As often providers think, our solutions are magical, and if people would just take training from us, everything would be okay. While this sounds nice, it couldn't be farther from the truth. While I think my company provides great training, other companies do as well, it begs the question, why do managers still struggle to coach? It comes down to one small detail:
Whether you are a manager or coach that provides a service of coaching time has always been our greatest challenge. It seems everybody's entering the coaching profession these days and more and more companies are starting to adopt coaching as a talent development strategy. How does one go about maximizing time?
We all talk about angry customers. Let's be honest, sometimes we don't even want to talk to angry customers, but what if there were a way that we could change our relationship with angry customers? What if we actually looked forward to an angry customer? You must think I'm crazy at this point. Let me explain. If everybody in the world gave great customer service and every customer was happy, how would we go about differentiating ourselves? What would separate us? What would make us unique from the competition, especially when it comes to customer service?
Years ago there were few of us and now there are many of us. Who are we? We are companies that will come in and work with your organization and train your managers on how to coach. The challenge continues to grow in terms of gaining traction with managers. I would assume we all hear some of the same things such as they have a challenge with a lack of time and that they wear many hats.
Help your employees obtain FAME. What is FAME? FAME is an acronym for feedback, attitude, motivation, and engagement. Why did we create this acronym FAME? The reason we created it is every employee deserves the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their FAME and FAME can really come in the form of these four attributes.
I know this may seem a bit of a stretch but one of the things that I think has been occurring in the selling industry for years is better technology and automation tools are coming to the forefront. One such technology is phone dialer systems. We use a system called Phone Burner and while I used to dread making 100 to 200 follow-up calls after one of my webcasts I now look forward to it because the system actually makes it fun and I can easily accomplish this task in under two hours while providing a strong message.
One of the greatest tests we can perform is to ask ourselves as leaders the following question: "do my employees come to me offering to help for the betterment of the team and the organization arbitrarily"?
It's that time of year where finding an excuse to get out of things becomes more and more appealing with each passing day. We lack motivation- it's darker outsider earlier, it's getting colder (for those of us that have the misfortune of living in the North), and the end of year is approaching. We have to take a minute to look in the mirror by asking ourselves the question, "If I want my employee to be motivated, I need to demonstrate that. Am I doing a good job at modeling by example?" If the answer is no, take the time to focus on your own actions and consider the implications they have for your employees. It's easy to spot the faults in others, but without careful examination, your own motivation may be falling by the wayside.
We all make excuses. Some of the most frequent include:
- You’re late for work.
- You spilled your coffee.
- Your kids were up late at home sick.
- There’s construction causing a traffic jam.
- You have a ton of work waiting on your desk.
We're all guilty of letting these excuses stand in the way of getting things done. The question then arises as to how do we all react to these day to day challenges with a positive and upbeat mentality? We all have bad day, but we are supposed to be able to leave our problems at the door.
According to most of us in the field of coaching and consulting, we'd say pretty dang important. Feedback is a conversation, and just like a conversation, there's a give and take, a back and forth. Not only is delivery of feedback important, but one could argue how you respond to feedback is equally, if not more, important. Think of a moment where you have given someone feedback and they respond in a negative, or even neutral way. How did that make you feel right after that delivery? How did your opinion change regarding the person you gave the feedback to? This doesn't even have to be a business relation. The fact is that feedback has the ability to shape our opinions and future interactions based on a single moment. Therefore, it's vital to have every interaction, or give and take, be executed in a manner that incorporates emotional intelligence, understanding, and appropriate timing.
What is emotional intelligence, exactly?
This is key! Having an operational definition is important to being on the same page. So is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously What does this mean for you in your workplace? LISTEN to people, reflect back what they're feeling. If they're emotional, sympathize where they are coming from. If they're confused, answer their confusion. Emotional intelligence means understanding yourself and others- we can only be fully competent with others when we do this.
OK, but they understand me, right?
You know the phrase, "You know what happens when you assume things?" This definitely applies in the workplace. Never assume that by sending a simple email that your message will be conveyed. Same goes for a meeting- ask for feedback to really get at the heart of whether your message was heard. We have to consider that people have multiple intelligence's. While some may excel at visual learning, some people need auditory supplements. Get to know your people, it will help with this process.
Sometimes I like to delay my feedback to give myself/the recipient time to think.
A police officer understands the concept of this. When you get caught speeding, you receive a speeding ticket. You should employ the same tactic at your workplace. If you see behavior that you don't like, why give people the impression that they can get away with it? Everyone has the dreaded email, "Let's meet in my office" and knows how they react. They immediately shut down and are not open to feedback. If you confront someone right away, they don't have time to put up walls and come up with a defense. It should be noted that the same should go for positive behavior. IMMEDIATELY praise good behavior, publicly, and watch results skyrocket.
Need tips on becoming a better coach? Check out our webinar below to learn more about unique insights into the coaching world.
We hear it all the time… Our organization is filled with silos! Why is this? How do we get the silos to come down? How do we rebuild relationships from the top down that facilitate cooperation throughout the organization?
What makes a great manager? One could argue that experience defines a great coach, but I'll play devil's advocate for a second here. I don't think that's the case- at least when it comes to experience with subject matter. Coaching and managing have their similarities, and the common denominator with both is that emotional intelligence is vital to a success coach. How do we expect someone whose numbers are great, sales are astonishing, and consistently achieves their goals to automatically achieve what it takes to work well with others and manage them in a productive way? Fostering that growth with all employees is necessary to to success when it comes to creating a workplace culture that encourages employee development. How many times have you walked into a workplace where everyone is doing the same, daily grind, with no foresight to their career path? Where does this come from? I'd argue that lack of coaching and proper management is the reason to blame, here. I know I'm making a lot of contentious statements here, but working with others is not necessarily a skill that people immediately pick up. By having this coaching culture that works on not only those skills, but also attitudes, self-development, engagement- you'll have a culture that you're proud of and one that fosters development of managers inherently.
We can all think of things that people can do better with- it's human nature to seek out some of the negative things in others. But how often to we reflect on our behaviors, especially us managers, and truly drill down on the specific areas that need improvement. Often times, the hardest part about this process is beginning the self-reflection. Ask yourself these questions to gauge whether or not you're living up to your full potential as an influential manager:
An increasing number of managers and companies are cultivating a culture of coaching, and as a result they are seeing higher levels of employee engagement, being proactive, and a more positive workplace culture. Yet even as this cultural ground-swell occurs, many people persist in seeing coaching as a dichotomy, as black or white, either you’re a coach who nurtures, or a manager who yells. But persisting in seeing coaching as an either-or scenario misses a really important point about coaching: everyone needs a coach. Even coaches. We can all improve.