As coaches and managers, we spend a lot of time and energy making sure our employees are okay. We worry about how to give feedback in a way that will build them up and give them confidence to grow. We worry about how to talk and listen effectively. We stay up at night strategizing how to set goals that will challenge but not overwhelm them, and we spend our days being patient as employees navigate their way toward those goals.
What we don’t spend nearly enough time on is checking to make sure WE’RE okay. As anyone who’s ever travelled on a plane knows, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. It’s pretty hard to help your seatmate if you’ve just passed out from lack of oxygen, and the same goes for helping your team. If you exhaust your energy trying to solve every little problem for your coachees, you might find you have no energy left to be a good coach or manager. So how can you make sure your oxygen mask is secure?
We’ve heard a lot of stories from the trenches of coaching over the years, and they tend to boil down to the same sorts of issues. We’ve collected a few of pieces of advice for dealing with them. Here are five: