Five Tips on How to Coach Employees
So, you have been coaching employees within your business for quite some time now. Your employees’ lives have drastically improved and they have achieved more than what they thought possible before. Nonetheless, you feel like you have reached your peak as a coach; you have given them your best work and all the techniques you know, and have taken them as far as you can take them. However, now you’ve run out of tricks up your sleeve, or tools in your toolbox, and you need a kick in the pants to take your coaching career and your coachees’ lives to a whole new level. Luckily, we’re revealing five tips on how to get a grip on coaching for greater effectiveness so that your employees or coachees will be challenged to be their absolute best.
We have all been there…we have all reached a point where we are stagnant in our careers, and we want to push further. When we get complacent in our coaching, we become too comfortable with the coaching techniques and tools we use and share with our clients. Yet, we know deep down inside we need to introduce some new ones for your own skill development. Fundamentally you know you need to be continuously monitoring your work to stay current and ahead of the marketplace in order to enhance your personal coaching brand and increase the value of your coaching sessions.
Let’s be honest. The Internet has assured us that there are no secrets. Anyone can get anything, anytime, anywhere, and for free. Essentially, everyone knows what you know. Therefore, great coaches understand this ideology and constantly strive to accelerate their learning. As a coach, you must be committed to life-long learning, honest personal and professional evaluation, and continuous self-improvement.
With that in mind, here are five tips on how to coach employees and the techniques to use during your coaching sessions to step up your game.
1) Focus on the word “Instead”
Have you ever had a coachee that is faced with a problem, but seems lost as to where they actually want to go? If this is the case, there is a simple technique you can use with them when they lose sight of their goal. It can help them get to where they want to go if they aren’t quite sure where that is.
The coaching technique I have found that works well is to use the word “instead”. For instance when your coachee is faced with a big problem…ask them to focus on the following:
- What do you want to be doing, INSTEAD of what you are doing now?
- What do you want to be thinking, INSTEAD of what you are thinking now?
- What do you want to be feeling, INSTEAD of what you are feeling now?
- What do you want to be saying, INSTEAD of what you are saying now?
Once they determine what they want to do, think, feel and say, you will be surprised at how quickly your coachee can come up with alternative solutions to do INSTEAD of what they are currently doing.
2) 10,000 Hours to Master Your Craft
In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell, says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. To motivate your coachee to step up their game, ask them to think about their goal, and work out how many hours they have put into achieving it. Then have them think about how they can increase these hours, and what they can do to reach their goal.
Asking your coachee to break their goal up into the number of hours they have dedicated to will help them figure out a tactical plan on what they need to do to achieve it, and when. Ask them how will they achieve their goal? Do they need support from anyone else? What resources do they need? If any problems come up then what can they do to overcome this?
Focusing on the fact that everyone needs to put in 10,000 hours to master their craft will help your coachee to push themself beyond what they think they can do. This will help them when they need the extra mental energy to push.
Challenge your coachee to push themselves to take one step further to reach their goals, even when they feel they can’t do anymore.
3) Help Them Learn From Their Mistakes
A technique on coaching and developing employees I find to be helpful for my clients is to encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
Unfortunately in our society, making mistakes is often frowned upon. However, the purpose of coaching employees is to develop their careers and build meaningful relationships. Mistakes are bound to happen, therefore, the key is for your coachee to learn from their mistakes.
As their coach it is your job to encourage them to try new things…and help them realize that making mistakes should not be so feared or considered taboo. Whatever the past mistakes your coachee feels they have made, as their coach, you need to help them reframe it and look at them as learning opportunities. They need to look back and realize that they made a choice based on the knowledge and experience they had at that particular time, and that’s okay.
If they were faced with making that choice again today, they would make a more informed decision. As a journaling exercise, have your coachee share their learning lessons, and knowing now what they do, have them share how they would make different decisions currently. With their knowledge, ask them what they would do differently today based on what they learned from their mistakes.
4) Set Manageable Goals
To be a better coach, set manageable goals for your employees. Ask your coachee to set a goal that is short and to the point. In the book, Your Brain at Work, author David Rock states, “A goal that is three to seven words is fantastic. If you can’t remember something, it doesn’t live in your world. It’s got to be embedded in your brain.”
Ask your coachee to come up with goals that are expressed positively rather than pessimistically. For instance, “Relax More” versus “Be Less Anxious.” Then ask your coachee to draw out a chart and write down all of the items they want to achieve in one column. In the next seven columns beside each goal ask them to document what they did each day that week to focus on their goal.
By the end of the week, your coachee will have a record of how their week went. Did their actions line up with what they valued or wanted? If not, then why not? Where did their week break down? What areas need their attention?
This is a clear tool and technique for your coachee to see how their actions are lining up with their goals.
5) What Would My Hero Do?
We have all had someone we look up to. It could be a great artist, philanthropist, a fictional hero from the movies or a comic book, or even a mentor or family member.
They embody who you want to be and have something you want. Now ask your coachee what your hero would do to get what they want.
Ultimately your hero is an ideal version of you…a better version of yourself. They will tap into what this third person would do and realize their true potential. Your coachee will then use the strength, imagination, and qualities that they admire from their hero to get them closer to their own goals.
So there you have it – five coaching points on how to coach employees to help you stay on top of your game. Whether you are a manager or a coach, you need to be constantly finding new techniques that will help you get the best out of your coachee.
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