As a leader in your organization, you are tasked with bringing out the best of your employees for the productivity of your company. Sounds easy but it’s tougher than it looks especially in these economic times when everyone feels stretched. But it can be done both with your direct individual reports but also your project teams or department staff.
Lifting Together Makes the Difference
Here’s how . . . use a strengths based coaching approach with powerful questions. One piece of the executive coaching program that I offer is an intensive hands-on training and practice on how to use basic coaching skills to engage and motivate employees. We start with individual one-on-one practice with employees doing their annual reviews or wanting to take their careers to that next level within the company. Coaching may also be appropriate for employees struggling with performance expectations, communication problems or interpersonal conflicts with their colleagues.
With this practice behind them, leaders move to a more complicated coaching challenge – working with their designated teams around specific outcomes. There are more moving parts including difference in personalities and communication styles that can make leading a team successfully much more challenging.
You Don’t Have to Do All the Work
But here’s the trick . . . know and use the same coaching philosophy, collaborative approach and basic powerful questions that work so well with individuals and just expand them for the larger group. Listen closely and concentrate on giving your team the space and support to contribute their ideas and strengths.
You don’t have to say much in the beginning – just get out of their way and let them do what you hired them to do. Acknowledge their wisdom with the result that you may be pleasantly surprised that with a coaching approach you’ve opened up a wealth of possibilities, creative thinking and some excellent options. And you didn’t have to do all the work!
It’s a very fast paced competitive work world. Just like this great picture of the Army moving the Red Cross tent in the pouring rain. Everyone needs to contribute their best strength, lift together and move forward to the designated goal or vision. It can work really well with the right kind of leadership – do you have what it takes?