In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.
Being the leader of a real estate brokerage and a team comes with many responsibilities. This includes the very important role of coaching individuals on their journey to achieving success.
I was very lucky early on in my professional career to have people in my life who took the time to coach me and impart their invaluable experience and knowledge. The lessons I learned from them have been an integral part of how I got to where I am today.
As I transitioned into a leadership role, I drew from the wisdom of those I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from. So, here are three tips I’ve found to be most effective when coaching others and taking them under your wing as a leader.
1. Be receptive
My first mentor was my father. Even today, I continue to seek his guidance and reflect on what I’ve learned from him over the years. He taught me that to be a good coach, you must be receptive and approachable. People need to be confident that you’ll be open to helping them and won’t be dismissive.
There’s no better feeling than being validated with your leaders’ time, attention and support when you approach them with something you want to learn or an issue you need coaching through. In a team setting, I see people flounder and fail whenever they feel like they can’t go to their leader for help with their problems.
We’re all working in the fast-paced world of real estate, which is a round-the-clock job. Urgent issues arise at the very last minute and on deadline all the time.
So, make sure you’re setting aside a block of time for coaching, and stick to the schedule. If you simply must reschedule, do so and keep the new appointment. The first step to being a great coach is prioritizing your tasks and being receptive.
2. Tailor your approach
Coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. You have to find the right structure for your team, yourself and the topic at hand. When I’m coaching an agent, I tailor my approach based on the individual and how I may be able to help them.
This often involves scheduling a call or a one-on-one meeting. Then, we create a model as to how the individual can handle their specific situation and grow from the experience.
Throughout the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I’ve found group Zoom meetings with the team and our global brokerage members to be incredibly effective. We’ve all been struggling with uncertainty during this time, and the need for support and coaching has been instrumental in making it through together as a team.
During these meetings, everyone is invited to air their concerns, ask questions or share a situation that others might benefit from. People know that it’s a safe space to share things freely. They know they will get great advice and support from those who are well-versed on the matter at hand.
Be mindful that while some issues can be addressed on a broader platform, there are others that warrant a more private conversation. Broad strokes issues are easier to coach in a group setting, but for more intricate or personal matters, I’ve found great success with smaller team coaching sessions and one-on-one meetings. It all really depends on the subject, person and situation, so tailor your approach based on those factors.
3. Follow up
As a leader, your efforts are only effective if the team member you coached becomes successful at the subject they received your guidance on. That’s why it’s always important to follow up after a coaching session, especially if the meeting involved discussing an important topic or working through an issue.
There are two reasons following up is important. First of all, if the desired outcome was achieved, you need to give praise. It’s important to congratulate people and give them a pat on the back for their achievements.
That way, they’ll continue to feel empowered and push forward with confidence, which, in turn, will lead to their personal and professional growth.
The second reason is: If the person you coached didn’t really achieve what they wanted, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board together and figure out a new way forward. Perhaps the issue requires a different approach or strategy. The bottom line is that if a situation remains unsolved, it will only manifest into a greater problem down the line.
Being a leader and a coach is a great privilege. It’s a true joy to watch others grow and flourish in their careers. The satisfaction you draw from coaching others to success is sometimes as gratifying as achieving it yourself.
If you open yourself up to being receptive, tailor your approach and make sure to follow up, coaching can be a wonderful experience — one that we can all enjoy and benefit from.