How Managers Become Better Coaches

Jack Dorsey is probably one of the most remarkable leaders of today. At the age of 29 he started what is a 28 billion Dollar business only seven years later: Twitter. Three years later he founded Square and grew it to a 3.3 billion dollar business within just three years.
These numbers are impressive and the products have a huge impact on the world as it is today. Of course, this is not the work of one man, it’s all the people of Twitter and Square that boosted their companies’ value. But the chain starts earlier. The actual value created by the people is the return on investment of developing those talents. Dorsey’s leadership philosophy is leading by example, being a role model to the employees in excellence and optimism and most of it all being a coach.

Leading means coaching, just as in the sense of any sports team leader.

Appreciate that you have to be there for your people, the key to success is enhancing everyone’s competencies, skills and capacities. In order to master leadership you have to become genuine partners with all your team members. But make sure you support them all equally and don’t show favor for someone over the others.

Set clear expectations

In order to empower your team members to take hold of their responsibilities and exceed in their strengths you have to set clear and ambitious expectations. You have to listen carefully to everyone’s aspirations and set concrete deliverables. Enforce discipline that is based on pride in the position.

Praise is more impactful than criticism 

Force yourself to be positive, no matter what. This is clearly the hardest part but it will allow your people to believe in the solution. Never ever forget to acknowledge great work. If expectations are met or exceeded clearly express your gratitude and praise the details you find most recognizable.

Show curiosity 

Too many times we listen with a lack of attentiveness and impatience, which hampers dialogue. All too often we are focused on our own stuff while talking with someone else. Instead, show curiosity and convey genuine interest in what others are telling you. Coaching always starts with listening and motivating the other to speak freely.

Ask further questions

Relevant questions not only enhance the quality of the dialogue but also give you a way better understanding of individual interest and aspirations. Reflect what has been said with accuracy and repeat meaningful parts of the conversation to confirm that you have digested the most important messages.

Build their confidence

By asking open ended questions you allow for proactive exploration of solutions. This reinforces your team members’ mind and shows them that you value their opinion, experience and knowledge. This will increase their confidence to honestly speak up to you.

Provide instant, continuous feedback

This is the key for development. All to often feedback is thought of as inherently being critical. Successful leaders provide feedback continuously and don’t evaluate but rather positively express clear and relevant suggestions for improvement. You have to be very keen to stay humble and express yourself as clearly as possible. Misunderstandings quickly lead to mistrust and defensiveness.

By providing the right feedback, setting clear expectations and listening eagerly with curiosity you will build a trustful relationship with your team where everyone feels motivated to exceed the ordinary.

Valuing your people and their development directly increases their satisfaction which highly impacts your customer’s value through increased performance and consequently boosts your whole business.

Impraise helps you to stimulate a work culture of frequent and meaningful peer communication where everyone highly engages with their own and each other’s development allowing managers to turn into their team's best coaches.


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