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Courageous Coaching: It May Not Be Easy, But Necessary for Building Staff/Relationships

Categories: Coaching Skills

I have recently created a new presentation that focuses on courageous coaching. What is courageous coaching?

My definition of “coaching” is …

Saying the right thing and asking the right questions to the right people at the right time, in the right manner.

My view of being “courageous” is …

Offering coaching when it isn’t safe, easy or comfortable.

Coaching direct reports isn’t easy, but if you are the manager, it is your job.

Why can coaching direct reports be so hard?

When I ask managers that question, they respond:

  • Fear
  • Time
  • Assumptions
  • Don’t know how

Are these real or are they excuses?

Let’s look at each …

Fear – I call this the “I don’t want to upset people,” “I don’t want to create problems” or “I don’t want people to be mad or hurt” reaction. Then, there’s always the possible legal-related consideration that causes some managers pause. The anticipation is usually worse than the reality. For the most part, people want to improve. If what you say is phrased well, and coming from a place of good will, then, ultimately, it will be appreciated.

Time – It really is a matter of making time. After all, coaching reports isn’t easy, but it is a big part of a manager’s job. Look for ways to make the time on a regular basis, so it doesn’t seem like such a momentous project.

Also, look where you spend your time. Top performers need “the love” – they always look for ways to get better. Often, we waste too much time on the bottom 10%. At some point, they need to make the necessary changes, or it is time to let them go. These people can be draining and limiting the time you have to spend with people who want to improve – the top and the middle.

Faulty assumptions – Just because people have been with the company for awhile, doesn’t mean that they understand their current role, new products, etc. Don’t assume – get to know each person, and look for ways to help them move through their gaps.

Don’t know how – This is when training comes in -- learning how to ask questions which get people thinking differently, learning how to give feedback that is really specific and honest so people can make changes.

Creating a culture of courageous coaching will enhance relationships, and, ultimately, results.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today.

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