The Top Five Tips for Powerful Coaching as a Manager

  1. Be an active and empathetic listener. This is key to finding out surface-level thoughts and to understanding their meaning on a deeper level. Give the person your full attention — resist the urge to think of follow-up questions/your response. You can give subtle clues that you’re listening and engaged by nodding your head or saying, “yes.” You can paraphrase what they’ve said back to them, such as, “What I’m hearing is…” or “If I understand what you’re saying… ”. Empathetic listening requires you to try to understand what the speaker is communicating on an emotional level. Pay attention to what they’re saying, but also to what they’re not saying. Try to focus solely on the speaker, rather than your own thoughts and opinions.
  2. Get good at communicating. Being an effective coach means being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly. Your coachee, or employee, will be relying on your expertise, so it’s important that you don’t confuse them. It’s vital that you keep your assumptions and opinions out of the conversation — it should always be about your coachee. Avoid using words and metaphors that could influence the other person’s thoughts and feelings so they can arrive at their conclusions on their own.
  3. Ask open-ended questions. The best coaches listen more than they talk. They ask the right questions at the right time so their coachees are better able to understand themselves. They focus on questions that require a thoughtful answer, instead of ones that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Stick to questions that start with what, why, or how. Don’t forget to dig deeper for more information with some follow-up questions.
  4. Develop emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the act of recognizing how and why you feel a certain way and understanding how it affects others around you. It also encompasses sensing others’ wants and needs. This can help you build stronger relationships, keep your emotions in your control, and develop a deeper understanding of yourself.
  5. Build trust. To have successful coaching relationships with the members of your team, they need to be built on a foundation of trust and confidentiality. That’s the only way people will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you. A few quick tips are:
    *Be honest, if you don’t tell the truth, how can people trust you?
    *Share personal experiences, communicate times you made mistakes or failed
    *Stay true to your word: if you make someone a promise, do whatever you can to keep it and, if you can’t, be up-front about why
    *Be an inspiration to others: behave in a way that demonstrates integrity, fairness, respect, loyalty, and authenticity

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