Many successful business leaders have also been great coaches, yet most are known only for their skills as entrepreneurs. This is because coaching is often an unrecognized effort, undertaken by managers even though it is not part of their KPIs. And what’s more, it can take a lot out of the coaches themselves, who have to balance their own professional and personal goals while helping others reach theirs.
Being constantly available for people, thinking and looking out for them, and feeling deeply connected with their successes and failures can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll. So, it is very important that coaches pay attention to their own well-being. Here are some tips that could help managers reduce the stress that their coaching activities place on them.
As important as coaching might be to you, make sure it doesn’t take over your other commitments. Coaches like Ajit Nawalkha suggest setting boundaries and sticking to a schedule for coaching sessions. Unless an emergency, avoid unscheduled calls and unplanned sessions with your protege, that will eat into your personal time. And always set aside time to recharge your batteries, so that you offer your best at your coaching sessions. Consider self-care practices like regular exercise, a sleep pattern, no-devices hour, etc.
Stick to your unique coaching style
Democratic, solution-focused, or intuitive — coaching styles can differ from person to person. People’s responses to these styles vary, but this shouldn’t affect your approach. Stick to the style that most suits your personality so that the coaching sessions energize and not drain you. You can have a go-to style, say solutions-focused, and depending on the needs of your protégé, weave in some elements of mindfulness coaching. But, find your niche and stay true to it, as it’ll become part of your coaching identity.
Leverage your coaching network
As a manager, you might often believe that it is your responsibility to come to your colleagues’ rescue when they face conflicts or concerns. But always being present to lift them up can leave you tired and stressed, or create a situation of high dependency on you. To avoid this, look for opportunities to delegate or call for back-up.
For example, when someone you coach comes to you for mid-career education advice, stop and consider whether this advice is best given by you. Could another senior colleague with experience in the same field offer more relevant inputs? Or would it help to talk to someone who faced similar questions? Broaden your network so that you can offer the people you coach access to experts, which will also help you take a breather.
And finally, coach to empower
By teaching basic self-coaching skills, you can help those you coach to manage the ups and downs in their professional and personal life. This leaves you with more time for yourself and for others who may need your help.