Every leader is a coach to those who follow them, and look to them for guidance. To be a successful leader, you need to consider those you are leading, and invest in building upon their skills. Your job as a leader is to be there when one of your team members is in a rut, but you can’t always help them reach a solution, because they will be forfeiting their own problem-solving skills in the process.
This allows a new problem to manifest itself: how can you be there for someone, yet only to an extent that they don’t become dependent on you?
The solution is simple: coach your team to expand upon their personal development. Given below, are a few ways in which you can coach your followers to brilliance:
1. Customize your Approach
Every member of your team is an individual with a unique set of skills. It doesn’t make sense then, to coach each employee in the same way. The weaker ones need more guidance, while the star performers only need feedback and grooming. When you tailor your approach to suit the individual needs of every team member, you will be optimizing the way your team runs, since everyone will be doing what they do best. This way you will see where each member’s skills lie, and you can utilize it fully. See them for who they are, understand them, and help them grow.
2. Establish a Relationship
Any relationship of significant importance is based on mutual trust, and confidentiality. In order for your team members to respect you, they must be able to confide in you, turn to you for help, and trust you to maintain their confidence while guiding them along the right way. Don’t patronize them for asking for help, and always make sure you let them know what they are doing right before telling them what to correct. This way, your team will see you as someone they can approach easily. And when they start asking for help, they will make fewer mistakes, and learn to develop their own skill set.
3. Dealing with Excuses
Some team members are hesitant to accept guidance and always fire out excuses. If this occurs at any point, change your tone, help them understand that you were not accusing them, and restate your sentiment as encouragement for the employee to reconsider their own work, and improve upon it. Be empathic, and try to understand things from your employee’s perspective while also gently reprimanding them if their work is not meeting the required standards. Don’t nitpick for tiny details, but don’t let them off the hook either. You must guide them and help them improve, and that can’t happen if they hang on to excuses.
As a leader, to run a cohesive and well-structured team, you must hone these abilities, so they may be available to you at your fingertips at any given time.