12 Rules for Mastering Employee Coaching and Creating a Productive Team

To be an effective coach, it's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual on your team. Make a concerted effort to get to know each of your employees on a deeper level. Learn about their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, and what challenges them. Along with formal personality tests, consider having each member of your team perform periodic self-evaluations and use the results to ensure that you're using each employee as effectively as possible.

Let your employees know that they can come to you with questions or concerns. Use individual sessions to understand the challenges they are facing and to come up with a plan together. Ask good questions; great questions lead to great answers and great answers lead to great conversations. As a manager or leader, it's critical that you develop strong relationships with your employees.

This will help you determine if your employees are curious, have the capacity to perform and improve, and have a positive attitude. Take a positive approach. You should always try to maintain a positive outlook on things, even in difficult situations. A positive attitude to situations will help both you and the person you're training to respond and react in a way that encourages positive change. Evaluate your employees' progress and provide feedback. You'll notice that constant, regular feedback and communication are critical to empowering employees.

This will encourage employees to think about what they need to do next, which will help them achieve their goals. If you see an employee struggling with a particular task or project, find out why they're struggling by having frequent conversations, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and get advice. When training your employees, you should offer solutions rather than problems, as this will help empower people and allow for greater productivity. Each person has different motivations, preferences and personalities, so if you ask questions that help you understand where their “why” comes from and what their preferred way of being is, then you can adapt your coaching conversations to match how they work best with the improvements that both of you are looking for. In addition, encourage your team to set their own goals and help them achieve them by guiding them through the process of setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) or even SMART-ER goals. In addition to these benefits, training others is an effective method for reinforcing and transferring learning. To ensure that you use all your resources to better manage your team, consider developing a “toolkit” for employee training strategies. Coaching that works doesn't include micromanaging, being fussy, or ignoring employees as they complete their daily tasks and projects. By implementing effective coaching training, employers will be able to increase the effectiveness of managers and the benefits of effective training.

While things like encouraging transparency can help establish this trust, you can also have an open-door policy; be clear, friendly and non-judgmental at every training meeting; and strive to show your employees that you care about them, that you consider them valuable members of the team, and that you have a strong interest in them and in their success. A fundamental part of being able to empower employees to achieve better performance is training them so that they can show more initiative at work. As one of the most critical aspects of employee coaching, feedback has the power to make or break the team's success. Training employees is about increasing their confidence and showing them how they can be better at what they do in the future. Guiding open-ended questions lead to more detailed and thoughtful answers, leading to more productive coaching conversations. Effective coaching involves listening carefully, focusing on the big picture instead of focusing on detail-oriented points, and engaging employees in effective self-management. During meetings and individual sessions with employees, ask how you can improve your coaching role to help your employees achieve the performance and behavioral goals that you have set together.