Your team members will have growth opportunities. Think of yourself as a coach. You live each day in a position to guide and prod your team to new heights of success. Also, as your successes accumulate, people begin to approach you with questions. They want to emulate your company’s growth. Maybe they have an exciting business idea. C-level executives new to running a business might have a sticky problem they can help solve with your guidance..
Becoming a successful business coach is part of being a good business leader. You can embrace this and find mastery here like you have done when running your company. Training your team is important and will be worth your investment in time and money. In the meantime, you can start by keeping the following five things in mind.
1. A great coach has a great attitude
You empower those around you with your presence. If you want to provoke someone to action, you find ways to communicate how much you believe in them instead of criticizing them which is unhelpful to their efforts. You find a way to make the person you’re dealing with feel powerful and competent. People leave your side believing in themselves. You give them that gift.
2. A great coach is approachable
You make people feel welcome. They know that you see them and their ideas as valuable because of how you treat them and talk to them. While you have no time to waste, you do not see other people as a waste of time. When you need to be abrupt occasionally, you are kind about it. Through your connection with others, you enable safety in communicating with you.
Those connections can happen in a way that helps you manage your time. Setting up a Google Voice number, for example, can help. You can give this number to those who do not need your direct line. This service, free with a Google account, can go to your phone, can be used for texting, and can take voicemail and transcribe it. If a particular person abuses the number by calling or texting too often, you can block the number. You could choose to set up a specific email address and folder in your email system for those looking for mentoring.
Boundaries are important. Set your limits consciously based on your priorities.
3. A great coach sets specific expectations
You can visualize your mentee succeeding. The two of you discuss goals and priorities. Then you talk strategy and create a plan. A useful plan calls for expected action. It is important not to let your mentee get ahead of themselves. Are they ready to do what the plan needs? Do they have the skill set necessary? Being mindful of what the person you’re coaching is prepared for will serve you well.
4. A great coach holds people accountable
If someone asks you for casual advice, you probably do not need to concern yourself with whether or not they followed it. However, if someone needs you to mentor or coach them, part of that relationship is accountability. You can schedule a time to check in with your mentee. Set up a regular phone call or lunch meeting. Touch base with the person you coach. Ask where they are with their plan. Be encouraging, especially if things are not going well. Help them celebrate successes. Also, help them remember that they’re human and might make occasional mistakes.
5. A great coach learns from the person they’re coaching
One of the best reasons to begin coaching is to reinforce your knowledge and understanding of what you do. Coaching will keep you on your toes. You’ll need to stay ahead of trends in your industry and the business world generally. Yes, you’re guiding someone with less experience and knowledge than you have. However, you’ll walk away from those interactions reminded of something important. Perhaps in your own company, there is a problem you’re still chewing on. After a coaching session, you may find you’ve stumbled upon the solution. You will grow from your coaching of others.
If someone you coach is not making progress, find out why. With a mentee who isn’t getting anywhere, you will need to do one of two things. If they are trying to do the right thing, you may need to help them adjust their approach. Figure out where the blockage is and clear it.
However, if they are not trying, be honest about that with them. This conversation may feel uncomfortable. You did not take on someone to coach because you do not like them. You’re rooting for them hardcore. However, if they need to put in more effort, if they’re becoming flaky and unreliable, this must be corrected before they can experience success.
Sometimes you have to cut loose a person who is not reliable. Hopefully, you will never need to do it. If you do, then be clear about what is happening and why. Be gracious but firm. Your time is valuable. Coaching a hard worker, driven to succeed, is worth the time. It’s fun! Unfortunately, coaching someone who does not put effort into their success wastes your time and theirs.
Usually, the person you coach will be invested in success. They will sweat and push themselves to make their business happen. You’ll find it fun to root for them. When they win, you’ll feel compelled to cheer. You’re a humble person, and you’ll make sure the credit for your mentee’s work goes to them. However, any success they have reflects positively on you also. Bask in it, then get to work again, helping others to grow.