Five Things You Can Do to Help Your Team Find Their Own Solutions

Do you really want to help your team find their solutions or would you really rather that they found what you think they should do?

I’m not just being a smarty-pants.  I have found many leaders say they want to help their people find the solution that is right for them, but too many leaders really spend a lot of time telling their team members what works for them.  Leaders often assume “What works for me, must work for everything?”

I have even heard some leaders say, “I can’t teach them anything other than what I do.”    I have had many clients tell me that they are so tired of a team member calling them for information that is on the website, or in the training materials, or was just taught at the last meeting.

So if you really want your team members to find their own solutions, keep reading these five simple coaching tips.

1. Believe they can find the right answer on their own.  Simple, and yet many of us jump in to fix or rescue our team members before we tell them we believe in their ability to solve a problem.

2.  Stop talking, start listening.  Ask, “What do you think you should do?” and then close your mouth. Listen.  Take notes if you have to so you repeat key thoughts your team member is saying.

3. Ask them to think of several solutions so they can find the best solution.  You might say, “Jen, I know you have the answer inside of you.  Play with me and think of several possible solutions so you can pick the best one.”  Then, go back to #2.

4. Send them to do research.  If they tell you they don’t know what to do, invite them to do their own research. You might say, “Where could you find possible solutions?” or “Who do you know who is good at ______________ (the situation)?”

4. Challenge them to action.  After listening and reflecting their answers, let them know you believe they are able to make it happen.  Congratulate them on finding an answer, and ask “When do you want to put that into action?”

When we stop creating a space where they think we have all the answers we will start to create more independent thinkers.  Don’t give up on yourself.  You will catch yourself just telling them what to do.  Hang in there, they will find solutions that they own.

Okay, so try this out, see what you think, and let me know what happened.

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Three Tips for Making it Easy to Give Feedback

Whether you are a leader of an organization, managing a team, or a coach, you will be giving feedback to others.  Remember that feedback can be “on course” or “off course.”  We receive these messages all day.  What is working and what is not working to get me to where I want to go is the purpose of feedback.

Here are three tips to make it easier for YOU to give feedback.

  1. Ask permission to give feedback. This helps many coaches to pause and think about their intentions and reminds both of you that the giving of feedback is a gift, not an instruction.  You might say, “May I give you some feedback that I feel might support you?”
  2.  Give your feedback in observation mode.  Feedback is your expression of an observation. External feedback, coming from you, is easier to give if you recognize that it is just your experience of that person.  Be mindful that your truth is “your truth,” not necessarily “the truth.”  Approach the feedback conversation with an attitude of observation, not criticism. 
  3. Concentrate on the behavior, not the person.  Before you give feedback, think about the behavior not the person.  “I have noticed you are not making the goals you have set.  Would you be open to some feedback about goal setting?” instead of “You aren’t cutting it and you need to change your ways.”

Try these simple steps before giving feedback.  Let me know how they work.

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Welcome to Ultimate Coach University’s Blog!

Ultimate Coach University has been in operation since June of 2011.  With the start of 2012, we are moving forward on several fronts.

Ultimate Coach University is social!  We’ve added a Facebook page and would be honored if you stopped by and “like” us.  To celebrate our new look, we’ve launched a Facebook contest!  The winner will receive full tuition ($1,250 value) to our January school.  Click here for more details and to enter.    

The Ultimate Coach University Blog is open!  In our experience, much of our coach education occurs through practice.  While we are usually focused on the client in their world, a training academy like this offers some new opportunities.  As we prepare to match students with content, we’ll discover things we’ve not seen before.  As we try to explain the world to each other, we’ll discover and create new insights into coaching dialogues.  We’ll also pass on tried and true practices that are used by other coaches.   In short, our goal is to write about coaching wherever it is found.

Several coaches, experienced and novice will contribute to the blog.  Lyn Christian, Dana Phillips and I will all be writing.  You’ll also hear from the other faculty as well as students and guests.  Coaching is both an art and a science, and the varied viewpoints you will read here will show that.  As a coach, I can only understand my world, and even then it sometimes is murky.  We can look forward to seeing other points of view.

Ultimate Coach University will be adding new majors. Currently, we are serving students who are interested in life coaching, direct sales coaching, and salon coaching.  We’re in the process of adding another stream (sorry, I can’t tell you more) that will open in May and will add at least one more by September.  We are growing!

Feel free to wander through our website (the member only area is for our students).  Drop us a note about what you find interesting.  We’d love to have your insights!

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UCU Programs

UCU ProgramsYou know there is a coach in you and you’re ready to advance.

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Major Areas of Study

When you are ready, we’ll be here to help you find your coaching success.

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Class Descriptions

When you are ready, we’ll be here to help you find your coaching success.

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Faculty & Coaches

“This training is applicable in any walk of life whether it is business, sales or management. It is so comprehensive it applies to anyone who communicates in an organization.”

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