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“within successful business units (with above average performance) employees have clear expectations, close relationships, can see how what they do relates to “something significant,” and have an ongoing opportunity to contribute to that “something significant” while learning and growing as individuals.”
It found that successful business units were 50% more productive, had a 13% lower employee turnover, were 44% more profitable and had a 50% better level of customer satisfaction compared to those that had below average performance.
Interestingly, coaching skills often is associated with leadership. Warren Bennis (an associate of Peter Drucker) has 4 characteristics of leadership:
- commitment to a mission
- communicating a vision
- self confidence
- personal integrity
The first two characteristics involve effective coaching and last two are personal qualities of a leader. The first two address performance indicators mentioned by Coffman and Harter above and deal with question, “what standard or parameters do I coach to?” It’s difficult to coach people if you have little grasp of your team’s purpose or image of future that they can attain. A workable vision should include milestones that indicate progression towards realization. Without these two, team members will have little guidance and will be left to their own devices as to what successful growth means. Therefore encouraging coaching fosters leadership as people acquire a mindset, communication skills and values that will help build partnerships and commitment to organization’s goals. Aligning organization business outcomes with employee needs while addressing their performance imperfections, via activity of coaching, gives leadership meaning and challenge.
Added to this, most organizations have company value statements that say something like “we value our people”. An effective coaching skills strategy that emphasizes collaboration and respect rather than control and faultfinding, adds a tangible aspect to this value. People can see an effort being expended in helping them do a good job and experiencing a sense of achievement.
Effective coaching skills, therefore, contributes to not only a “push” to achieving business outcomes, but also a “pull” towards effective leadership.
By using CMOE eight step coaching skills model, rather than free form coaching, you introduce a systematic approach to improving performance. Typically, people judge themselves on basis on their intentions and most managers are well intentioned, doing their best. But they also report that sometimes they achieve a performance improvement result and sometimes not, and don’t know why. Coaching effectively is not as simple as some models and writers would lead us to believe. There is a critical balance between being supportive and caring and being clear and direct. A systematic approach teamed with a collaborative attitude keeps coaching process objective and focused on business outcomes. This facilitates giving feedback by reducing personal bias. Together with a shared vision, coaching will produce changes in skills that produce measurable results and not just random activity.
A systematic coaching approach is very helpful with more “difficult” people. Kate Farrelly notes that most managers try to avoid conflict, almost at all costs. Conflict is usually natural result of people pursuing different aims with resolution traditionally a contest of power or guile. Some managers avoid or deny existence of issue because they feel it may demotivate person or team, or maybe they feel they don’t have enough skills to coach this individual. The reality is that aims of those in conflict are rarely clear or agreed. Conflict lessens when coach and coachee can agree on kind of future they both want; way things should be – shared vision and shared expectations, boundaries and guidelines. In fact, if all coaches (within organization, business unit, etc) use same systematic approach/ model they talk a common language – it’s easy for them to share tips and techniques that work, especially on these more challenging people.
Managers, employees and established work practices are under pressure to change and achieve results never before asked of them. Effective coaching skills, while not being a resolution, can be a major contributor to solutions. Effective systematic coaching is an opportunity to build meaningful partnerships between members of an organization who meet these challenges. Without effective coaching skills, progress is just that much harder.
Mark Twain said it all, “I’m all for progress, it’s change that I don’t like!”
Mark Wayland works for The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, Inc.
If you would like to learn more about CMOE’s coaching skills and discover what 100,000 managers have learned around the world, please contact a Regional Manager at (801) 569-3444.