Every leader is a coach to those who look to them for guidance.
Your job as a leader is to be there when one of your employees are in a rut, but if you consistently offer them a gift-wrapped solution, those employees will forfeit their problem-solving skills in the process.
Eventually, a new problem manifests itself: How can you support someone without turning into a security blanket? Simple: Coach your team to expand upon their personal development.
Here are a few ways to coach your pupils to brilliance:
1. Customize your approach
Each member of your team has a unique set of skills, so it doesn’t make sense to coach each employee in the same way. The weaker ones need more guidance, while the star performers only need feedback and grooming.
When you tailor your approach to suit the individual needs of every employee, you’re optimizing the way your team runs and fully using each person’s unique skills. See your employees for who they are, understand them, and help them grow.
2. Establish a relationship
An employer-employee relationship is based on mutual trust — if you want the respect of your team, they must be able to confide in you, turn to you for help, and trust you to guide them along the right path.
Don’t patronize your employees for asking for help, and let them know what they are doing right before telling them what to correct. When you establish a trust-based relationship, your team will see you as someone they can easily approach, they will start asking for help, and as a result will make fewer mistakes.
3. Dealing with excuses
Some employees are hesitant to accept guidance, instead firing out excuses. If you encounter this, help them understand that you aren’t accusing them, and restate your sentiment as encouragement. Be empathic, and try to understand things from your employees’ perspective while also gently reprimanding them if their work is not meeting your standards.
Don’t nitpick, but don’t let them off the hook either. You must guide them and help them improve, and that can’t happen if they hang on to excuses.
You already possess the management skills of an emerging leader (otherwise, you wouldn’t be in the position you are today), but to run a cohesive and well-structured team, you must hone your abilities so they’re at your fingertips at any given time.