The generation of millennial professionals prefers coaching over other employee benefits. Why? Because despite sometimes being labeled as “entitled” and a “spoiled” generation, it turns out that they don’t want to only be driven by monthly paychecks and quarterly bonuses. What matters to them, at work, is rather seeing their impact, their contribution and feeling recognized for what they do. And coaching is a great way to empower them to use their strengths, generate ideas and take charge of their own development. And once they love what they are doing and know where they want to go, the recognition follows.
Does that sounds like something you would like to support your team with but you don’t know where to start? It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned manager or an aspiring leader. By implementing some adjustments in your communication style and habits, you can coach your team.
All you need is your curiosity, courage and connection.
What does it take to start coaching your team today?
- Ask powerful questions
Asking powerful questions is a fundamental coaching tool. Powerful questions shift the power dynamics in a conversation so that the person who is asking becomes something like a facilitator for the other person to find their own solutions rather than the one who is in charge of the whole conversation. This is one of the simplest ways to empower your team and create a space for them to become more proactive. Your team members will feel involved and appreciated for their input. As a result, their engagement will increase.
Not sure how to ask powerful questions? You can find a detailed explanation of powerful questions and many examples in our previous article.
2. Listen carefully before speaking
Many articles have been written on what is the communication ratio between verbal and non-verbal communication. There are many different theories on the topic but they all have something in common: Non-verbal communication (such as body language and the tone of voice) carries the majority of information. So why not use it to our advantage?
We have already previously written an article about the power of listening with curiosity to deepen connection and transform relationships (not only) in a workplace. Listen to the words but also read between the lines. What is it that is not being said? What are the underlying emotions? Is there a discrepancy between the words and the body language?
3. Articulate what is going on
Even as a leader, you don’t always have to have an opinion on everything. Instead of generating input, how would it be to lean back and just name what you see or hear? I hear you have been frustrated. I see that you are facing a challenge. It looks like you are already excited to work on tackling this issue. Then listen. And ask more powerful questions. Make finding solutions teamwork.
4. Champion your champions
Do you see your team member or colleagues doing a great job, standing up for their ideas, supporting each other or being in their element? Or do you see that they are capable of much more than they think they are? Tell them what you see in them. Sometimes people don’t see the obvious when it comes to themselves. Acknowledging it might have a huge impact on them, enabling them to see themselves from a different perspective and/or motivate them to go the extra mile.
5. “Just be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
That’s what Oscar Wilde said. And he also said “Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know.” That being said, it is indeed a challenge to find a way to “be yourself”, especially if you read about it in every self-help book which puts the pressure on.
To be yourself in the workplace, you don’t necessarily need to share private information about your life or take a nap behind your desk. What you can do, though, is give yourself permission to not always know the answer, not always know the best thing to do, not always be willing to babysit your team. You are already here for a reason. You are here to support them and have their back when needed. They are experts in their field. Let them be proactive and use their creativity to take charge of their work and development.
You are the leader of your team and coaching is a great way to empower your team to take charge and become leaders in their own development and work satisfaction. After all, they know themselves best. The transformative power of the coaching culture lies in creating an environment of trust, empowerment and self-leadership.
Are you ready to bring the coaching culture to your organization? Do not hesitate to contact us – we are ready to support you!
The Big C is a coaching organization dedicated to helping young professionals step into their leadership and to supporting organizations develop, engage and retain their future leaders.
Professional Certified Co-Active Coach and a member of International Coach Federation. She has a wealth of experience working with young professionals and leaders in international corporations, expats, students and people experiencing a significant transition or change in their lives. Anna successfully supports her clients in finding their true values and passion in order for them to successfully design their own authentic and fulfilling path.