Coaching and mentoring can be instrumental in your success in leading and managing. Both are essential to developing people and helping them reach their full potential. As a coach or mentor, you’re in a unique position to help individuals learn and grow, which can positively impact your team or organization as a whole. In this post, we’ll explore the role of coaching and mentoring in leadership and some tips for being an effective coach or mentor. Stay tuned!
How To Be A Coach First
What is coaching?
A coach is an experienced person in a given field who can assist another individual or team with their development. Coaching is usually focused on improving performance and helping individuals achieve their goals. Some of the many responsibilities of a coaching role include the following:
Providing feedback, suggestions, and guidance on how they can improve Identifying strengths and weaknesses Identifying opportunities for skills development Providing mentorship to help them grow as individuals.
In short, coaching involves communicating with someone to help them achieve their goals. You may have been a leader or manager for quite some time now, and coaching might initially feel uncomfortable. If you’ve been managing people for a while, you’re most likely used to barking out orders and making demands of your reports.
It’s probably the only way you know how to lead and manage. However, as we said before, effective coaching involves dialogue and communication. Once you learn these skills, leading becomes more enjoyable. You’ll get to know your people deeper, which helps build trust with them.
How does one become an effective coach?
The first thing you want to do is set up expectations for your reports. For example, let them know you’re available to help them with any problems or issues that come up, but what’s important is that they take the initiative and solve these problems independently.
Ask open-ended questions, which means questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no response. For example, instead of asking, “Did you accomplish everything on your agenda for today?” (which is closed-ended), ask “What did you work on today; what didn’t you get to?” (an open-ended question). This will motivate them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and identify ways to improve themselves.
Mentoring is similar to coaching.
Mentoring involves helping others develop their skills or careers outside of regular work hours. Unlike coaching, mentors are typically senior-level employees assisting junior staff members. This can include sharing advice on navigating through the corporate world, dealing with difficult co-workers, managing one’s time, etc., effectively.
Coaching and Mentoring in Leadership
Now that you know what coaching and mentoring entail, let’s explore how they can be used as leadership techniques. Both effectively develop employees’ emotional intelligence (EQ), which helps them build stronger interpersonal relationships at work. Additionally, a study by Development Dimensions International states that the top three reasons employees leave their jobs are:
Feeling as though they have no future with your company
Not feeling as if their work has been recognized or valued
Having a poor relationship with their manager
Coaching and mentoring can help you avoid these pitfalls and keep your employees around. Remember: to be an effective coach and mentor, you must build rapport with your people. Therefore, you must display the qualities of a good leader, such as honesty and humility. It also helps if you’re open-minded and willing to listen.
Coaching and mentoring also help employees identify and plan to achieve their career goals. This allows your staff to feel like they have a purpose within the company. As a result, they’ll be more motivated and driven, which will help them accomplish projects effectively and efficiently.
Building Rapport With Employees
Once you’ve mastered the art of coaching and mentoring, it’s time to take your leadership skills up a notch. Now that you know how to build rapport with your employees, it’s time to establish relationships with them. We all tend to form connections with others by being similar.
However, don't fall into this trap if you’re trying to build an effective team. For example, if you’re twenty-something, don’t hire your friends or people your age. You may have more in common with them, but this connection could prevent you from providing leadership guidance.
What qualities do you look for in employees?
Have the same interests as you?
Like the same football team?
You may want to make sure to avoid employees who share these qualities. For example, let’s say you like to work out in the mornings before coming into the office, but you can’t stand people late for work. One of your reports is always late (but he never has any respect for other people’s time), and that’s a red flag for you. You’ll probably want to ensure this person is assigned to a different project and not allow him to report directly to you.
This scenario often happens: an employee isn’t performing as well as others on the team, so his manager makes his life miserable by giving him more work than he can handle, asking for updates constantly, and making him feel scared of screwing up. This is what’s known as “managing by fear.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the best leadership style to use.
Employees who are never given any breathing room are likely to miss important deadlines because they’re constantly stressed out about work. Also, their self-esteem will gradually decrease after being treated this way for an extended period.
Instead, try to manage your reports by giving them room to grow and make mistakes. Hold regular one-on-ones with them to talk about their progress, where they stand on specific projects, whether or not they need more outside assistance, etc. By doing this, you’ll be able to identify problems before they happen and head them off at the past.
A good leader can effectively coach and mentor their team and keep them happy and motivated. Coaching and mentoring can help employees identify and plan to achieve their career goals. It also allows managers to connect with employees by focusing on their strengths. Your strength as a leader depends on your ability to provide guidance and direction, so you want to ensure that you can fulfill that role effectively.
Coaching and mentoring can be very rewarding experiences. Not only do you get to help others better themselves, but it also helps prepare them for future careers. They’ll be more likely to succeed in their next job if they’ve had a good manager who provided them with leadership and guidance.
Coaching and mentoring are also great techniques for establishing rapport with employees while improving your leadership skills. Finally, make a conscious effort to form relationships with employees by discussing their goals and aspirations. This will make them feel more comfortable around and trust you and help you establish a strong team.