Today, more and more millennials are looking for a coach, not a boss.
When you’re a business owner or a manager, this can be a tough role to play for various reasons. For one, modern life is demanding. Those in the upper management usually have enough on their minds regarding work, family, and personal time. Caring for someone else – let alone an employee – is not really on their agenda.
However, being a coach benefits not only the worker, but YOU as a person.
Remember the parable of the two seas? The lesson there is clear: what we give away, we receive twofold. So when you learn to become a good listener, you will also be listened to in times of need.
Whether you’re a CEO, a shop owner, or a supervisor, here are seven ways for you to become the best team coach for your employees:
1. Practice the art of GENUINE listening.
Believe it or not, listening is a vital skill. More than just hearing the words, true listening involves:
- Observing body language (such as hand gestures and facial expressions)
- Paying attention to tone and voice (is the speaker’s voice wavering, etc.)
- Grabbing the REAL reasoning or substance behind the message
So the next time your employee comes to you for a talk, put down whatever you’re doing and look them in the eye. Give them your undivided attention so that they’ll feel how vital they are to the company.
2. Avoid ‘Helicopter Parenting’.
Are you familiar with parents who always hover around their children? In schools, playgrounds, or supermarkets, these parents almost ALWAYS never leave their kids’ side! The same is true for supervisors or managers who seem to follow their workers’ every move. Several even go as far as to monitor their employees’ email accounts.
Ask yourself: why are you ‘hovering’? If you’re anxious about someone committing mistakes on the job, why hire them in the first place? Trust is highly important if you want to foster team spirit and productivity. Remember: you hired these people because you BELIEVED in their capabilities.
If you find yourself wanting to ‘observe’ an employee’s performance, take a deep breath and watch from afar. Allow them to make mistakes. For in the long run, it’s their failures that will help them grow.
3. Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say.
It sounds simple enough; but you’ll be surprised at how difficult it is to put this saying to personal use.
In essence, you as a boss should NOT be quick to make statements or decisions because you may have a hard time implementing them later. At the same time, once something has been said, it should be followed through.
For instance: say you promised a bonus to whoever makes the most sales at the end of the month. However, despite your workers’ best efforts, your profit didn’t increase by much. As you made a promise however, it should be honored. If you don’t, you risk damaging your reputation as a reliable leader, as well as de-motivate a precious employee.
Keep your promises, and NEVER make promises you can’t keep.
4. Constantly Remind Workers of Their Goal
It’s normal for people to feel de-motivated sometimes. That’s part of life. However, as a coach, you need to constantly keep employees on track so things can get done.
If you notice one or two people lagging in productivity, speak to them directly. Address their concerns (refer to point #1). Show them what needs to be improved on. Then repeat the company’s goal.
Often, a quick reminder is enough to boost people’s drive to finish tasks.
5. Give Them Options.
A common problem with most managers or business owners is that they lead by fear or intimidation. They offer only TWO choices when problems arise: either resolve it, or leave. That’s not a very healthy way of motivating people to stay with you for the long haul.
Instead of instilling fear, be the one to offer options. By doing so, you give the impression that you are open-minded, flexible, and capable.
For example: an employee feels torn because she doesn’t want to quit work to take care of her children at home. Don’t just let her quit! Talk to her and lay down possible solutions to her dilemma. She can work from her house or have flexible working hours. It’s up to you on how well you negotiate.
When an employee knows that their boss can take charge even during tough times, they know they have found a good leader to look up to.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal.
Why are life stories so popular? That’s because they are relatable. When people hear someone else’s experience, they think: ‘if he/she can do it, so can I!’ It’s a powerful motivational factor – even politicians use it (especially during their campaign speeches).
If you’re looking for the best strategy on how to draw someone’s attention OR to encourage a response from your team, look no further than your own life stories. Share your experiences regarding your career, mistakes, and personal growth.
7. Be Present In Little Team Activities.
Whether the team is having a tiny celebration for a member’s birthday OR they want to get a couple of drinks after work, try to be present. Your visibility shows that you are really interested in getting to know them.
You don’t have to be there in every event, but by showing up, you demonstrate a willingness to care for the people who help keep your business running.
Becoming the best team coach you can be requires time and patience – it simply doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you constantly want to reach out to people, you will soon find that these habits naturally occur to you.
Never take your workers for granted. Everyday is an opportunity to show them how valuable they are to your company. For when you show people you care, they will care about you and your business.
SEO consultant Al Gomez is the man behind SEOExpertPage.com and Dlinkers, a company dedicated to complete digital marketing services. With more than nine years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success.