How to Use Coaching to Unlock Your Team’s Potential: Tips for IT Professionals

April 15, 2017

 

An effective leader encompasses a wide-variety of positive professional and personal traits to share with their team, helping them to thrive, and grow professionally. This supportive environment creates a comfortable workplace that employees can truly enjoy, while reaching their full potential in their given jobs.

 

As a leader, knowing how to strategically implement these skills to successfully coach your team makes all the difference. There are two basic approaches to coaching IT employees:

 

  • Big Picture/Strategic Coaching: This type of coaching focuses on long-term professional development, improving collaboration and communication skills, and how to effectively and creatively solve any problem that may arise.

  • Tactical Coaching: Tactical coaching, on the other hand, is based around short-term coaching sessions, occurring throughout the day. For example, if you notice a frustrated employee, let them complete the task at hand, then discuss how to best resolve this problem in the future.

Cultivate a Coaching Plan

 

Utilize these tips to successfully integrate coaching into your professional IT environment:

 

  • Stay positive. Recognize coaching for the key area of professional development that it is, and help employees see its ability to expand their professional knowledge and transferrable skillsets.

  • Develop a map. Work with individuals in your department to develop a personalized coaching plan by recording their goals, creating a timeline, and outlining their desired outcome.

  • Demonstrate your commitment. Arrange timely meetings to discuss how an employee is feeling in their journey with coaching, and how they feel they are benefitting.

Get a Helping Hand

 

Sometimes, a team leader needs some assistance in ensuring that their voice is being heard by employees, especially when trying to establish a stronger team by implementing coaching methods. If you feel like your coaching isn’t being taken to heart, ask a respected colleague in your team to help mentor others. Team members may be more likely to open up to this colleague without the fear of judgement, or a fear that they’re concerns are not being understood.

 

If a team member is apprehensive or uncooperative when you’re attempting to help them, there may be a deeper-rooted issue at hand. Instead of consistent coaching, attempt to schedule a private meeting to let team members voice their opinions or any concerns they may have.

 

Take Time to Self-Reflect

 

A true leader understands that the coaching process is constructive for everyone involved, themselves included. Regularly examine your coaching approaches by asking yourself the following questions:

 

  • “Are my coaching methods constructive for all IT team members?”

  • “Am I allowing employees space to develop themselves professionally after coaching sessions, or am I over-coaching?”

  • “Am I including myself in the coaching process and practice, therefore demonstrating my commitment and understanding that I also benefit from professional development?”

 

As a team leader, take the time to consider how your IT department can develop and thrive through the implementation of positive and successful coaching methods.


 

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