Many managers work hard on their coaching skills. They identify when a member of their team is in the right place to be coached – they are highly competent and confident and need a facilitative approach not a directive one.
Then comes the mind set, leaving their ego at the door, engaging their support and challenge muscles, and using powerful questions complemented by active listening. This creates an enabling environment where staff can bounce ideas around, test some solutions and approaches all in a non-judgemental space. It takes discipline to hold that mind set and hone those skills, as it sometimes doesn’t come naturally to solution focussed managers.
Creating and spotting the opportunity takes skill too and that’s when coaching in the corridor comes in. We associate coaching with a formal environment with a clear agreement that it’s what will happen and yet it can happen more informally like in the corridor. When managers are always up for coaching any interaction with their team can be transformational rather than transactional. Practise makes perfect too, soon it becomes an unconscious competency and staff begin to seek out their manager for the value they add by just allowing the space to think for themselves. It increases the emotional intelligence of a team and organisation, as well as that precious thing, accountability.
It is an investment of time and effort from a manager initially, but the rewards are many. It encourages people to think for themselves freeing the manager up to think bigger thoughts and raise their game too.
So next time a team member catches you in the corridor, engage your coaching mind set and make that time really count.
We include coaching skills in all our leadership and management programmes as well as a stand-alone workshop, as we believe it’s a vital part of making your team great.