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Taking a coaching mentality to your management process is the answer to many kinds of organizational ills. It is about making sense of complex experiences, unlocking a person’s potential to solving their own problems and is more often about asking good questions than giving right answers.

Here’s how to embed the spirit of coaching in your workplace:

  • Engage in personal development to understand and address your own motivations, anxieties, hot spots etc. so they don’t impinge negatively on the coaching process.
  • Establish a coaching relationship that is underpinned by positive intention, empathy and genuine commitment.
  • Encourage the coachee to take responsibility for his or her own learning and performance.
  • Agree on goals and standards together, giving the coachee first opportunity to scope out requirements, explore issues, work out solutions etc.
  • Challenge coachees to grow in awareness of how they are learning and performing, e.g. by seeking feedback from stakeholders and developing the practice of reflection.
  • Review the organization’s culture as a whole to ensure consistency with a coaching spirit.

Learning to coach by first learning one’s own communication style sets managers up for success-and by association, management and coaching will be more effective.