Who are you learning from?

Who are you learning from at work? I was asked this question a few days ago and honestly it was refreshing. So to turn this question around: Who are you learning from at work? Is it your boss? Your co-workers? Your employees?

I believe the most important people to learn from is your employees. But as a manager or leader are you doing that?

Recently, there has been a shift in leadership verbiage: from manager to coach. So what is the difference? Managing is seen as more of an overstanding power; someone who gives annual reviews, delegates, and deals with conflict. I often think of this person as the boss that you aren’t the biggest fan of. This boss may do the same old same old, unable to get out of this slump due to the amount of work it takes to change their ways.

So what makes coaching so much more appealing? Coaching is the ability to enhance productivity and create teams that are much more engaged, to have conversations but to also listen.

So why would you not engage in coaching?

Because it's hard to get out of the slump of every day managing! People do not like big changes, they may feel like this idea of coaching takes more time, or simply they feel like managing is good enough.

So how do you get out of the slump?

A good way is to schedule one-on-one meetings with your employees in relation to their work. In this meeting, you can listen to their successes and failures that they have experienced in the past few days or weeks, keeping everything they do relevant. By doing this, there can be critical review of what has been done and what can happen in the future. This will also allow you to coach them in ways to be more productive, allowing them to find more value in their work. An additional piece to add to the productivity or the work would be to have them write down their goals down These goals can be small or large. I like the combination of work, home, and life goal.

Some examples or goal questions may be: What is your goal to do in the next 5 years? What is your goal for your home to look like? What's your big goal or bucket list item that you want to complete?

This will open up different doors for connection, and the ability to know what they are striving for, how you can help them along that path, and where they fit in the company.

So now, where to start? Start asking your team for their goals, and listen! Even if it is just one conversation! Start making those connections. Take it a step further if you can, and create conversation based around these goals. Listen, talk, and learn about how your company fits with these goals and how you can support them in the process. Take it even a step further and make it a recurring conversation, focused on their continual growth and how you can be apart of this. I’m sure that this will change the dynamic of the relationships on your team as well as your team as a whole.



Teams also need to get away and have time to think together and reflect together. Be able to spend just an hour to be curious about each other. -Denise Van Eck, Owner of Thought Design

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