You May Be Over-Coaching Your Team. Here’s How to Tell
Here’s how to tell if you are at risk of self-sabotage.
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As a business coach for more than 25 years, I can attest to the power of a good company wide coaching program. If done correctly, you can help your team stay on task and focus on the bigger picture. You can increase revenues and profits, all while working less on the things that matter the most. And you can help ensure that everyone on your team has a good work-life balance. But even with all of that, it is possible to over coach your team. Here’s how to tell if you are at risk of self-sabotage when it comes to your coaching plans.
You may be asking, how much is too much when it comes to coaching? At the core, you are trying to contribute value to your team members and help them grow and develop as employees and leaders. But if done incorrectly, you could be over-helping. Overexplaining, going into too much detail or offering up so much help during the process that your team members aren’t able to critically think for themselves or develop the problem solving skills needed to grow could actually be worse than if you did no coaching at all. This is particularly frustrating for your highly competent team members that already have a really good handle on their current realm of responsibility.
Beware of Your Behaviors
It’s one thing if you are coaching your new assistant on how to use a system or process within your business. You can explain every detail and task needed to be successful and the chances of you over-coaching are nearly impossible. But if you try to coach your marketing director on how to run a successful pay per click campaign, you are going to run into trouble. They are an expert in that field, and you hired them for their expertise, so it is critical that you respect that expertise and tread lightly. Instead, you can help them ensure that their reporting format, structure and frequency is optimal for your business needs. You can help guide them to be a better leader for their team. You could help them focus on the fewer items that make the most impact on the business, and you can help keep them on track with the company mission and goals. All while, respecting what they do and what they bring to the table. 01:53
Holding Yourself Accountable
As a leader, understanding your behavior is critical to leading your team to success. And if you find yourself falling into the over-coaching trap it is important to recognize it early on and take steps to prevent further harm to your team. Listen to your employees and take their feedback seriously. Sit down with them to develop a coaching plan and help them reach their personal and professional goals. And if you find yourself ever falling into past behaviors take a step back, reassess the situation. There is a huge payoff for doing this correctly, and a lot of negative implications that can occur if over-coaching continues. With a little bit of time, effort and practice you can be the coach that your team needs and deserves.
Not all employees are alike
To accurately coach an employee you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, especially in how that employee interacts with the customer. We can give you that insight so that your coaching is focused and impactful. Give us a call, we’re here to help.
BY DAVID FINKEL AND CARL PHILLIPS