Managers are smart. But that doesn’t mean they are aware of their own blind spots when coaching their team. Here are four self-reflective questions and common traps to avoid that can sabotage your coaching efforts.
- Are you focused on their agenda or yours?
While shocking for some managers, coaching isn’t about you! And no, it’s not effective to split up the ‘one on one’ meetings you have with your people, where half of the meeting is their agenda and half of it is yours. The coaching session needs to be their sacred time and it needs to be positioned that way. Your people need to know what to expect when you schedule a coaching session; that it’s all about them.
- Do you act as the Chief Problem Solver, providing the solutions for your people every time they come to you with a problem or for the answer?
What does every manager want? A team of independent, accountable salespeople. What do you create when you do the work for them? The very thing you want to avoid; greater dependency on you. Consequently, if your solution doesn’t work, then it’s your fault and they get to blame you! Now, you’re accountable for the solution, not them.
- Do you struggle to get your people to open up or find topics to discuss during a scheduled coaching session?
If so, then you’re either pushing your own agenda, not observing them or there may be a trust issue. So, do a gut check; do your people trust you? How do you know? If you feel your people are just telling you what they think you want to hear, it’s time to rebuild trust and reset expectations.
- Is every person on your team open to your coaching and sharing the value they receive from coaching?
Did you clarify your intentions when coaching your team? Did you take the time to set expectations by asking them what would make coaching valuable for them, as well as your role as their manager/coach? While your intentions may be pure and you are truly coming from the right place of wanting to support them, if they don’t know what you are doing, why you are doing it and what’s in it for them, like any human being, their default file is fear. The result? Resistance and pushback around being coached, especially from your top performers or seasoned veterans.