A foundational building block at Progress Coaching is the knowledge that the number one factor that motivates people for success is a sense of progress. We didn’t just pull that out of the air. In an extensive study completed by Teresa Amabile out of Harvard Business School, 76% of participants felt most motivated when they had the sense that they were progressing or getting better at their job.
Let’s step back a moment here and appreciate how incredibly awesome that is. As workers, we feel best about our jobs when we feel like we are improving at the job. That’s it. When we think of progress at work the immediate thought is that we are getting promotions, or giving our people promotions. It’s far simpler than that – deep down we want to know that the work we are doing is important, and that our work matters.
As a manager of others, you likely look at findings like this and immediately begin wondering how to use the information to better your team – and ultimately be better at your job. I have great news for you – you can use coaching to assist each team member in developing that sense of progress AND develop your own sense of progress simultaneously.
One of the best explanations of the job of manager I have ever heard is, “It’s just like everyone else’s problems become your problems to deal with.” It may be an extreme explanation yet there seems to be an undeniable truth about it. On the flip side, it means that everyone else’s success become, in part, your successes as well. When you, the manager, invest the time to discover what would make a particular employee feel as though they have forward momentum – and then work to coach them toward the achievement of that objective, you also develop a sense of progress in your role as a manager of people.
In addition to having 10 – 15-minute coaching sessions with your employees following our Four Step Coaching Conversation process, take a few minutes out to do some self-coaching. I suggest creating a journal based coaching program for yourself in which you write down one thing you did or discovered during coaching that has or will help you become a better leader and manager.
By helping your employees achieve a sense of progress, you achieve a sense of progress. How is that for a two-for-one deal?