As a leader, you’re interested in the success of those you lead. The people that are on your team, need your guidance and coaching in order to grow and be better.

But what exactly is coaching?

There are complete programs on how to be a successful coach and this a way too complex subject to fully capture in a short post. However, there are a couple of ways we can all be better coaches:

  1. Ask more questions. Coaching is not providing answers, but a great coach lets the coachee find the answers himself. The way to do that is by letting someone think, by asking critical questions.
  2. Observe. If you want your people to get better, you need to make sure to have the right data. This means watching how people work and take note of that. Which things are going well? If you look closely, what are things that can be improved?
  3. Put your ego aside. Giving feedback is an essential part of coaching, but if the other party gets the feeling you’re saying things to ultimately feel better about yourself, it won’t go anywhere. It is about the other person.
  4. Take the time to listen. In busy times, someone that takes the time to ask questions and really listen to the answers that come are rare. Stop what you are doing, turn your body towards the other person and be there.

Great coaches are rare but enormously valuable. We need a lot more of them and you’re the perfect candidate to be one.