Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to become a leader who coaches effectively.

An effective leader is, by definition, adept at guiding those he/she leads. In business or in any group, a leader is wise to rely on those he leads to help him accomplish the goals of the organization. To do this he must coach those under him to do their part of the job to his specifications. Here are some ways to effectively coach others:

1.       Determine the specific talents of those you are coaching in terms of the job that must be done.

2.       Assign those you are coaching specific parts of the job based on their talents.

3.       If there is no one who has the skill needed for a certain part of the job, train someone to do it, or train a group of two or more employees together how to accomplish the task or tasks. A good coach is always ready to help those he is coaching improve their skills and broaden their talents.

4.       Create a non-threatening environment for accomplishing tasks, so staff members feel comfortable expressing concerns and asking for help.

5.       Set clear parameters for completion of the job. The good coach makes it clear what is expected, so staff members are not surprised when their work is rejected. It is difficult to accomplish a task if no specifications are given.

6.       Set specific deadlines to ensure the job is finished on time. Be sure to set deadlines before the job is due, so parts can be tweaked if necessary.

7.       Periodically the leader should check the quality and progress of staff in meeting the goals so assignments can be adjusted.

8.       Check to ensure that questions have not arisen that may be holding the team back.

The main attributes of an effective coach are good listening and communication skills. A coach must communicate what needs to be done, how to do it, and how to handle barricades to the progress of the project. Most leaders become leaders because they have good communication skills.

To increase the effectiveness of your communication during coaching remember to keep the assignments you make easy to understand. State instructions in concrete terms that are measurable. Leaders make sure that they don’t talk down to staff during coaching, but treat the staff with respect. By doing so, staff will feel more at ease about asking questions or asking for clarification if they don’t understand part of the assignment.

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