Improve Your Leadership Style through Effective Coaching Techniques


Learning how to coach your staff, subordinates and even your business partners is an important skill for improving your leadership style. I think of coaching as an art, it’s more than a conversation between the employee and the boss. Coaching is done to develop a better professional relationship with your employees, while helping them perform better and find fulfilment in their role within the company.

Contrary to what other managers and leaders think, coaching isn’t as simple as telling people what they’re good or bad at. Coaching is managing – using a positive language.

So why is coaching important? Isn’t the pay check, benefits and perks of the job enough to satisfy your team? No. It’s never enough. As a leader, you must understand that your subordinates are human and thus they have “human” needs. These human needs include:

  • A purpose in what they do
  • Appreciation
  • A sense of belonging
  • Motivation
  • Goal
  • Encouragement

If you want to improve your leadership style, you should find a way to fulfil these non-monetary needs of your team. And for me, one of the best and most effective ways to fulfil these needs is coaching. When you coach your staff effectively, you don’t just help improve his performance- you also connect to him on a personal level.

4 Tried and Tested Coaching Techniques

Do your homework

Before you start coaching anyone in your team, I suggest you get to know them better. Observe their personality, check their strengths and weaknesses, find out about their career objectives, their ideas and anything that can help you connect to them when you start with your coaching session.

Make them feel important

No matter how small you may feel their role is. Helping your staff understand the importance of their role in the business’ operation will motivate them. Knowing that what they do is important will encourage them to perform even the most mundane of tasks, better. If you really want to be recognised for your leadership, you should find a way to make your employees see beyond the difficulty of their tasks and look at the bigger picture.

The Feedback Sandwich

Coaching isn’t just about praising your employee. That would be impossible and unrealistic, of course your staff still has areas to improve upon! To balance the positive and negative feedback you’re going to give, I suggest you try the Feedback Sandwich method. Start out with a positive feedback, then discuss the negative points or areas of improvement, then end with a positive feedback. The important thing is you don’t dwell too much on the negative aspects.

Problem resolution

If there’s a problem, focus on the problem– and not on your employee! If you really have to discuss a serious performance issue, make sure to be objective. It’s better to point out things like this as soon as you see it. Describe the problem in detail and ask for your employee’s side. Remember, coaching is a two-way street. You have to hear your employee’s side of the story. After hearing his explanation, ask him for ideas to rectify the situation or how he plans to prevent it from happening in the future. Never blame your staff, this is the worst thing you can do!

Coaching is the most powerful and cost-efficient way to improve your staff’s performance. Learning to coach your employees effectively will help your subordinates and your peers recognize your leadership.



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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.