The Impact of Coaching

“From my point of view coaching is not a tool, it is a way of being. At best it is a way of being with someone so that they begin to believe in, and progress, their own ideas. Coaching your employees can best be achieved by setting up a certified coach training programme for managers so that they can coach their staff successfully by:

• ensuring there are clear agreements and confidentiality
• creating and maintaining the energy and space for them to further their own potential
• encouraging them to take calculated risks
challenging their negative beliefs
• enjoying with them the sense of achievement
• working with them to enhance their potential

Successfully done coaching can greatly enhance the self-belief and motivation of staff, particularly in times of change and uncertainty.”  (excerpt from Coaching in the Workplace by Jackie Arnold).

I agree!  I have found no downside to effect coaching.  Your team wants it.  Your company/organization needs it.  You, the leader, needs it!

So why don’t we do it consistently?

  • Many people don’t know how to coach.
  • Many people don’t value coaching.  “I’ve told them once…why don’t they get it.”
  • Many people don’t value other people.
  • Many people have a skewed idea of what coaching is.

In the article mentioned above, Jackie Arnold goes on to say:

“One significant advantage of coaching is that your employees will begin to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and self-development. The good news is that the manager as coach does not need to come up with solutions. Instead you will be listening more closely to your staff, reflecting back what you hear and questioning them in order to bring out their ideas and solutions.”

My leadership and I have been working on developing our coaching skills.  I am happy to say that they have dramatically improved! They have learned to ask great questions to get to the core of issues.  And they don’t stop with just one question.  They dig.  They probe.  They get their team members to really think.  They get to the bottom of issues.  And their team members are coming up with solutions.

So as you head into a coaching session, prepare yourself by writing down key questions you want to ask.  Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes/no.

Not:  “Did you learn something from that project?”  Rather:  “What did you learn from that project that you can apply going forward?

Not: “Did your interaction with that other department go well?”  Rather:  “How did your interaction go with that department?”

Not: “I see you did not complete the report on time.  Are you going to get it done by next week?”  Rather:  “What got in your way that caused the report to be late?  Who was affected by this delay?  What needs to change in future for you to be more timely?”

It is easy to move into auto-pilot mode as a leader.  You are busy.  You’ve got your own deadlines and initiatives.  But as a leader, you are supposed to get results through others.  And those “others” also can slip into auto-pilot.  Great questions help them break free from that mode.  Great questions help you understand what is happening and why it is happening.  Great questions help you and your team member become better.

Do some preparation in advance, and your next coaching session can improve!

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4 Contradictions the Best Employees Understand by the MOJO Company

Here’s an excerpt from a great post.  Follow the link below to read the entire post.

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The best employees understand that you should be insatiably curious, but question with a positive purpose.

I believe some degree of curiosity is an absolutely indispensable trait in successful employees, leaders, and human beings. Often, that curiosity will manifest itself in the form of questions and questioning. I think that’s great; I really do. As I’ve stated elsewhere a time or twelve, questions can be used in so many positive ways and toward so many positive ends, even if others might not understand them in the moment. But at the same time, we always have to be self-aware and ask ourselves why we’re asking stuff. The best employees are curious about things and ask questions with a positive purpose, meaning that in many cases, they’re trying to figure things out so that then they can take action and make something positive happen.

Contrast this with what I’d call “complaining questioners.” Those are the folks who tend to question everything, but with no discernible point or purpose other than what seems to be complaining about things; and even after receiving answers, they don’t seem to then take the information and do anything positive. They simply move on to the next series of things to question.

– See more at: http://themojocompany.com/2016/03/4-contradictions-best-employees-understand/#sthash.6TMXkziM.dpuf

Helping People Think

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by Mark Miller

Each Friday, I respond to a question from a leader somewhere in the world. Today’s question continues the theme of the week around our role as leaders in helping people grow and develop. Today’s Challenge: How do you help people learn to think?

As I think about this question, I’m reminded of the classic axiom: if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day – if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. I have a strong bias on this issue – I believe people are born with the ability to think. Therefore, I really don’t like to think for people; nor do I like them to think for me.

Tragically, thinking skills seem to be latent in some people. Why would this be the case? One of three reasons comes to mind…

– Thinking may not be expected of the individual;
– Thinking may actually be discouraged by those in authority;
– Thinking skills may be underdeveloped.

What can a leader do?

First, create the expectation for people to think! Encourage them to do so at every opportunity. Then, engage in purposeful activities to help people develop their ability to think. Following are a few ideas to get you started (I covered a couple of these ideas earlier this week.)

Give people challenging assignments (without an obvious solution.) I’ve been given some very challenging assignments in my career – and I’m thankful for every one of them! Managing a difficult person, leading a struggling team, solving a complex problem – all of these helped develop my ability to think.

Ask more questions (specifically ones people don’t know the answers to.) Hard questions stimulate thinking. As leaders, I believe the best leaders ask more questions than they answer. Thinking itself is a developmental activity – the more people think, the more comfortable they can become with the entire process.

Read the rest here: http://greatleadersserve.org/todays-challenge-helping-people-think/