Coaching is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a manager. Here are three tips on how to master it.
Coaching is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a manager. Empowering your direct reports to figure things out for themselves helps them learn faster and builds their confidence. It also avoids the classic manager trap of becoming resident problem-solver in your team - the person every direct report resorts to, to provide the answer whenever they encounter an issue or roadblock.
Piper’s coaching formula can be used in many contexts, including 1:1s. Following each step will get both of you to an outcome you feel confident about.
The first step in coaching someone is to show them empathy. This builds psychological safety and trust in your relationship. It’s the key to breaking through with a direct report and being able to discuss real issues beyond tasks and work.
If they don’t feel safe or heard, your direct report is unlikely to be open and honest with you.
How to show empathy:
Once you’ve shown empathy, the second step in coaching someone is to bring perspective. This builds shared understanding of the problem or challenge that needs solving. It removes assumptions.
If you jump into problem-solving before getting perspective, you run the risk of making assumptions and addressing the wrong issue.
How to bring perspective:
With fresh perspective on what the real challenge is, the third step in coaching someone is to build their confidence to solve it. This empowers them to step up and navigate how they will move forward from the situation. It also gives them the responsibility to define a next step that they want to take, which takes the guesswork out of accountability.
If you spoon-feed them the solution or assign them a next step, you stop them from building the muscle to respond effectively to these types of situations in the future. It’s also less likely they’ll do what they say they’ll do, since they don’t own their next step.
How to build confidence: