Leaders who ‘coach’ create an environment that empowers their team members. Here are a few tips on how to function as a coach rather than a boss.
Create a Shared Vision
What is the goal your company is trying to achieve? What does success in your organization look like? Get your team to share in the discussion on how to achieve company objectives. Having a shared vision creates ownership for all levels and you might be surprised by the individuals who bring innovation to the table.
Involving team members in setting goals and participating in problem-solving increases engagement and productivity.
A great way to create a shared vision is through conducting a confidential survey to collect data from your team. Does everyone feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions? What would they like to see done differently? Make sure to bring in a qualified consultant to support the survey process and NEVER send out a survey without following up with results in a timely manner. Respect your people’s time and thank them for participating by telling them how the data they provided will be utilized to create a more effective and enjoyable working environment.
Perhaps you have the solution already. You probably have significantly more experience than your junior team members. But, how will they feel empowered if you provide the with the answer?
Unless you’re in the midst of an emergent situation (if this is not a rare event, that is an issue unto itself), ask your team before suggesting or implementing a solution. The collective knowledge of a team is where brilliant innovations can be found. Once you’ve agreed on the goals, ask your team how they want to achieve them. They may have ideas that could revolutionize the way you do business.
Every Role has Value
Although certain expertise is more difficult to replace, you cannot undervalue any role in the organization. If the position didn’t have value, it wouldn’t exist. Get familiar with the value of each role and what makes each team member successful in it. As a senior leader, you don’t have to know each member, but you need to connect with the purpose behind each team so you can communicate their value to them to support their continuous engagement. Every person wants to feel needed and valued for their contributions. Bring that mindset into work with every communication you have with every team member. Their success is your success.
Grow Your People to Grow Your Business
Far too often, we have brilliant people in roles where they aren’t satisfied. Never hold your people back. If your best person has goals and aspirations to move into a different opportunity, help them get there. It may be a loss to you in one part of the organization, but can hopefully be a gain in another. If you don’t lose your best person internally, they will find a new opportunity externally. Coach them, mentor them, guide them through to the next step in their career.
Engaged and inspired employees are contagious to other members of their team. Never underestimate the power of influence to attract and retain top talent and increase sales and positive networking opportunities.