I just delivered a two-hour training to executives and senior managers to help build their competence in coaching their staff to achieve results.
It’s tempting for people who have risen to high levels to leverage the wealth of their experience and tell people what to do. While expedient, it robs others of the opportunity to problem solve, grow and learn.
Here are 7 tips to leverage your expertise while developing the expertise in others.
1. Withstand and encourage differing points of view.
While harmony is easier to deal with in the short term, it robs organizations of the tension needed to spur creativity. Encouraging every voice to be heard will open doors to possibilities that would die on the vine of silence.
2. Share the credit for brilliant work done by your staff.
Celebrate the genius of your staff. Provide them opportunities to ‘strut their stuff’. Let them know precisely how their great ideas and good work contribute to the company’s mission and bottom-line results.
3. Shoulder the blame of subordinates.
When things go awry, let them learn from their mistakes. Help staff analyze how they could prevent or avoid future incidents from occurring. Provide them cover however from retribution from on high. Take the heat and let them grow from lessons learned. They’ll love you for it
4. Learn on the job yourself.
Don’t assume you know everything there is to know. Attend conferences, take classes to keep your industry knowledge and business leadership skills sharp. Try new things. Practice new behaviors that are outside of your comfort zone. There’s always more to go.
5. Be aware of your own weaknesses & hire in your competency gaps.
No human can do everything brilliantly. Know your strengths and leverage them. Identify those areas in which you do not excel and hire people who are masterful in them. No point in having a team that is filled with people who all have the same skills and points of view. Think of most sports teams: championship teams are composed of players with different responsibilities, skills and goals.
6. Channel anger in positive ways.
Work can be quite frustrating. Anger and passion have a lot in common: they’re just expressed differently. Use your energy for creating change in a positive, collaborative way. Take that thing that makes you want to scream and develop a proposal for a new process for your company.
7. Support staff in thinking through how to solve problems themselves.
Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have to…or even should…have all the answers. Don’t end up with monkeys on your back that don’t belong to you. Next time someone shows up with a problem, take a few minutes to ask them how they would solve it. Have them identify where the breakdowns are occurring and what steps could be taken to rectify the situation. Then empower them to ‘make it so’. They’ll become better thinkers and you’ll end up with less stuff on your plate.
Following these 7 tips will help you surround yourself with more loyal, capable people and make your work life easier to boot.