Did you know there’s a difference between a manager and a leader? Giving feedback is a crucial part of a manager’s job description. But only a true leader understands the importance of employee coaching. Proper coaching techniques could lead to improved team performance, productivity, and engagement. Here is what you need to know.
Give Regular Feedback
Regular feedback is essential, but many employees feel they don’t get enough. Block out time for one-on-one feedback meetings with each member of your team. At every session, lead with what the employee is doing well, followed by what needs improvement. Encourage questions, and work together to create an action plan.
Promote 360 Feedback
One-way feedback is only part of the equation. Create an atmosphere of open dialogue. Encourage your workers to give feedback to each other, as well as to management. Open communication is especially important for Gen Zs and Millennials. Teach them the skills they need to make their comments effective, constructive, and actionable.
Push Beyond Comfort Zones
People achieve their highest potential when they are working just outside their comfort zone. Push them too far and they will become overwhelmed, but allow them to stagnate and they will get restless and start to disengage. Identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and assign projects that present an achievable challenge. Be ready to help as needed.
Guide, Don’t Micromanage
When people are working at the top of their abilities, they may be slow to produce and are likely to make mistakes. Resist the urge to tell them exactly what to do or, even worse, to do it yourself. Instead, use leading questions to help them think through the process and achieve the goal.
Use Failure as a Teaching Moment
Sometimes, despite the best efforts of both you and your team, things go wrong and mistakes are made. That’s just part of life. But how you handle it depends on your leadership skills. Take the opportunity for a proper coaching session—sit down with your team to analyze what went wrong, where mistakes were made, and how they can approach similar situations in the future. Stay positive and focus on finding solutions.
Great leaders know that in nearly every situation, the glory belongs to their team. Go out of your way to recognize workers’ contributions, especially in front of others. Even when a project goes wrong, there are generally a lot of things that went right. Find the positive and acknowledge it. This will boost both confidence and loyalty, inspiring your employees to keep striving.
Ask How You Can Help
If you’ve implemented a strong feedback system, your employees will come to you with all sorts of challenges. Don’t leave them to figure it out alone, but don’t assume you know the best way to help. Instead, listen to the concern and then ask how you can best support the employee in resolving it. Make sure you are helping direct employees towards their career goals.
Providing regular, constructive feedback and employee coaching can lead to improved productivity and morale. Employees would prefer to be told how to handle a responsibility or perform a task preemptively rather than be criticized for not having performed a task correctly. Providing support, guidance, and training greatly increase employee satisfaction with their job and employer.
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