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Coaching for Performance Alert - Make the Employee Talk....

Coaching Alert - To Increase Effectiveness, Stop Talking...

Earlier this week, I pitched a simple 6-Step Coaching Tool to assist your managers with the informal coaching they need to do on a daily basis to truly drive performance in your organization.   Several emails and comments came in with in the first couple of hours, all identifying the elephant in the room regarding the use of this tool - managers aren't used to making an observation and letting the employee respond.  Instead, our traditional views of authority (Bob Knight as role model for corporate coaches, anyone?) push us to let employees know what is wrong, then tell them what they need to do - all without the employee saying a word...Knightchair

My take is that true coaches need to engage the employee, at times by using silence as their primary tool.  With that in mind, here's my cliff notes regarding Steps #1-#3 of the 6 Step Coaching Tool:

1.  State What You Have Observed - In this step, you are making an observation, and it needs to be quick.  Remember, this is coaching on the fly, so no more that 30 seconds max for this step.  If you are making a general observation ("I notice you have a tendency to get into battles via email"), you'll need to reinforce it with at least one example of when it happened, preferably a very recent one.  Don't judge or tell the employee what to do, just make the observation, then....

2.  Stop Talking And Let the Employee Respond - Employees are trained in many organizations that you are going to tell them what to do after you make your observation.  Don't... Instead, use silence as your guide... Role play the tool and see what 10-15 seconds of pure silence feels like, and put the burden on the employee to be accountable for the performance/conduct you have seen... You'll be amazed what you will hear, most of it helping you throughout the rest of the tool to refine the performance/conduct...

3.  Remind the Employees of the Goals (For their position and how those are linked to company goals) - once you hear what the employee has to say, remind them of the objectives for their position and link those objectives to the overall company goals.  Once you remind them of that linkage, explain to them why you need them to modify their performance/conduct to align with those goals...

That's it for today - we'll tackle the last 3 steps of the tool tomorrow.  Try the tool today - make an observations and stop talking - it's amazing what you will hear.....



stop talking! what a great piece of advice. whether it's coaching or interviewing or any number of other instances, it's amazing what you learn about people if you let that moment of uncomfortable silence come. people just have to fill that space and will tell you all sorts of things!

all the best!


p.s. around here, bobby knight is a god! even after he's been gone for a while. why? "he won, didn't he?" regardless of his behavior, he won. and they take winning in basketball seriously around here.

how often do we put up with bad behavior because someone gets results?

all the best!

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