He was speaking of a mentor he had and said, "I went to him for coaching because he was authentic, I knew how he worked, and I knew he cared about me."
Did you catch it?
- Authenticity -- being congruent with who you are, and not trying to be someone you are not.
- Work ethic -- driving toward results.
- Care -- Genuine interest in supporting another person and helping them improve.
If you've followed my blog or been in my sessions you know that managers of people only have two main roles:
- Get results.
- Develop people.
It's as simple and as difficult as that. How do you do that second one effectively? How do you develop people?
The key is coaching. You set people up with clear expectations to perform a task or role and then follow-up after the task or role (or oftentimes during) to have conversations that will help them improve their performance. You help them identify roadblocks and solutions, and tap their strengths and natural aptitudes to be successful.
Here's the thing. You can't do any of this without a foundation of the three things. So how do you build the foundation?
- Authenticity comes from being self-aware about who you are and who you aren't and choosing to be congruent with what you know.
- Work ethic comes from showing up to work and driving toward results. Not just coming to work, and not just being on time to work, but really showing up and bringing your full energy, dedication, and drive.
- Caring about others comes from first getting in the right mindset: you exist to serve your team. Dave Ramsey says that when he first heard of servant leadership he was taken aback. "You want me to serve them?" But when he figured out that you serve your team by being direct and honest, providing tough feedback, clearing the path for success, and driving them toward results his mindset shifted. Your whole goal is to do what's best for them to help them produce results for the organization. Show them you care by asking about them, coaching them, observing them and providing feedback, and investing in their development.
Lay the foundation with all three and coaching will emerge naturally. Anything else won't move your team forward.