As outlined in recent news posts, there are four essential habits of effective managers which save businesses time and money, build excellent relationships in the workplace, and improve team effectiveness. The most effective managers:
1. Know their people exceptionally well,
2. Constantly talk to them about their performance,
3. Continually ask for more performance, and
4. Delegate exceptionally well.
Today we’ll outline Habit #3: How to Continually Ask For Improved Performance From Your Team.
This is also known as coaching.
The purpose of coaching your team is to encourage improved effectiveness. High-performing teams need employees with continually growing skill levels. Business is moving so fast, if your employees aren’t improving their skills they are actually falling behind.
Invest time coaching your team so they can keep up with the growth of the business, not be dragged along behind it. To have a healthy, evolving business, team development is not a “nice-to-have”, it’s a necessity!
So how do you coach your team?
Your weekly one-on-one meeting is an ideal time.
First, introduce the idea. Here’s a script: “Ben, I’m going to coach you to help you improve. It’s part of improving productivity, which is my job as a leader in the business. It improves the effectiveness of us personally, as a team, and as a business.”
So now you’ve introduced the concept, how do you implement it? There are four steps:
1. Collaborate to set a goal
The idea is cooperation, not dictatorship! Start with “Let’s set some goals”, not, “Here’s what I want you to do by December.”
Together, describe a behaviour or result you want to achieve, and set a date you want it achieved by. Make it measurable and time-framed.
2. Collaborate to brainstorm resources
Brainstorming is all about quantity of ideas, not quality. Write down all the possible resources your team member can use to meet that goal. Include anything that comes to mind without evaluation. In 2-3 minutes you should get as many ideas as possible down on paper (20-30 ideas is ideal).
3. Collaborate to create a plan
From your bucket of ideas, discuss which are feasible, and create a few weeks of a plan. Start with about 3 or 4 steps with deadlines.
Ensure the tasks set for the employee are small, specific, and achievable. Small tasks are not insignificant, as every step towards the goal is progress! They are also more easily achieved. For example, “Get online and find 3 books you think will be suitable by 20 September” is much more likely to be done than “read a book by next week”.
4. The employee acts
The employee does the work and reports back to you in your next one-on-one meeting. Remember that you are the coach, not the teacher, and they may do things slightly differently than you, and that’s okay as long as the desired result is achieved.
Coaching your team frees you up to work ON the business rather than just in it. As the owner of the business you do not need to do everything! Get leverage by using your team to do the work for you.
Posted by julianne, 30/4/13