“What do I do when I feel as though my relationship with my coaching candidate is not bringing about the results I’m looking for? I feel as though I’ve been working with them forever but not finding success!”
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.
When thinking about coaches of athletes, we typically picture the in-game situations. High-intensity, focused instruction paired with cheers and positive affirmations are the general structure of a coach’s interactions with players in a game or match. But what about practices? How does the coach play a part outside of the intense game play in helping the individuals they are coaching become better at their craft? And how do they get the individuals to remain ENGAGED?
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.
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.
Many people have been in a situation where they are questioning if it is “their place” to step in to coach someone else. In determining your role as a coach, there are factors that should be taken into consideration, such as the impact that your coaching might have on the situation, your relationship to the individual, and that individual’s supervisor if you are not it.
Think of the number of interactions we have each day – how many of those interactions are more than two minutes long? And at the end of the day, how my of those interactions do we actually remember? When we have conversations, being prepared is the key to helping your customers love what you have to offer them in a short amount of time, not just with your product or service, but with you as a person. So the big question is: how can a salesperson be genuinely interested in a transaction and a customer without coming off as overbearing?
Leaving little notes on your employees’ desks, taking 30 seconds out of your day to let someone know something specific that they have done that you appreciate, or calling a meeting just to let your team know that what they do is appreciated are all ways that positivity can drive a positive and productive workplace atmosphere. So what happens when positivity is missing?
There are two sides to parenting – the enforcer, and the pleaser. Most parents try to opt for the middle: represented by the coach. In many ways, the middle ground in parenting and coaching is the balance between enforcer and pleaser - someone who looks to lead but must also follow the cues given by those we are trying to coach, whether those people are our children, our employees, or our sports team. We look to that coaching figure as the authority but also the guiding hand.
This is the first part of a series from Alyssa Zickert, our new Coaching Strategist here at Progress Coaching. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Sometimes we must reach down and reconnect with our roots – in business, our roots are the employees that help build companies from the ground up. The most valuable connection any manager can possibly make in the office can be made in many ways, with the most effective being outside the comfort of the manager’s office- building valuable trust between manager and employee.