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Coaching Your Employees Can Be Fun


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What is coaching? Coaching is a more enjoyable way to interact with your employees. Like a coach of a sport's team, you want to encourage your team, ensure they know how to play, know the rules of the role, clarify any misconceptions, and be there to listen and support them as they grow in their job knowledge.

You are the manager and that includes coaching your staff. Your primary focus is to set standards and guide your employees to higher performance levels. It's about reframing how you see your role as a manager from demanding to coaching performance levels.

Coaching an employee includes knowing their skills, depth of job knowledge and the basic gifts or talent they bring to the table.

How do you do all of the above while under pressure to meet the demands of the business? In a downsizing, streamlining business world, managers also have other functional responsibilities beside managing employees. With all this responsibility, you just want your employees to perform and do what they are supposed to do. Maybe you feel that you are hand holding them and you can't afford to do that. Coaching is not hand holding. Rather it is setting clear standards and making sure each team member is doing their best work. You have to spend time with your team in order to maximize the potential of your players.

Even more significant, how do you do this when you never learned how to manage? Not knowing how to manage, coaching can be a bit intimidating in the beginning. Like a beginner, start slowly and make small changes to how you interact with your team. Don't expect to be a great manager overnight. Rather focus on one step at a time. Here are some ideas that can help you move forward:

How often do you recognize or praise them for doing good work. If you see someone doing something that warrants recognition, do you stop and let him or her how you appreciate his or her work?

Since people are different, take the time to find out how you can best help them perform better. . . by asking them.

Take one employee each week and watch their performance. . . . how do they do their job, where do they need some help, how do they interact with other members. It can be overwhelming to watch everyone at the same time. One person at a time can be interesting. . . like putting together the puzzle pieces.

Watch how your manager handles you. . . are you getting what you need to develop your management skills. If not, read or take classes to become better at this role.

As each team member is different, so are managers different in their styles of management. Coaching is fundamental in the development of your management skills.

Copyright (c) 2008 Pat Brill

Pat Brill is the author of the blog “Managing Employees" - You can reach her at


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