Chapter 4. Questions That Coach

Have you ever found yourself thinking these thoughts?

"I know I should coach my employees to develop their skills, but I just don't have the patience. Whenever I have tried to coach someone to improve their skill set, I end up biting my tongue so I don't shout, 'How many times have I told you how to do that? What is it going to take for this to sink in?' I don't want to blow up at my employees and say something I might regret later on. It's just easier if I do it myself."

Many managers feel this way, and thus let their perceived lack of patience limit the success of their team.

Coaching and delegating go hand in hand. The process of coaching stresses the importance of developing skills in your employees. When done well, it produces a stellar team by increasing overall success. There will be times you will need to coach an employee before you can delegate a particular job to him or her. At other times, you will need to coach in order to raise an employee up to a higher level of performance. When you coach, you teach skills; you do not lecture. It's an important distinction to make. To coach effectively, you need to allow sufficient time to carefully instruct an employee on how to excel at a particular skill. One of the best analogies for business coaching is coaching in the athletic arena.

A good basketball coach is not going to sit his team down and give an hour-long lecture about how he played the game. He is going to focus on the fundamental skills ...

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