How can Coaching lead to creating high performing employees? Part 5 – 2 Critical Factors in Coaching.

Posted by on November 19, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

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Before employees can be coached, you need to create a climate within which employees will feel encouraged to learn, to try new things and to attempt more challenging tasks. The following three keys will help to empower them to live out the coached content.

In the 5th and last part of this blog-series on Coaching, I’ll look at two critical keys that open the door to successfully coaching employees and team-members.

Share Information with Everyone.
Every leader (read “manager”) needs to take a giant leap of faith if they wish to coach successfully. This leap of faith requires you to understand that the first Key to coaching is to share information with your employees. Too many mangers withhold information, believing that employees should be in a “need-to-know” paradigm. In other words, managers will share information with employees only when the manager thinks they need to know it. The irony is that the sudden explosion in global information lead to the collapse of cultural icons f the 20th Century such as the Berlin Wall, the Iron Curtain and even Apartheid. Governments could no longer control the flow of information.

Witholding information carries all kinds of messages. It makes people think:
• “I’m not in the know”
• “They don’t trust me”
• “They think I’d do bad things with the information if I knew”
• “They think I’m too dumb to understand it”

“People without information cannot act responsibly. People with information are compelled to act responsibly.”

Further, sharing information has the following additional benefits to employees:
• It lets employees understand the current situation in clear terms,
• It begins to build trust between the employee and his / her manager,
• Breaks down traditional hierarchical thinking, it encourages people to act like the owners of the information and the division / organisation.
• It helps people be more responsible.

Create Autonomy through Boundaries.
In the old days of travelling by horse-drawn cart, drinking and driving was never a problem. When the travellers wanted to go home, they’d fall onto the buggy, throw the reins over the horse’s neck and the horse would take them home. That doesn’t work today – because your car doesn’t know the way home. Similarly, the horse could only take the owners home. That was the only direction he knew, so this technique never worked when travelling away from home!

In the same way, employees do not always know “where home is” and therefore the second key to effective coaching is to create clear boundaries. Employees need to know where they fit in, exactly what others expect of them and the structure within which they operate.

Boundaries useful in Coaching.
1. Purpose – What is the purpose of your job?
2. Values – What are your operational guidelines?
3. Image – What is your picture of the future?
4. Goals – What, where, when and how do you do what you do? What do you need to accomplish?
5. Roles – Who does what?
6. Organisational Structure and Systems – Who supports you in what you do? Who depends on what you deliver?

In closing, I certainly hope you enjoyed this series on Managers as Coaches. Feel free to contact me to help your managers and business leaders become effective coaches.

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