Business Coaches: Their Important Skills and Why Every Organization Needs Them

  • May 12, 2016
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Business Coaches: Their Important Skills and Why Every Organization Needs Them

Business coaching, or the process of teaching and developing others, is an essential aspect of any business. Integrating coaching best practices into a business can lead to a far more cohesive work environment, which in turn, can lead to higher productivity.

Coaching is something most managers find difficult to work into their schedules. This means organizations must ensure managers have the skills necessary to coach effectively and efficiently. These include the following:

1. Relationship Building

A manager can’t coach effectively without earning employees’ trust. It’s important to set boundaries, but also follow through on promises and provide support.

2. Prioritize Objectives

During meetings or informal interactions with employees, managers should prioritize one goal that will lead to the most impactful end result. When there is one thing to focus on in these interactions, the result is well organized plans that can be implemented appropriately.

3. Evaluation

It’s easiest to learn when you know what progress you have made, and where you can improve. For this reason, managers must provide consistent assessment to employees, either in the form of verbal feedback or written evaluations. This will serve employees and the company well by ensuring inconsistencies are solved, such as gaps between intention and impact. Regular meetings, even if they’re short, can help ensure all parties are on the same page.

4. Challenging Assumptions

Proper coaching requires finding new and creative solutions through encouraging open communication. They can do so by asking open-ended questions, and push for alternative solutions to challenge routine ways of doing things and encourage a healthy amount of risk-taking.

5. Empathy

An empathetic coach listens carefully, and is open to others’ perspectives while withholding judgement. This promotes a positive atmosphere in which employees are encouraged to learn and develop their careers. Coaches should use their judgement to determine an employee’s motivation and confidence level. Body language can give cues, of a coach may ask employees how motivated they are about completing a particular task by a certain time on a scale of, say, 1 to 10. If they give a low response, ask what you can do go improve their level of motivation.

6. Achieve Results

Effective managers help the employee set up meaningful goals and identify specific tactics or steps to help meet them. They help clarify milestones and measures to success, holding the employee accountable. It’s a good idea to ensure goals are realistic by checking for overly optimistic targets or timelines that are too long.

Whether an organization is small or large, a start-up or a long established company, incorporate strong coaches to act as role-models for those in management roles. Strong leaders can go a long way in leading by example, or by sharing coaching strategies to other team members.

Anyone in a management position could benefit from following the mentioned skills necessary to encourage a more cohesive work environment. Doing so would drive results for the company. One of the most rewarding processes for coaches is to see employees develop.

About the Author:

Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, is a San Diego-based entrepreneur and the former CEO of Entropic Communications. Mr. Henry is a seasoned executive, CEO, and board of directors’ member, with over 25 years experience in managing high technology companies

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