What can management do today to make their people more valuable than they were yesterday?
To manage is so 20th century. In today’s business climate you must integrate coaching into your repertoire. Gone are the days when you could simply direct individuals on what to do. Now we must also serve as coach. In this role you are no longer telling, you are now asking.
Currently, 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work, and the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly 2-to-1, meaning that the vast majority of U.S. workers (70%) are not reaching their full potential…” Jim Clifton, CEO at Gallup, The State of the American Workplace Report
What’s the benefit of using open ended, probing questions instead of advising or telling an employee what she needs to do? Quite simply, coaching questions cause the other person to think, to create their own answers, and ultimately motivate them to act on their ideas. Asking questions, rather than dictating orders, moves the employee beyond passive acceptance of the necessary action(s) to take. It prompts the employee to apply their creative ability and generate potential solutions to the issue at hand.
Once coaching is integrated into your managing style it will redefine the relationship between you and your people. Think about it. When you are managing, you tell them the answer; but when you are “asking” questions, they become part of the answer. Coaching communicates their value as an equal influence in creating viable solutions.
Warning: You must make a fundamental mind shift from solely focusing on what’s going on to why it’s going on. As awkward as it may feel, park your agenda at the door and allow your direct report to focus on what they want. With coaching, the conversations are not about your thoughts, your input, and what you think will work. Instead you must start listening, really listening, to the other person.
The more you listen, the more you see how capable they are.
The more you ask, the more they will grow – and so will you!
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