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When it comes to developing employees and improving performance, coaching and delivering feedback are critical actions for achieving desired results. In fact today, most organizations expect their leadership to focus on coaching and improving performance. Although I am a big proponent of this, I often see new, and even seasoned leaders make a big mistake when it comes to coaching their people: assuming that their position alone is enough to earn them the right to coach.
Early on in my career, I remember a boss giving me feedback and thinking, “I really wish this feedback was coming from someone else, because coming from you, I just don’t care.” I am sure I’m not alone in having such a reaction to feedback from someone whose opinion held no value. So why is it that “more performance feedback” is highly requested from employees in almost every organization yet some coaching is not only unwanted, it is ineffective? It has to do with the relationship leaders have with the people they are coaching.
Poor relationships have a drastic effect on a leader’s ability to coach and can make it so that even positive feedback will have no reinforcing value to the performer. It therefore renders that leader ineffective as a coach.
To earn the right to coach, leaders should spend time purposefully developing relationships with direct reports. Here are five ways leaders can develop good relationships and earn the right to coach others:
You earn the right to coach by establishing good relationships with your employees, not by virtue of your position of power. Apply these principles and you will see an improvement in how others respond to you and ultimately in the impact you have as a leader.
© Aubrey Daniels International, Inc. All rights reserved. 2021