I thought I would continue with some blogs on coaching for managers. If anything it will help you consider/reflect on what you do compared to what you think you do. Where could you change?

Coaching sessions need to be valued; they need to be prepared for and not just ad hoc. There has to be time given to prepare and to reflect, and you need to allow yourself and your staff time to reflect something (not given in a lot of companies these days) clearly the most essential part of any coaching or training session. Those ten minutes could be so valuable and incredibly powerful after any session, moreover where the learning and changes may start to take place.

When you prepare are there any distractions before the session and in the session? What does the member of staff see as they enter the room, what do you think they may be thinking and feeling, sometimes what you may be thinking may be entirely wrong. Judgements get in the way of listening and noticing. The role of the coach is to encourage, to do this effectively you have to clear your own judgements and distractions. Remember you are separating the coaching role from your other roles, as a manager you wear different hats and have different boundaries, so you have to be fully aware of what position you are in.

Here is a question, how receptive are you as a manager to change? Do you allow change and more importantly encourage it? Allowing creativity and encouraging staff to make mistakes but more importantly what they do with those mistakes. The learning comes from visualising putting the mistakes right. Do you encourage this; guide your staff with effective questioning. How well do you understand how to question? To ask great open questions and not closed questions, allowing staff to open up to create their own journeys, not you tell them. Anyone can tell but not everyone can guide using skilled questioning. It is essential in the coaching role you allow this to happen with your staff. If you just tell, the chances are not much will change, if you encourage and enable your staff to create the changes themselves, there will be significant changes and improvements, fascinating witnessing this as I mentor coaches and managers.

What is important is that as a manager you allow this to happen. Do you really know you allow this to happen? What is your awareness of this? Ever reflected after your sessions fully,  Have you been aware of what has happened and how you can improve yourself next time. Remember, it is a good idea to look for positive improvements in yourself. You are not after perfection, this is not real, but it is about making yourself better all the time.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on all coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.