Coaching and managing are related roles, but separate ones. Managers make sure that a worker’s performance meets explicit goals; coaches strive to help people meet their potential and exceed expectations.
When you start to think about growing your daycare and adding other teachers you need to think about how to coach your new members so they are the best they can be and you are happy.
To hone your coaching skills more keenly, follow this advice:
- Be a full-time coach. Don’t limit your coaching opportunities to regularly scheduled meetings, no matter how frequent. Look for ways to be a coach in staff meetings, workplace conversations, even voice and email messages.
- Exercise your empathy skills. Watch dramatic TV shows and movies to practice your skills at reading body language and picking up hidden emotions from nonverbal cues.
- Clarify goals. Train yourself to clearly define the behaviors you seek in other people, and what behaviors need to change. The better you can flesh these out, the better your ability to suggest improvements and offer useful feedback.
- Respond quickly. Closely monitor the people you are coaching so you’ll be able to provide timely and helpful feedback.
- Listen. The more someone talks about a new idea, the easier it is for him or her to become excited and committed to it. Let the person you’re coaching do most or all of the talking during your conversations.
- Practice what you preach. You can’t expect others to behave in a certain way if you don’t demonstrate the desired behavior yourself.
- Provide practice opportunities. When teaching a new skill, give your people plenty of opportunities to practice. This builds not only their proficiency but also their self-confidence.
- Talk positively to yourself. Some positive self-talk—affirming your own skills and talents—will keep your morale up and will, in turn, help you to lift the attitudes of others.
- Believe in people. When you anticipate great things from others, and let them know your expectations, your confidence will help them work hard to live up to your vision.