It's a saying I hear all the time from managers, "I don't have time to coach!" However, there are two myths within management communities. First, managers coach already! A lack of coaching is a strong component of management, so if you don't like it, please find another job. Second, managers do have time to coach! No matter the department or manager, people run machines, computers, sales, customer service, etc. It is important to invest time in such a vital aspect of the work environment. People being the #1 asset should NOT be a cliche, rather something we live by and support through our leadership action.
We teach a very simple four step process in our Progress Coaching Training System. We encourage sessions to be 8-12 minutes, maybe 15 minutes in length maximum. Think I'm crazy? When we teach our system, we ask managers to practice. We also time their initial sessions using the questions we teach and ask, "did you get pertinent and valuable information?" Almost 90% of the time, we get a surprised yes. The key to their success is using the simple four step process framework that builds upon itself. The process is so easy to follow, most managers are amazed how much it actually runs itself, for lack of a better description.
In addition, here are four other strategies to rapidly coach and help employees embrace change and raise their talent levels. The process takes little or no time on the part of the manager:
1. Non-verbal coaching, like sending a card or note home to an employee praising their exemplary performance and effort as they continue to get better in a particular performance area. This usually shocks employees, but guess what, it also gets the employees to say nice things about the manager. Most people never receive such a gesture! This increases effort and absolute trust on the part of the employee.
2. Have an upper-level manager come down to praise an employee, sharing the feedback you as a manager have provided. By participating in this active sharing, absolute long-term trust and loyalty is built from the employee to you.
3. If you have an employee who is struggling in a particular area, use what we call observational coaching as a tool. Observational coaching is a tool where the employee observes another employee, then emails you the manager specific things they learned. They also disclose areas they can improve, based on the observation.
4. We teach a concept called self-directed coaching, a combination of learning in an independent manner, such as reading an article or a book, then sharing what they learned in a journal or via email with the manager. Self-directed coaching also implements a self- reflection on what they successfully applied as a result of the learning.
Managers do have time! Employees want to improve! Cultures need to get better! Teams can always improve! Engagement can always increase! Coaching dramatically increases employee retention! Coaching is an awesome tool for employee recruitment! Coaching inspires! Coaching motivates! Coaching creates greater employee clarification and understanding, and therefore, trust!
No time, you say? You should not have read this blog post, then, because you could've been coaching-just a little Irish humor to end!
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