As a manager, how many times a day do you get people coming to you with questions? Often the same questions that they’ve asked before.

In a busy work day when you’re running between meetings, it seems easier to just give people the answer rather than coach them to a solution, but you’re only delaying the inevitable. They’ll come back in the future and ask that same question again.

Making time to coach someone in the moment, maybe only 15 minutes, will save you precious time in the long run and it has these 4 additional benefits:

1. Effective people development. Helping others to be more successful one of the key roles of a manager. What could be more effective that enabling someone to develop themselves, in skills or knowledge that directly relate to their job role in the very moment that they need it. That’s precisely the kind of effective learning set up we’re looking to create. It’s the most efficient way of fine tuning someone’s understanding.

2. Increase in employee engagement. According to a study by Bersin & Associates, organisations that effectively prepare managers to coach realise 39% stronger employee results through engagement, productivity and customer service.

How is that possible? Well, it stands to reason that if someone comes up with the answers themselves instead of being spoon fed, they own the solution. Ownership = engagement. This means that your employees accept more ownership and accountability for their work and require less direct supervision in the long run.

3. Self-sufficient staff. The creation of a team coaching culture doesn’t need to be solely on your shoulders. Teach your staff coaching skills through role modelling and encourage them to coach each other.

This both increases their awareness of each other’s roles and highlights how their job functions interconnect. Plus, an increase in peer coaching and support means less reliance on you for the smaller stuff, so that you can worry about the bigger picture issues.

4. Innovation. If you’re the one in the team with all the answers, you’ll only be teaching people to work the way you’ve worked in the past. Do you really want a team of “mini-me’s”?

When we coach others we need to be open minded to the solutions they create. Let them try a new approach in low risk situations. They might see something that you’ve missed.