My favorite part of being a leader is coaching and guiding people towards personal and team success. In fact, I believe how a leader "leads" is one of the most critical metrics for success in organizations.
Yes, being responsibile for projects, budgets and processes is important to being a successful leader in any environment. But, being able to help people realize their potential and offer a system by which they can measure their own progress is quite satisfying.
For clients of OVP Management Consulting Group, we stress the idea that coaching is a process of observing a team member's behaviors, comparing those actions to a set of agreed upon standards and talking about how best to achieve those standards. To do this effectively, leaders have to develop trusting relationships with their teams.
One of our individual clients is a mid-level manager for an internet content hub. She oversees a team of about five writers with varying degrees of professional experience.
One of her big challenges has been to find ways to help each of her direct reports find ways to gain new insights about how they do their jobs in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry where clicks are currency and a premium is placed on producing "fresh" content.
We recommended that she consider restructuring how the team meetings are run.
Specifically, we suggested that the manager carve out a section of time during their weekly staff meetings, perhaps 20 minutes, dedicated to the sharing of new ideas on how best to reach the team's goals. And to ensure that this new structure isn't viewed as a "mandated" process, we've encouraged our client to let her team design the meeting and lead it themselves.
Our client recently noted that members of her team seem to be more willing to bring up issues about how they do their work that typically don't get surfaced in other meeting environments. We believe investing in her employees by paying attention to them and actively listening to employees fosters a level of trust that is necessary in a leader/employee relationship.
Thus far, our client has been able to gain greater insights on how her employees prefer to engaging in solving problems. We believe this is an important step in the process of leaders developing a coaching philosophy or methodology.
Here are some other tips you might want to employ to improve your coaching outcomes with your teams:
- Consider alternating the leader of each staff meeting
- Get agreement on the structure of staff meetings with input from the team
- For meeting 15 minutes or less, have a "standing huddle" where participants stand around the team activity board or whiteboard
- Always recap the "to do list" at the end of meetings to ensure you have agreement on assignments and deadlines
Have questions about how to become a more effective leader/coach? Interested in learning ways to get the most from your teams? We would love to work with you! Just go to www.OVPConsulting.com and click on Contact Us. Someone will get back to you quickly!