Posts Tagged ‘business coaching’

Breakdown Breakthrough

Every breakdown is a great opportunity for coaching and for a breakthrough.  Coaching leaders see it that way.  So certainly, every time there is a breakdown there is an opportunity for coaching.  Remember, “time and place.”  Pick the right time and right place to coach around the breakdown.  As an old saying goes, “In your greatest challenges, come your greatest opportunities.” Always see breakdowns as an opportunity for coaching and a breakthrough.

A breakthrough can be one of those “ah ha!” moments where you see the light bulb go on.  Your coachee is suddenly and permanently altered in a good way; they have a new perspective or a new way of relating to someone or something.

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

I can’t emphasize this enough!  Do not wait to start coaching until you think you know how to do it “just right.”  Trust the coaching process.  Your early attempts at coaching will surprise you in their effectiveness.  As successful business leaders your inclination will be to avoid being an unskilled novice.  Fight that inclination!  The only road to mastery is through the rocky roads of new skill building.  Every coaching interaction will be building your experience, competence and confidence.

Considering hiring a coach to “coach the coach.”  That’s me!  Set up structures within your company so that you can have others be a second set of eyes and ears for you regarding how your coaching conversations went.  Make some notes, practice being a detached observer, and you will get a sense of how you did in coaching.

In coaching school, we do three-way coaching.  So you could even have a colleague sit in while you are coaching, or you could have a peer or even a teammate give you feedback about your coaching.  The bottom line is, the only way you are going to become an effective coaching leader is to practice.

Set Up Structures

What I mean by structures are one-on-one and team meetings, and regularly set coaching sessions.  You could make it a part of your company’s culture to have an “after-action review” after significant events.  Those kinds of structures provide you and your team the opportunity to have coaching occur on a regular basis.  We will talk more about how practice makes perfect, but structures are agreed upon times, places and processes that allow you to regularly engage in coaching.

After the Fact

This is a very common form of coaching.  Professional athletes will review the game tape later and then identify what kinds of mistakes were made during the performance.  Musicians in an orchestra might listen to the performance after the fact and then identify some new techniques or practices that would improve their performance.  After the fact coaching is very popular and effective, but do not wait too long to do it!  There is something that some clients call an “after-action review.”  This is a great tool for coaching after a big project, presentation, or client event.  Pull your whole team together and do an after-action review.  In business, we so often are off to the next project and missing those learning opportunities.

In the Moment

This is obviously the best kind of coaching.  When we see this in the sports setting, we see a coach on the sideline saying something to the player right then and there because it is fresh in everyone’s mind.  In the moment coaching is great when it can be handled appropriately.  You do not want to be doing in the moment coaching with someone in front of their peers.  Most people do not like that.  In the moment could be when you are having a meeting with your direct report and they are stuck on an issue.  That is a great time to use the coaching process to solve the issue and identify some new practices.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Thursday, April 5th, 2012
  • Comments Off on In the Moment

Do Not Wait Because…

Do not wait because you are not confident how the coaching will turn out!

Undoubtedly, the number one thing I hear from leaders as to why they did not coach someone, even though there was an obvious opening for coaching, is the following: “I was not totally confident as to how it would turn out.  I was afraid I would not do it (the coaching) right.”  Even as a Master Certified Coach, I am never sure how any coaching interaction is going to turn out.  That is half the fun!

Coaching Pitfall – Toxic Culture

Similar to overemphasis on money, in these organizations there are a variety of other, either historical or environmental issues, that have the place so sick that the coaching has no room to breathe, get integrity or take hold.  These toxic cultures take on many different forms and usually are a result of toxic leaders. Examples of toxic cultures are where there may be addiction, abuse, dishonesty or epic political struggles.  If you have a toxic culture, coaching is not going to take hold.

Coaching Pitfall – Overemphasis on Money

Some organizations talk about wanting to grow and develop people, but at the end of the day, all of the decisions seem to be made relative to finances and shareholder value.  If we go back to the trust issue that we talked about early on, if people do not trust you they are not going to allow you to coach them. 

When a company puts too much emphasis on finances, the coaching never feels genuine or takes hold.

Coaching Pitfall – No Patience to Allow Coaching to Develop, “It Takes Too Long” Attitude

I hear this from a lot of leaders.  I believe this is the wrong way of looking at it.  Yes, it does take you a few more minutes to coach than it does to manage or to just do it yourself.  Remember, coaching is about building capacity in others.  The investment and time you make on coaching should pay major dividends down the road.

Coaching is not a quick fix. It is a mindset and general philosophy about leadership and business. If you do not have the patience or fundamentally do not believe in coaching, do something else.

Coaching Pitfall – The Uncoachable

This is the person who is so stubborn and hard headed that they just won’t be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.  I do not know why some people are so damn stuck in their ways.  One of my first teachers said, “Why is a booby prize!”  In other words, it is not worth looking for why people do certain things. 

There are people I have come across over the years who just seem uncoachable.  They are not open to new ways of doing things.  For a while they will tell you that they are willing to change, and they will pretend like they are, but they never really commit to anything different.  Do not waste your time coaching those people.

One test we use for this is “How hard am I working on the coaching?” If you are working a lot harder than the Coachee, something is wrong. The Coachee should be the one breaking a sweat!