When people mention coaching, a majority of us think of famous coaches like Pat Riley, Herb Brooks, Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi. These coaches were able to orchestrate unprecedented wins in their particular sport and were able to set themselves and their teams apart from all others. Yet, coaching goes beyond the hockey arena or football field. It’s a skill that can lead our teams to greatness, develop the careers of our employees, and increase engagement in the workplace.

And today, be it for performance, teaching a new skill, or polishing up an employee that’s a little rough around the edges, it is also assumed and expected that managers will know how to effectively coach and have the right conversations to foster accountability and set employees up for success.

So how can we coach our employees to victory? How can we pass on our expertise, correct employees who have made poor decisions, and push our people to the next level? Below are some helpful hints that can get us on the right path.

• Get to know our teams. One of the biggest struggles a lot of us as managers have is simply having a conversation with employees. We need to talk to our employees about their day, check in on their lives, and find out what they enjoy and are good at. Another option is to utilize personality tests, team dynamics workshops, or build our own questionnaires, to learn more about our employees. This will allow us to better relate and understand them and their perspectives.

• Ask Questions. This seems to go along with the first point however this extends beyond what makes our employee’s tick. We oftentimes get frustrated when a person on our team makes mistakes and does not do their job correctly. This could easily be an employee’s misunderstanding on how a process or procedure works. Instead of going immediately into disciplining our staff, let’s try asking questions about the issue. It is oftentimes a surprising and enlightening quick fix that just needed training or context to get back on the right track.

• Meet more than once. Coaching takes time and commitment from both parties. Make sure to create recurring meeting times to talk and listen. It helps to look for progress with the goals created during the coaching session, not immediate perfection.

• Work within strengths. Once we understand our team dynamics and know what the strongest skills exist among our teams, why not focus that ability? We need to give employees opportunities to use their strengths on specific tasks or responsibilities will help them feel motivated and engaged, which will both develop them and get positive results. The new confidence can help employee retention and overall company morale.

Coaching our employees to a win can be tough. However, by being intentional with our employees, utilizing the best tools and tactics to bring out the best in our people, and focusing on their goals and our leadership pipelines and talent management strategies, we can take our companies to the next level.