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To Coach Effectively…Do This, Not That

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When you think of a coach, what comes to mind?  For me, it’s a person with a whistle around the neck who shouts out what you’re doing wrong so all your team mates stop and look at you.  Oh, sorry, flashback to high school sports.

In the workplace, a coach looks very different than the typical sports coach.

Sure, they may teach skills and point out missteps, but the best coaches all do one thing well: facilitate conversations that enable people to find their own way.

One of the straightest paths to becoming an amazing manager or supervisor is by becoming a great coach.

While you can’t learn to coach well just by reading a short article, you can start to understand what an effective coach looks like.

Here are some guidelines, using a “do this, not that” format.

HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE COACH

Do This…Not That…
Ask more questionsOnly give advice
Listen deeplyTalk a lot
Keep them talkingAccept shallow answers
Get comfortable with silenceFill silence with probing questions or suggestions
Coach in one-on-ones, on-the-fly, and in emailCoach only in formal coaching meetings
Show genuine interest in the personAnswer your phone, check your email
Practice patienceGet frustrated when development is slow

What “do this, not that” statements do you believe lead to better coaching?

You can leave your answer in a comment below.

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