You Coach Everyday Whether You Like it or Not
Every day we engage with our employees and create a perception that either has them coming back to us more comfortably or avoiding this like the plague! Coaching gets a reputation of being soft and not direct but its not; whereas, coaching is about giving employees the choice to learn and perform better. If we engage with our employees and present a non-engaging interaction we're nonverbally telling employees that we do not care. The key to coaching is to ask questions, listen, develop actions to improve performance, and share in the responsibility for better performance!
Recently, I witnessed a manager not paying attention to his employee. The employee had asked the manager a question outside of his office in regard to a customer request who happen to be waiting on the phone. The manager proceeded to look at his phone and not make eye contact. No matter his intention he was indeed coaching his employee as well as conditioning the employee to possibly not ask for any future help again. Here's the reality our reactions coach other people in terms of whether they will engage or seek our help again. If we agree on this point why would we not seek a more proactive and successfully to engage in coach employees?
Coaching is about asking questions, inspiring employees to think creatively, challenging them with direct questions, and many other attributes. We coach every day whether we like it or not. Most managers will say they don't have time to coach their employees, but then the question remains why are they the ones doing the end of the year evaluations? Managers are the only resource that has total accessibility to employees. Managers have to be involved in the development of employees; otherwise, employees performance will remain stagnant.