach them rather than to correct them, you’ll find appreciation instead of resentment. When at all possible, giving feedback in the moment instead of weeks or months later as part of a “review” can provide them with the chance to improve in real-time. We always train people about how important it is to provide feedback – and as a rule of thumb it should be in a ratio of at least 6 positive to 1 negative. Feedback is not about just addressing what’s right and wrong, but it’s also about reinforcing the right behaviours.

Overcoming barriers and embracing diversity

Do you have a new employee who is struggling to fit in? You can take the angle that culture add is more important than culture fit, and go out of your way to embrace them and their differences, while finding ways for them to contribute in meaningful ways as a member of the team. It can help to keep in mind that companies that are diverse can achieve up to 19% more revenues.

Culture add can be more important than culture fit.Culture add can be more important than culture fit.

Emphasising encouragement in the face of challenges

Being prepared to simply listen when an employee comes to you with a challenge can help show them that you are invested in their success. Simply by being a sounding board and encouraging them to think through possible solutions aloud will help them grow beyond their current capabilities. You can offer suggestions based on their comments, and gently guide them. By taking the extra time to let them work out most of the details on their own, you foster independence and creativity.

Recognising the difference between training and coaching

Not all employees accept guidance in the same way, or need the same type of handling. You’ll quickly find that some workers only need a hint, and they’ll confidently take off and implement the correct action from only the slightest nudge. These employees are ready to work independently, with coaching used as a way for them to access a sounding board and confirm they are on the right track.

However, some employees may not be at the stage where they can benefit from coaching. They still need everything laid out for them, to help alleviate fear of failure and give them a chance to succeed without anxiety, and will require specific instruction and training instead.

A skilled coach will be able to differentiate between those who need additional training and those who are ready to be coached, and will adapt their leadership style to fit the needs of each team member. As employees in training mode gain skills, confidence, motivation, they can be slowly encouraged to take more initiative and eventually can transition to being coached rather than instructed.

For more on how ICML can help transform your coaching abilities, enquire about our in-house coaching skills workshops today.

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