7 Steps to Becoming an Effective Coach: A Guide for Managers

To be a successful leader, there are certain steps you can take if you train others on the job. These 7 training steps are shown in the following model and will provide you with a good structure that you can use to become an effective coach and, as a result, a more effective manager. So let's look at the next model. The first thing to keep in mind, when looking at the 7 steps of the coaching model that I created earlier, is that the steps go in a spiral. The steps of coaching can be traced along a spiral because progress, as we shall see, is not necessarily linear.

The first step is to help the coach identify the result they want to see. They can be creative imagining what they would achieve in an ideal situation. This step has to do with aspiration and challenge. A challenging result is more inspiring. Another way to make the result inspiring for the coach is to frame it in a positive way.

You want to focus on the positive aspects. For example, which result is more inspiring: “We want to make a product that doesn't break after first use” or “We want to make an indestructible product”? The first result is self-limited and implies that the coachee does not trust their ability to manufacture a durable product. Last but not least, the coach must be the owner of the result. As a manager, it can be very tempting to impose a result on employees. For example, if you think that the result is not ambitious enough, you may be tempted to override it and impose your own aspiration.

However, this attitude will be counterproductive because employees will feel obligated to accept the chosen outcome and will work to achieve it half-heartedly. As a result, your motivation and performance will be lower. This is where you help the coach assess the current situation. This is the step where the coach needs to generate as many options or choices as possible to find solutions. Every course of action will present obstacles, but the key is to find ways to overcome those obstacles later on, rather than letting them get in the way. For example, ask, “What if the money were unlimited?” , “what if we had time?” , etc.

You can also ask them what a person they admire or a superhero would do. For example, “what would Super X do in this situation? Once the coach has presented a wide range of options, he can map them by placing them side by side. Avoid creating a list, since a list involves a hierarchy, since you want all the options to be the same at first. Next, the coach must list the pros and cons of each option before finally choosing the most viable options. First of all, wait until the coaches have exhausted their list of options.

Coaches should create an action plan. However, it is useful to first set a number of objectives. The coach can start with a general goal and then, if it's too much, break it down into smaller goals. At this point, coaches are encouraged to develop an action plan by dividing their objectives into smaller steps in which they can act. This is when the coach starts to act.

As employees take action, they'll see how things go. Everything can go as planned or even better, or there may be unexpected failures or obstacles along the way. During the review phase, the coach will monitor the situation, reflect on it and review it as needed. As their coach, you'll facilitate this process. Have you noticed the arrows in the diagram from point 7 “Review” back into other six steps? The review step can affect all other steps. Based on their observations, they may decide to return to one or more of the previous stages and change their approach.

For example, they may decide that their current situation has changed and they need to re-evaluate it or that they didn't consider some elements. They may decide to reevaluate an option that they had previously ruled out; they may modify their ideal outcome; and so on. This model is flexible and it is possible to go back and forth between steps. So let's say that we have identified our desired outcome: becoming Europe's largest seller of organic coffee. After analyzing where we are at present (the situation), we assess that our organic coffee is only selling well in Italy and Spain for now. One of our chosen options for improving our position throughout Europe is addressing Germany's market by having a 50-page website about our range of organic coffees before this fiscal year ends.

The objective should be SMART: specific (the website must be in German about a range of specific products), measurable (50 pages), achievable (we consider creating such site within our possibilities), relevant (conquering Germany's market is important for us) and limited in time (we want it ready before this fiscal year ends). Let's just say that this goal is limited enough that we don't need to break it down further into smaller goals; if we had bigger goals we might have had to break them down. Now we must plan out what steps we must take in order to achieve this goal: finding and hiring a web designer (if we don't already have one in-house), figuring out exactly what content we want for our site... Now we're ready to act! As we take action we'll see how things go; everything can go as planned or even better or there may be unexpected failures or obstacles along our way. During review phase we'll monitor our situation; reflect on it; review it as needed; as our coach you'll facilitate this process - have you noticed those arrows from point 7 “Review” back into other six steps? The review step can affect all other steps. Based on our observations we may decide returning back into one or more previous stages and changing our approach; for example deciding that current situation has...