You can be a great leader without being a great coach, but only if all your people are perfect to begin with!

If that’s not the case, you’ll need to coach them to achieve their full potential. Coaching has been the subject of many lengthy books and essays, but it’s not all that complicated when you boil it down.

Ask and answer
The essence of coaching lies in asking – and finding answers to – three straightforward questions. Here they are:

1. What does this employee want? Some want to earn more. Some want promotion. Some want personal growth. Almost all want recognition. To motivate them, you need to know.

2. What’s stopping the person from achieving his/her objectives? Most people, even the ablest, have an Achilles heel. Using your own observations as a starting point, try to tease this out through questioning.

3. What can I do to help this employee succeed? You may need to challenge the person, be their cheerleader or even their parole officer! Your role depends on what they’re like and what they want.

Source: “The Leadership Pocket Guide,” by John Baldoni.

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