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5 Ways to Coach Effectively as a Manager

Making progress with something that is personally meaningful is the single greatest motivator there is. To help your team members experience meaningful progress at work, the Harvard Business Review’s Monique Valcour offers five tips to help you understand what drives each person and how to build connections between a person’s work and the organization’s goals.

Five Ways to Coach Effectively

Engagement and retention both take a hit if employee learning and development aren’t fostered on the job. From a management perspective, coaching and helping others is rewarding, not to mention it creates a positive work environment.

  • Listen deeply.
  • Ask, don’t tell.
  • Create and sustain a development alliance.
  • Focus on moving forward positively.
  • Build accountability.

When you address an employee, try to imagine how you might feel when someone gives you their undivided attention. By contrast, if the listener has many things on their mind and feels distracted, it creates a totally different feeling in the speaker.

You’ve been trained to deliver answers in a decisive way. Hold back that urge, writes Valcour, when addressing employees. The point of coaching is to draw out the other person’s answers to their own problems by asking open-ended questions. Perpetuate a virtuous cycle of employee-manager rapport. It starts by taking employee feedback seriously. If a team member expresses interest in a particular task or project, enable them with the appropriate resources. Afterward, follow up with praise and/or constructive criticism.

Frustrations occur at all levels of the organization. Inevitably, one of your employees might find themselves venting over roadblocks or negative experiences. Although it’s important to acknowledge these concerns, try to move them past the negative by asking constructive questions aimed at generating solutions.

It’s important to foster not only an employee’s sense of self-mastery and advancement, but also their sense of accountability. For instance, if a team member wishes to sign up for a training seminar, you can ask them to provide details about costs and time away from work.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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