Four relationship tips can increase your effectiveness as a coach.
1. Listen attentively
All hell may be breaking out around you, but when you’re coaching, there’s only one possible focus. The person in front of you.
Coaching is powerful when that person feels, deep down, that you really care about their growth.
So turn off the ringer on your phone, close the door, make eye contact, put aside your own concerns.
2. Align yourself with their desires
You may wish that the other person would become more productive, or complain less, or be more thoughtful of their associates. But the key to effective coaching is to let go of your agenda.
Find out what their goal is. Maybe it’s advancement, respect, or greater satisfaction in the workplace.
You may think they’re missing the point, but stay with their perspective. Your attentiveness will provide a safe space in which their goals may shift.
Soon they may surprise you by with changes that make them more productive, less whiny, or more considerate.
3. Guide without judging
Any lack of respect can be intuited from your tone of voice, facial expression, even posture.
If you come across as judgmental, the other person may feel shamed into making superficial changes, but they will not experience a life-changing desire to develop themselves.
So, rather than their deficiencies, align yourself with the person’s inherent strengths. When our strengths are appreciated, we’re often more ready to take the risk of exploring how we can improve.
The most effective coaches are those who believe that virtually everyone has the potential to grow.
4. Stay engaged
People follow through on their commitment to self-development when they know that someone continues to care about their progress.
Even in passing in a hallway, you can quietly ask, “How are you doing with the ideas we talked about last week?” “Is there anything new you want to tell me about?” Or “Would you like to spend a few minutes talking tomorrow?”
If they trust that you’re in it for the long haul, you’ve become part of a successful team effort.