One of the most fundamental things organizations can do is to go beyond the traditional training and coaching. Often, if not all the time, people are coached and taught as it relates to their job functionality. Most people are never trained or coached on how to accept coaching. Most people are never trained or coached on how to overcome change and challenge. What if organizations took time to fuel their employee's minds positively? Many organizations will on-board their employees, but will on-board their employees specific to the job requirements, processes, and procedures associated with the organization. What if organizations took a proactive step towards teaching employees how to ultimately coach themselves? What if organizations took a holistic approach of feeding their employees mind with positive material to help offset the stresses and rigors often associated with the day to day workplace?
Many companies are now starting corporate coaching training programs due to the value that coaching can provide an organization. There is no better opportunity to retain and develop top talent than coaching. With that being said there are certainly challenges associated with coaching such as managers taking the time to do so. Here are six steps that should help organizations develop a corporate training program for coaching that is successful:
I'm going to say something that's controversial- asking your employees to be positive can be condescending. With outside stressors influencing our lives on a consistent basis, when a manager or boss says to me, "Hey, let's put on our happy face and be excited to be here today!", my immediate reaction is, "Yeah, ok," followed by me falling back into my daily negative thoughts. Let's face it, we all have things that make focusing on our work and being mindful of our impact on the work and our workplace extremely difficult- student loans, emergency bills, that one family member who constantly causes stress, endlessly comparing ourselves to everyone else on social media... the list can go on and on. So, instead of continuing to fall into the trap of cyclical self-pity, what can I do to combat these stressors in a meaningful and lasting way? Here's how you can infuse positivity into your workplace in a way that impacts each of your unique employees:
Often we hear about the right brain and the left brain when in fact I would like to make it a little bit more simplistic. I think we have a positive brain and the negative brain. The positive brain is the brain that people feed with positive content and thoughts and emotions. The negative brain is the brain that allows negative thoughts and feelings. This in essence is a battle every single day for every single employee. I often crack a joke when I do public speaking that people have a balance act that they have to have every single day like a teeter totter. No one ever goes home at the end of the day when a loved one asks them how is your day and they say "neutral, I didn't have a feeling from 8 to 5". People usually laugh but what it indicates is it's kind of ridiculous because people normally have good days or bad days but why?
I think every company has the role of leader by the water cooler at some point. What is meant by water cooler leadership? Water Cooler leadership is an event that occurs typically near the water cooler where people complain and gripe about a new policy or maybe even people at the organization. The water cooler is typically a resting place for the disgruntled, but rest assure water cooler leaders have an impact in the face of change and things people go through. People will gravitate naturally to the negative cause. Often the negative takes less effort. It's easier to complain then to overcome change and challenge and do the right thing. Every organization has water cooler leaders. Some people call them the elephants in the room, but there's an important question to ask. Why do people go to the water cooler versus just doing the right thing and going to the source and working through things or overcoming change and challenge?
There are two fundamental elements of great employees, elements that are rarely taught to them- how to overcome challenges and accept change! Everyday people who have gripes or discord with people and/or work typically are as a result of people fighting challenges or are not focused on overcoming the challenge. We train employees on job-specific duties and rarely teach them behaviors and skills associated with handling inevitable change and challenges they will encounter in the workplace.
When we think about what motivates us in our jobs, it comes down to something we want to achieve – the next big promotion, a pay raise, or the respect of our peers. But what is really behind those things? What do we truly want to accomplish for ourselves? That promotion may really mean job security for some, or a sense of progress for others. The pay raise? Financial security or savings for something big for yourself or your family. And the respect of our peers can stem from our need for approval from others. There is generally an emotional attachment to your goals, and even by setting them in the first place you have taken the first big step toward accomplishing them. Everyone has a goal, including the individuals on your team – all you have to do is ask the right questions.
So many times in my job, I get a lot of questions like, “how do you coach to engagement study results?” Questions like that remind me that so many engagement studies are based on personality tests, blanketing entire groups of individuals who are just that – INDIVIDUAL! So how can an engagement study accurately portray the personalities of each person on your team by putting them into categories rather than coaching to the individual themselves? Just a heads-up on that one – most of the time, leaders will adjust their coaching only to the groups of personalities that the engagement study believes that people with all sorts of different personalities might fall into. That strategy is time-effective, sure, as you can coach the individuals in each category the same, but not the most accurate strategy out there.
I've been in the practice of teaching and training managers how to coach their employees for over 20 years now. One thing that's been around even longer than that are assessment tools. Those tools are quite valuable, but we started to realize something. Many of these assessment tools are based on personality, and the output is usually canned pieces of information that require managers to interpret the data on their own in order to create a plan or coaching strategy specific to what they learned. This can be very complicated, convoluted, and quite frankly very difficult for managers, especially those who aren't yet skilled in coaching. In order to make this process easier for managers to immediately apply assessment results to tangible coaching strategies, we at Progress Coaching have created the Dual Assessment Strategy.
Maybe it comes from an idol – someone you’ve looked up to for ages. Maybe it comes from something that motivates you personally at home. Maybe it’s an interaction you had with someone that gave you a huge boost of confidence. Whatever that maybe is for you, everyone has a source for inspiration to be the greatest that comes from outside your company’s walls.