The employees we love usually have key qualities. Being productive, looking out for company values, having an eye for safety, and eager to learn are just a few. High-performers are often hungry to get better and learn more. It’s one of the reasons we love them and it’s one of the reasons leaders have to up their game too.
If a high-performer isn’t progressing, you lose them. There are usually a few ways it can happen. They decide to go somewhere else where they can grow their game, or they become comfortable and no longer challenge themselves. Neither of these is going to help you or your objectives. You need to become the coach your star players are looking for.
If you are in leadership, coaching is your job.
If you supervise, manage, or employ people, coaching is your job.
If you depend on others to meet your goals, coaching is your job.
It’s your job to keep your star players in an environment where they can be challenged, rewarded, encouraged, supported, and celebrated.
What happens when we become a coaching-focused leader:
Star players keep learning, in addition to producing.
Coaching-focused leaders know that productivity is important in the now, and learning is important for the long road. The idea is to produce future leaders who have the knowledge, not just manpower.
Star players start coaching others.
The thing about star players is that they learn quick. They will emulate what is meaningful or effective for them and pass it on to the rest of the team. When you model coaching-focused leadership, others will too.
All players feel heard.
The thing about coaching is that it is about 90% listening. Listening doesn’t mean you change a decision AND it doesn’t mean pretending to hear them. Listening means you can take in what they are saying, try to understand the real motivation underneath their concerns, empathize, and still give them whatever the truth is. While they may not get the outcome they want, they will at least feel like their voice was taken into account. It may take longer than a leader likes in the moment, and it makes the world of difference in team or employee/employer dynamics.
Players have a path to their own personal goals.
Coaches don’t just talk about the game with their players. They talk about their hopes, dreams, family, and priorities. They connect them to the tools and people who can help them go where they want to go. They know that if a player is engaged and excited about where they are headed, and they trust their leadership, they perform better.
Players feel like a team, instead of individual quotas.
When there’s a head figure that listens to everyone and offers great support and guidance, a team runs smoother. Everyone has a chance to be heard, supported, and therefore, more productive.
Many leaders think that a coaching-focused leadership takes more time or is just a whole new load of work to add on to their never-ending to-do list.
Coaching-focused leadership is about making everything run smoother, with less conflict and more learning and growth. It’s a look at the long-term in addition to the short-term so that you are building a solid team future rather than a constant state of looking for new candidates and training.
Does your leadership need more coaching focus?
You aren’t alone! If you weren’t taught how to be a coach as a leader, I have a three-month group program that will have you up to speed on being a coaching-focused leader! Learn more here.