How to Be a Superstar Leader: Coaching for Excellence

March 31, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Coaching is a term we often think of when we think of athletics. It’s also a concept we deem necessary in that setting. No matter how good an athletic team is, we always think it’s absolutely essential for the team to have a coach. But, when it comes to the business sector, we operate differently. Why is that?

Well, most managers don’t think they have the time, or they don’t quite grasp the concept of coaching, or they’ve never been effectively coached themselves, so they don’t really know where to start. But, excellent coaching actually saves time. And by coaching your employees now, you are providing them with an example that they can carry far into their future. Do yourself and team a favor – and coach your employees.

Passionate and diligent coaching increases your team’s productivity, generates higher sales, and improves the quality of your service. Coaching can be informal or formal, but it should always be a positive process of mutual dialogue. Coaching can be used to do various thing, such as build rapport, ask questions, give advice, provide support and assistance, follow through on previous conversations, and to simply set aside time for an employee.

Informal coaching involves any employee contact, usually takes minutes and can be done every day with nearly every employee. A few examples include:

  • Talk to employees about non-business things. Care about them.
  • Verbally praise an employee in front of a few others.
  • Meet with an employee in his or her office, not your own office just to see how things are going.
  • Ask employees for input on a problem.
  • Apologize for a personal mistake or error.
  • Provide a listening ear when you know they are in a tough spot.

One-on-one formal coaching sessions take more time and are done less often. They are also very valuable for many reasons, some of which include:

  • Promotes effective communication and trust.
  • Creates an employee-manager relationship.
  • Creates an atmosphere of continuous improvement.
  • Helps businesses and employees reach and exceed their goals.
  • Aids daily performance management.

We have identified eight formal coaching steps that the best bosses and the worst bosses do differently. In order to get a gauge as to where you might stand on the coaching spectrum, evaluate how you think you do in each of these areas:

  1. Communicates clear performance goals and expectations.
  2. Meets regularly in one-on-ones for coaching.
  3. Asks for a summary of results and activities.
  4. Sets plans and commitments.
  5. Keeps commitments and action plans.
  6. Praises progress and recognizes positive results.
  7. Provides timely and regular feedback and guidance.
  8. Makes the time to coach in formal one-on-ones and builds positive relationships with high expectations.

Learn to do these steps well. So, next time you’re hesitating about whether or not coaching is for your working environment, ask yourself how much more confident you’d feel cheering for a team in the NBA that had no coach or one that just secured a coach with an all-star reputation?

By the way, do you want to assess or learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your coaching and leadership skills so you can improve today?

If so, I suggest you check our free assessment:

Or, do you want to learn now how to be a superstar coach/leader to achieve dynamic and sustainable high performance increases with your team?

If so, I suggest you check this out:

Rick Conlow is CEO with WCW Partners, a management consulting and training firm. Rick has helped organizations increase sales 218%, improve repeat and referral business by 20%, increase customer retention to 99%, reduce complaints by 60% and achieve 34 quality awards. You can reach Rick at: or 888-313-0514.

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