I think every manager, leader, supervisor, trainer and coach has had this thought at some point in their career: What do I do with someone that isn’t engaged – are they even worth coaching? Gut instinct says, “You can’t change the way a person is.” However, after some consideration of a strategy, you can help the individual find their place. Often, lack of engagement comes from either lack of understanding or lack of knowledge on how they play a role in the company. And, for the record, every person is worth coaching to some degree. It all depends on how far you’re willing to reach to find their true motivation.
I bet when you first read the title you thought it was over the top. This is from a company we worked with years ago that had less than 15 people when I first started working with them. I'll never forget the day this conversation took place. It still reminds me of the value of teaching coaching and what I do for a living.
A manager of one of our clients sites was extremely upset with one of his employees. He was in the "lobby", but due to the small size of the company, everyone could hear what was being said. The manager got in the employee's face, began to yell, literally called the employee stupid and began to use profanity. In the spirit of time I'll cut to the end of the story. The employee was extremely upset and abruptly left the company quitting without a two-week notice.
One of the questions I receive frequently from managers is about getting their managers or executive team to coach them. They often fear retribution if they bring it up- as if they are crossing a line. When we provide our program to organizations, everybody says you should start with the executive team, which I agree with, but often it gets pushed down to management levels below the executive team. Executives are incredibly busy today, but so are managers below this level!
The coaching industry is growing by leaps and bounds. With that being, said I think we have to be very conscientious of the reasons why we need to coach and not just for the traditional reasons of engagement and performance development, but more organizational reasons as well.
Although it is impossible to control another person’s attitude, it is possible to make an impact on someone’s attitude whether it be negatively or positively. Often times, attitude is only addressed when it poses a problem or starts out poorly and gets worse. Positive attitudes are rarely addressed, and rarely do we invest in the good things while rewarding positive attitudes. Coaching can help focus on the importance of positive attitudes while working to improve negative ones.
Let's be honest, tracking sales such as leads does not drive sales performance. Tracking won or lost sales also does not drive sales performance. So why do I bring this up? Recently, I met with a sales organization in the manufacturing sector that was telling me they meet with the people every single week for coaching sessions. When I asked her what was the basis of the sessions in terms of what was conducted, she started to tell me typical answers that are related to the top and the bottom of the sales funnel such as:
Coaching has grown in popularity in terms of setting up a business now more than ever. Coaching continues to rise as the reception of coaching continues to grow in the corporate world. We have life coaches, executive coaches, sales coaches, nutrition coaches, just to name a few. As our market gets crowded, and dare I say saturated,
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?
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.
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.
Disconnects between departments, low levels of motivation, a negative atmosphere, employees who feud and power-struggle – many workplaces will eventually wrestle with at least one of these problems. On the surface, they might seem unrelated, but I’d suggest they all boil down to one thing: a culture of generosity.
One of the things that we hear in our business all the time is the need to build management talent from within. So often companies will spend 20 to 30% of salaries to enable a recruitment company to find them suitable talent. First of all there is nothing wrong with this and nor should recruitment firms be blamed for this. In fact there needs to be a hybrid model so talent is being recruited as well as developed from within.
How many times have we asked our kids to clean their room only to hear "I will" and they ultimately never do it when they say so. Now let's turn to adults and asking an employee why they didn't finish a particular project and we often hear "I am so busy" . During our training session when we teach our programProgress Coaching I often share the joke we leave our kids at home to go coach our kids at work as they exhibit the same behaviors. Almost every time I get a good laugh because the attendees often know it's true.
There are so many simple solutions to working with under performing employees. We can simply get rid of them and find somebody else. We can sit down and demand they improve or else. We can do nothing and just simply accept the status quo. These alternatives also can take their toll on the rest of the team and your culture.