June 12th, 2017 by Ellen Bartkowiak

Professional Development Coach
The Coaching Mentality in Professional Development

Whether you’re an Olympic gymnast or just getting in shape, you need a coach.  Someone on the sidelines to help you make a play or cheer you on to follow your plan.  Having a coach by your side for your professional development is not much different.  It’s always helpful to have that outsider perspective to help you stay accountable, be a sounding board (i.e. LISTEN), ask you the tough questions that will help you resolve a problem or hold up the proverbial mirror so you can reflect back on your decisions.  When in the workplace, how great would it be to have your manager be your coach? More and more requests are being made of managers to add ‘coaching techniques’ into their employee development repertoire.  Coaching creates an atmosphere of trust, collaboration and empowerment and yields real results, most notably;

  1. Increased productivity
  2. Improved team functioning
  3. Improved employee relations
  4. Faster leadership development
  5. Increased engagement

The International Coach Federation has a set of 11 Guidelines for certified coaches. In this blog post l’ll focus on THREE ways to add coaching into your managerial style.

child-1470646_1280FIRST: Don’t Tell  

Strong leadership development teaches managers to draw out answers from their employees rather than TELLING them the answer.  Practice the art of Powerful Questioning. Think about asking questions that start with ‘what’ or ‘how’ in an effort to have the employee problem solve.  “Employees have one thing in common:  they want to know that someone cares about their careers. And that someone should be you, if you want engaged, productive people on your team.  Help them find opportunities to sculpt their careers according to their own unique wants and needs.  When you do this, you’ll find your best employees will want to stay a while and build their careers in your organization.”  p. 36 in “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em” by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans.

SECOND: Listen

People just want to be heard, listening to your team is one of the simplest ways to improve employee relations and employee satisfaction.

As this humorous video explains, you can TELL people what you observe as the problem but until they feel like they are heard, there is no moving forward.

THIRD: Trustafrican-bush-squirrel-1580046_1280

Professional career development coaches learn from Susan Whitcomb’s Program to “…show genuine concern for the client’s welfare and future.” Your employees will notice when you are too busy or too annoyed with them to acknowledge what they are saying. To learn to establish trust, the Harvard Business Review recommends these proven tactics: Be transparent, emphasize commonalities, tell the truth and admit when you are wrong.  

Like professional athletic training, your professional development training does not have a starting point or an ending point. Those who are most successful at adopting a professional coaching mindset into their managerial repertoire practice these three competencies daily.

Challenge yourself!

Which one of these core competencies can you incorporate into your daily practice?  Maybe it’s time to add more to your training program?  Think about what you need and complete the form to receive our quarterly Mindfulness Managerial Newsletter for ‘Quick Tips’ to help you stay accountable. Awareness is the first step in making  a change.

Who couldn’t use a coach to help them stay motivated and accountable!?!




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