The title of this post is a direct quote from a recent training participant. This person works in a scientific environment and was taking part in leadership training in order to prepare for a new role as a cross-functional team leader. Let’s explore….
“Helping other people to find their own answers to their own answers to their own questions”
“Giving answers to questions asked by people”
According to the literature and my own experience, coaching has several clear benefits:
- Mike Noble, in T+D Magazine (March 2012) says that coaching leads to sustainable long term results and accelerates development towards higher performance
- In my experience, retention and satisfaction or staff in an organisation improves due to personal development + motivation
- John Whitmore (founder of the GROW model for coaching) argues that people will learn to think for themselves, taking responsibility for their own solutions
- Coaching is in line with Dan Pink’s 21st century view on motivation and the human need for autonomy, mastery and purpose
In training, the argument against coaching (supported by several participants) was that “we don’t have time for coaching people. Our job (as team leader) is to ensure the work is done on time and to quality. We are assigned people to work on the project and it’s not our role to develop them.”
Coaching IS an investment on the long-term…
A directive non-coaching approach to leadership is right when people are starting up with regard to a task and don’t have the necessary knowledge and skills to help themselves. BUT when people have the ability to figure things out for themselves, coaching can be an excellent approach to build responsibility and initiative.
BUT it takes time!
In the above figure, we see the non-coaching approach to helping employees perform. In a given time-frame, many deliverables are achieved quickly.
In the following figure, a coaching approach to supporting employees is used:
This image (not literally) of coaching is what led to the initial trainee reaction on coaching: “We dont have time for that. We need to get all TEN things done, now.”
It is clear that the non-coaching approach give more “results” than a coaching approach in the same time-frame . BUT ONLY IF WE ONLY EQUATE RESULTS WITH ACHIEVING TARGETS.
If we equate results with motivation, responsibility, initiative, development, job-satisfaction…. The non-coaching approach doesn’t deliver much at all.
In addition, it is important to note 4 things (in addition to the benefits noted above) that will happen if we continue to coach our people:
- They will get better in their jobs (develop)
- They will learn to think for themselves (even applying self-coaching methods)
- The number of times they come to ask for help will decrease
- The time to coach will get quicker each time
In this sense, there must be a point at which the investment in coaching starts to pay-off. And THAT is key to this blogpost: Coaching is an investment in long-term development, not short-term results.
In his T+D article, Mike Noble suggests that if you really want to get managers onboard for coaching, convinced of its value and ready to invest, you will need to do 5 key things:
- Help them understand the value of coaching, by showing them the benefits
- Develop the coaching skill in the organisation
- Set clear expectations with regard to coaching (sharing best practices, leading “from the top” with managers that “walk the talk”)
- Assign people a coach
- Reward the best coaches with the best jobs
Having just completed delivery of a 4-day Leadership Training with @KluwerOpleiding (thanks @MiekWouters for the chance to have a small group ) I thought I’d share the email stream that built up from me to participants over the 4-days. Loads of references here…
References DAY 1
- Here you can find a list of leadership competences outlined by previous trainees
- Check out the film from Al Gore’s ex-speech writer Dan Pink on the DRIVE wall
- To see a list of ideas from previous trainees on how to bring FLOW into the organisation, click here and click here to see all their references from the FLOW wall
- If you would like to read my thoughts on P.E.R.S.O.N.A.L goal-setting, check this link
- See what google’s VP for HR says about people management skills
- Remember ROWE?
- For book references, check www.shelfari.com/dansteer/shelf
- 7 Habits
Homework / Preparation DAY 2
- Do the exercise found on this web-page
- Have a look at this webpage (wall) http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/leadership-drive – please add something of your own – a reference, link, comment or idea about DRIVE
- Fix 1 SMART objective concerning your development as a leader
References from DAY 2
- Get some more information here about Albert Mehrabian who told us about words, intonation and everything else
- The problem with 1-way communication
- …and 3 tips if you are obliged to do things 1-way
- I told you that you would care about why I see Citroen Xsara Picasso’s everywhere…. read here to see why
- I found this link for some information on seating politics and room dynamics – I’ll let you judge the quality of info…
- For more information about Sun Tzu follow this link. To read “The Art of War”, follow this link – position is the key to strategy!
- Check out Charlene Li’s book “Open Leadership” which discusses the key issue of giving up control when allowing people more freedom
Homework in preparation for DAY 3
- Think of a problem you have (professional or personal). This will be used in day 3. You will be asked to state your problem and ask for help…
- Think of a difficult communication situation or difficult person you have had to deal with (personal or professional)
Here are the references from training DAY 3
- “Coaching for Performance” by Sir John Whitmore for more info on how and why to use the GROW model
- Check out my blog-post of my favourite SWOT questions (used during reality/options assessment of GROW) and tips on how to use SWOT
- 10 things you can learn from David Brent about performance evaluations
- 2 additional references about performance evaluations
- Meritocratic performance management systems: A short article on how some people feel about it
- Another idea on performance evaluation process: APOP (Annual Piece of Paper)
- Here you can find some info on PAC ego-states
- Book references can always be found on http://www.shelfari.com/dansteer/shelf
- Coaching for Performance
- TA Today
Homework in preparation for DAY 4
- Prepare a 1 minute presentation of yourself – anything is fine, we just need some data to use for a feedback exercise, so no stress!
- Please think about additional topics to cover in group coaching session in the afternoon of Day 4
References DAY 4
- Here you can get a lot more information about Jef Staes and Red-Monkeys
- Read this blog page for notes on what leaders can do to bring change to the organisation
- Read what Dummies has to say about giving feedback
- Read about logical levels – interesting to use in coaching..?
Hope this was interesting
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