Career coaching advice

Listen to any successful athlete and they will cite mentors and coaches as a key resource to utilise in order to scale new heights of achievement. As a senior professional you may be operating in a very different world to track or field events, but the principles are the same: you can be the inspiration for some truly great performances

Providing support as a career coach not only keeps employees motivated but also helps to improve productivity. As departments are being increasingly tasked to do more with less, the increase in productivity for employees under an effective career coach should be a primary consideration for every company.

According to a survey of office workers by Robert Half, the majority of professionals welcome the opportunity to be coached by their managers. However, there is a big gap between their expectation and reality. While 78% of office workers agreed that career coaching helps their job performance, nearly half (49%) said they received no career coaching from their direct manager.

On a more positive note, more than half (56%) of office workers believe that their manager is an effective career coach.  When asked what makes an effective career coach, 35% of employees say knowledge and expertise are the top attributes, while 33% say mutual trust and respect are most important.

Your coaching style – and how your employees react to it – can play an important part in your working relationship and the overall effectiveness of your team.  Your team will work out what kind of leader you are and adjust their behaviour accordingly. 

We recommend the following five tips for improving your coaching prowess:

  1. Understand that coaching is part of your responsibilities as a senior professional and make time within your busy working day to communicate with your team.
  2. List the attributes of a leader that you believe you display, and map these onto the personalities of your team: who will respond best to which of your qualities?
  3. Accept that you may need to amend some of your behaviors to meet individual needs
  4. Recognise that coaching is about ‘showing’ not just ‘telling’: it’s all about being an effective role model
  5. Look for inspiration from the resources available to you: your boss or your HR professional will be happy to help

Whichever type of coach you are, the good news is that like any team, a business is made up of many different skill sets and characters.  There is a place for your coaching style within your team and by recognising which type you are, you can maximise your impact on the success of your business – and help create the stars of tomorrow.

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