Coaching Teams for High Performance – Seeing Your People As Resourceful
It is becoming a highly sought-after skill and discipline in leadership roles, such as project managers or team leaders. As a leader, you are a coach. Your beliefs influence how you act as a leader and coach. Having certain beliefs will help you unlock your potential, while having other less resourceful beliefs can negatively impact your coaching. Leaders should believe that their team is capable of achieving all they want.
Everybody has the resources or can obtain them.
Coaching is ultimately about teaching people how to learn. There is a big difference between learning and teaching. Coaching is more than telling people what to think or do. This is called managing, supervising and teaching, training, mentoring or teaching. However, this is not coaching. Coaching is about empowering people to dig deeper and push themselves further in order to learn more about themselves. When we assume that people we coach are capable, functional individuals, they will eventually prove us wrong. No matter how high or low our expectations, people will always live up the expectations we place on them. If we treat our team as children and expect them to respond in a childlike manner, it is possible to make large-scale cultural changes such as micro-managing or giving every instruction.
They aren’t doing the right thing!
While it is possible that your team members may not behave exactly the same as you, they will still find a solution if they are left to their own devices. And who knows? Maybe they will discover a better way without the help of the coach. Although it may require some discipline on your part as a coach to learn to be more hands-off with your team members, the return on investment is well worth it.
What about people who lack confidence?
Our coachees might not always recognize that they have the resources or abilities they need to perform at their best. Your skills as a coach will be needed to shine in this situation. This is where your skills as a coach will be needed. As coaches, we should aim to push our coaches to the limits in terms of thinking, behaviour, and any discomfort they may feel when working outside of their comfort zone. However, it might be counterproductive to do so. Some coaches coach by asking their students “What do YOU think?” Coaches are often oblivious to their coachee’s questions. This could be counterproductive as the coachee may have reached their current limits and may need a supportive coach rather than a challenging one. Coaching is about knowing your coachee and knowing when and where to push for support.
What can they do to help them?
If you’re a coach in training, or a coach working as one, you need to be careful about what messages you might be sending your team by doing too much. Coaching builds their people and shows their belief in them. So the next time your coachees or team ask for your assistance, take a moment to think about what will help them most. Is it giving them the answer, or pushing them a bit more? Keep believing that your coachee can be resourceful, and they will prove it to you time and again.
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