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  • Coaching in the workplace: fostering business success

    We approach education like a single phase in our professional development. We finish high school, go to university or start an apprenticeship, then get on with ‘doing our job.’ Despite this, those who have found success in their business will tell you, learning is a lifelong process. As our businesses change, they create new lessons we have to learn from and we must adapt to changes accordingly.
    We’re forced to ask ourselves as small business owners, how am I learning from my mistakes? Are my colleagues doing the same and am I creating a workplace that fosters learning and collaboration? Here we have a few tips for encouraging learning and reflexive critical approaches so you can develop your colleagues and your business growth.

    1. Finding the right people: When hiring, begin to gauge the candidates collaborative skills. Ask them questions about situations where they have worked in a group environment and how the collaboration affected the project outcomes. Some of these questions, might seem abstract to them, but the ones who can answer competently will fully understand these types of questions because they have actively thought about it in previous roles.
    1. WIP’S: WIPS or ‘week-in-progress’ meetings are a great way for you to stay across everyone’s working week and also allow other colleagues to hear about everyone else’s work so they can contribute their expertise and thoughts. If sales are having a problem closing, then maybe someone else in the group can provide advice or skill in that area. Let everyone’s skills and competencies be applied everywhere in your business, not just in their own work. It helps your business run more smoothly.
    1. Value their opinions: Collaboration and learning are so closely tied together, so don’t position yourself as an authority on ‘how things should be done’ unless you absolutely need to intervene. When a colleague comes to you with a question that they should be able to answer themselves, simply ask ‘I’m keen to hear what you would do in this situation’ or ‘What do you think should happen?’ It gets people thinking about their role and helps foster reflexive critique of your colleagues work.

    Hopefully these tips have been helpful in moving your business toward more collaborative practices. If you think your business needs some help, get in touch with one of Melbourne’s most talented business coaches, Bruce Frame at http://www.bruceframe.com.au/ or on 0419 352 540.