Your customers have specific needs when they do business with you. Meet those needs and you will have happy customers; fail to meet those needs and the reverse will be true.
It is the same with those who work in the organization. When their needs are met you will have happy team members, who in turn, will well serve the needs of your clients.
We often hear stories about how good coaching of athletes can turn their achievements into competitive success. It works because sport coaching is usually focused on developing the player. Coaching can have the same positive impact in business.
Coaching is ensuring your biggest assets – team members – are functioning at a high level and the effect of any concerns is negated. When it happens regularly and focuses on the development of the individual, it is your competitive advantage.
There are several types of coaching, which can have a positive impact on results:
- Day-to-day coaching – On a daily basis you ensure that team members are well supported and guided as needed. This includes providing clear expectations upfront, as well as feedback on both successes and areas for enhancement.
- Situational coaching – An individual is supported and guided through a specific situation to help them to come to a good solution. It might include coaching on a new procedure; dealing with a difficult client; correcting a mistake; or managing a personal conflict in the organization.
- Formal coaching – You focus on developing the individual to be more effective, it is about action and results. It will include obtaining commitment to focus on specific goals, both organizational and behavioural. As a leader/coach your role will be to provide guidance and support when needed as well as to ensure that individuals take responsibility for their own success and are accountable for meeting their commitments. Formal coaching will regularly (preferably monthly) celebrate successes, discuss concerns, agree upon new goals, and provide feedback. It makes sure the individual feels valued.
A note of caution:
Formal coaching should focus on the person and how they are executing their responsibilities. While it is an opportunity to discuss their projects, too often coaching meetings get hijacked and become solely about the progress of a project rather than focusing on the development of the individual.
When formal coaching is done well there will be an increase in achievements and improved organizational results. The Manchester Review Study shows that coaching can have a 6:1 return on investment.
When team members are happy and feeling valued they will treat clients accordingly and happy clients will remain loyal. Coaching truly is your competitive advantage.