Coaching and developing people is core to any leader’s role, especially for a Chief Operating Officer. Believe it or not, a great portion of CEO, CFO, and COO training seminars are about how individuals in those roles go about training the employees that report to them.
Support Your Employees
The phrase, “The ability to get people promoted is the best sign of a great leader,” could not be more accurate, especially for Chief Operating Officers.
You spend time coaching someone in a business setting because that employee uses that knowledge to increase results in any of their tasks which helps everyone to reach their goals. CEOs do it to Chief Operating Officers. Those COOs and their VPs then do it to middle-level operation managers. It keeps passing down the ladder all the way to the customer-facing employees. This is how it should ideally work.
By taking the time to coach the people they’re in charge of, it creates a cycle of support and growth that your employees need and you want them to have. Knowledge and support create positive results.
Communication is Vital for Chief Operating Officers
Coaching requires communication—a vital skill for Chief Operating Officers to have along with every leader. Done well, coaching is an art and helps build those communication skills as well. Someone will take information from a coach and turn it into real-world action. That is the kind of productivity and achievement that takes someone from just being second in command by title to someone who really takes charge and has power.
“Your employees are often at the frontlines when something goes wrong. Therefore, it’s important to encourage trust and open communication.” – COO Alliance
Developing the ability to ingest information and turn it into results is a precious skill that is fostered through good communication. It’s a skill that should be developed in every single one of your employees. At the end of the day, coaching will assist everyone in hitting the results leaders are supposed to hit all because everyone is communicating clearly the vision for the company.
Be a Teacher
The best athletes in the world have coaches and continuously learn from them. CEOs, CFOs, and Chief Operating Officers drawing six-figure salaries all have mentors that they are always learning from. Employees in a growing organization need the same skill development, the same opportunity to have a mentor.
“The top desired skill for front-line managers is coaching, according to a recent survey in Chief Learning Officer Magazine.” – Forbes
Learning how to adapt coaching styles to different styles, different situations, and different people while also giving constructive guidance and feedback is vital. It helps mentees process information and turn that into action. Which is exactly what you want!
There is no question that preparation is one of the most important areas of coaching. If not done properly, the coach is merely flying by the seat of their pants. The learner will be able to see this clearly. Just like a teacher before a class, walk into each discussion with a plan.
Chief Operating Officers are coaches as much as they are leaders. Those two things go hand in hand. To be a good leader, one must know how to coach others. So do it! You and your business will both benefit immensely.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.