Often in our business, especially before our current crisis, we would hear comments from leaders like “I just don't have time to coach”, or “I’m too busy.” I've always thought this was just a smokescreen for the real reasons of not coaching. The real reason is that leaders typically don't know what to do or what to say,. So let's think about today’s situation. If there was ever a time when managers need to build trust and encourage open dialogue with their employees, it's now more than ever. Let’s face it, as a society, just as in workplace cultures, we suffer from conversation deficiencies. At its most fundamental level, we run so hard and fast that we often have dysfunctional conversations. Let’s look at this from a simplistic level. How often when we’re listening to people are we thinking about what we want to say next when they finish talking? Let’s be honest, don’t we all do it? Think about it. How often do we really demonstrate to somebody that were listening by taking the time to paraphrase what they said to show understanding? That’s true active listening. Lets all slow down and REALLY listen to understand while demonstrating empathy.
This is a sample coaching map from our book series Coaching Conversations - we hope you find this helpful!
Challenge / Performance Area:
Leaders need to coach as at its most fundamental level it reveals one big reason why! Coaching if done before the pandemic crisis would facilitate a manager's relationship and trust with his or her employees. On the other hand, if the manager is not coaching and fell victim to the typical excuse of not having time to coach this person be at a distinct disadvantage. A manager who does not coach now has to lead their team and it begs the question with the team want to follow this leader during such a stressful time? The number one excuse we get from managers not coaches they don't have time so what happens when a crisis occurs and they magically show up and start asking questions and trying to lead their team?
Coaching is about scheduling time. Coaching is about asking questions and learning and gaining understanding of how employees are feeling and where they want to go with their careers. A manager who coaches and leverage strengths will experience a smoother transition than a manager is not taken the time to coach. During this crisis, how can a manager we has spent no time conversing or asking questions of their team now is asking questions such as how are you feeling? How will employees respond to this as this will come off is out of the ordinary.
There is no greater tool right now then coaching to demonstrate empathy and facilitate leadership as well as drive understanding and clarity of how each and every employee is uniquely feeling.
This is a sample coaching map from our book series Coaching Conversations and we hope it helps.
The following is a coaching man from one of our books The Coaching Conversation Series. A coaching map depicts the step by step process down to the exact question, activity, and learning project manager can use to facilitate coaching specific to a particular topic. I hope this helps:
Often when we are coaching people we lose sight of our core objective. Recently I had a conversation with a manager who wanted a person to go back to their old ways of being a positive teammate and possessing a great attitude. I asked the manager how many times he had met with this employee on this topic and he said only once up to this point. I asked what was your overall objective and he said for this person to get back to their old ways of being a great teammate with a positive attitude who went above and beyond the call of duty to help their teammates. I asked what was your objective of this upcoming conversation and he said "The Same Thing". RED FLAG: there is no way one conversation is going to lead to this misguided yet positive objective.
This podcast teaches specific reasons and case studies that illustrate the value of coaching and why it will allow you to do one of three things coming out of this current crisis: Podcast Link: click here
This podcast teaches specific reasons and case studies that illustrate the value of coaching and why it will allow you to do one of three things coming out of this current crisis:
Having uncomfortable conversations has never been more difficult. Due to the recent pandemic crisis it's really quite ironic that people seem to be a little bit more thoughtful and nicer yet it gives you perspective as to why would a crisis bring people closer together? It forces people to gain perspective and with that being said it also forces us to have conversations that are tough.
One of the conversations is laying somebody off during a difficult time when nobody is really at fault. Instead of providing a lesson as to what to do I will use coaching questions to assist: How you have that conversation with empathy and consideration in a forward thinking helpful perspective?
Another tough conversation communicating when you don't have answers. How you do this transparently and consistently?
Third type of conversation is asking people to do more while working differently. One of the best questions when you're asking people to change especially during a crisis is the following question: What can I do to assist you to facilitate greater comfort and what could I do going forward to check in with you to ensure that you're still feeling the same way?
These times are forcing conversation. Times are forcing change. Conversation and change can be powerful if done with empathy and thoughtfulness and certainly listening… Really listening through active listening… By stating back to somebody what they said and felt and meant. This builds trust and greater relationships going forward when going back to the new normal whatever that might be.
Our ability to lead conversationally has never been more important than right now. Check out this podcast:
As coaching grows in popularity more and more organizations wrestle with some very simple questions: What is coaching? How can we use it? What doleaders need to specifically do? Let’s look at some of the fundamental aspects of coaching and revisit what it truly means to coach somebody.
What if the acronym of FEAR was "Failure to Engage And React"? This episode will teach you how to take this acronym and convert some words to promote people's reactions to be proactive and positive, ultimately helping them dissipate fear especially during these unique times.
Finally Coaching is getting its due credit:
Coaching is the number one thing a leader can do right now. Coaching is nothing more than a conversation to learn and find out how somebody's feeling or what they want to do. If there was ever a time to find out how employees were feeling during this coronavirus pandemic is now!When leaders coach they build trust in relationships. Coaching is about asking questions; whereas, typical leadership is about directing and telling people what to do. Typical leadership is not what people need right now to a certain extent when in fact coaching will provide greater clarity to the stress and anxiety employees might be feeling at this time.
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?