Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring May 2016 IIC&M - Page 61

expect less people management problems and a higher staff retention level as your team thrive in the environment that you have created.

Coaching is all about understanding that people, given the right circumstances and environment, have unlimited capacity to achieve and then helping them do just that. If you are happy with your recruitment process and confident in the skills and abilities of the people that you have around you, you need to believe that they can be the best. You then simply need to communicate this to them, give them the space to develop and grow, provider support when it’s needed and sit back and watch as performance reaches its full potential.

Setting up an internal coaching culture means that you get the most out of all of your staff by providing them with the opportunity to think, to take responsibility for themselves, to develop their own skillset, to listen and respect others opinions and to be the best they can be. As a little experiment, try the following the next time you hold a meeting with your team; simply encourage them to really listen to each other; encourage every single member of the team to speak up and make sure no one interrupts. You have no idea what type of brilliant ideas or input you are missing by simply letting the most dominant or most senior members of the team take over the conversation.

Also, ask intelligent questions that encourage original thought; “what would you do if you knew you were going to be successful here?”, “what could be the implications of that course of action?”. Refrain from instructing and teaching, instead focus on supporting your team, empowering individuals and recognising excellent work. Take the time to listen impartially and attentively to the people around you – create time and space for them to feel that their ideas and opinions are important and valued. As a senior manager or leader you will have a specific viewpoint and perception of the business and the world in general which is coloured by your own experiences, values, beliefs and so on. So does everyone else that works for or with you and encouraging them to share and pool the resources will lead to extraordinary returns. Time and time again, leaders understand that opening up the floor and really listening to what comes back provides creative solutions to issues that can revolutionise a business. Moreover, you get the added benefit of staff who feel appreciated and want to work at their best to achieve for themselves and for the organisation as a whole. Ensure that everyone in the team has goals and objectives and encourage them to be involved in defining what they are. Break the goals down as specifically as you can, even to a weekly level if possible. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling that constantly meeting goals that you have set for yourself. This kind of simple activity encourages your team to be more engaged, to work harder and to benefit from the satisfaction of knowing they have achieved. The feeling that you are getting nowhere fast is one of the biggest factors in creating demotivated staff who will feel less inclined to perform and may start looking around for other employment opportunities.

Now of course, a lot of this is not rocket science – most of us understand that effective delegation and coaching for performance represent the best way of getting the most out of people, but all too often, our good intentions are sidelined because we are short on time, under pressure to deliver and it’s quicker to do it ourselves. The advice here is clear. Make the time – remember whatever you invest now in developing your staff and taking the time to coach them to solve problems themselves, will be repaid to you manifold down the line. Try it today; don’t do it yourself or tell someone how to do it; take the time to sit quietly with your team and ask them what they think they should do to overcome whatever challenge you are currently facing; provide a safe, open environment and encourage them to think creatively for themselves. Trust that your team DO know the answer and, given the chance, will come up with far more creative solutions that stick with them and enhance their future performance. Alternatively work with a coaching company that can help do this for you; there are a plethora of great companies that offer training for managers to facilitate a filtering of coaching values through the organisation, companies that offer 1 to 1 coaching, coaching surgeries and so on.



Cathy Radcliffe

Cathy is an Accredited Practitioner Coach (IIC&M) and Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) specialising in the SME sector. With over 15 years’ experience of managing and coaching both individuals and teams, Cathy has a natural talent for getting the most out of people; increasing their performance, motivation and effectiveness by helping them expand their awareness, think for themselves and focus on their primary goals.