7 Steps to Being a Great Coach

be a coach | Atlanta Business ConsultingEveryone can coach, but we don’t always see the opportunities, or see ourselves as a coach. And, as we’ve discussed before, most people see coaching as something that a manager does with a subordinate.

With the collaborative environment we work in today, a great coach could pop up from anywhere, including a peer or a client. You will likely have an opportunity to be a coach for someone else; and, you’ll need these seven steps to be successful.

  1. Relationship – Remember that coaching is relational. In other words, you can’t coach someone with whom you haven’t developed a relationship. Take the time to have lunch with the person you are coaching. Or, spend time on breaks to find out what is important to them, in which areas they would like to grow, and how they think you may be able to help.
  2. Clarity – Make it clear through your words and actions that you really do want to help them succeed. Coaching only works when there is trust in the relationship.
  3. Mutual Commitment – Only coach people who genuinely want to learn and grow and are willing to change. There is no greater waste of your time than trying to coach someone who doesn’t believe that they need to be coached.
  4. Shared Goal Setting – Involve the person you are coaching in goal setting. Ask where they think they would like to grow. Then offer your suggestions and mutually agree on a forward path.
  5. Focus – You’ll see the most improvement if you focus on one or two areas at a time. Any more than that is overwhelming and will result in a high level of frustration and little improvement.
  6. Timing and Delivery – Find the right moments to coach, and in those moments coach with questions as much as you coach with statements. Coaching isn’t so much telling people what to do as it is encouraging them to discover it for themselves.
  7. Encouragement – Catch them doing something right. Sometimes the best coaching is a reinforcement of something done well – not perfectly – but, well. By building confidence, you’ll see that your “coachee” will work harder to get even better.
Don’t wait for a particular job title to be a coach.  You can likely make a difference in your company right now. Something to think about:
  • Has anyone asked you to coach them? How will you begin a conversation with them about how you can help?
  • Are you willing make a commitment to this person? How often will you meet or talk?
  • What words of encouragement can you give them RIGHT NOW?