Focus on how to test for coachability and assure both high achievers and underperformers that coaching is about creating opportunity and growth.
- Employee development coaching is all about change. And change is hard for most people. So you can count on encountering some kind of resistance or push back during the process. In fact, not everyone will want to be coached and not everyone is coachable. So it would be a mistake to make coaching mandatory for all your employees. In fact, that's a strategy that'll backfire. Instead start with the people who are ready and allow the benefits to move through the team naturally. Oddly, somebody who expresses readiness for coaching may also not be coachable. When your employee completes the self-assessment tools provided in this course, use the information you gather to task for coachability. If you get one word answers or a bunch of I don't knows, this a cue to challenge or stretch them. Or it's time to table the work until they're really ready to participate. So now let's focus on your coachable employees. Even with coachable people the first objection you're likely hear to hear is why, what am I doing wrong? For high achievers, assure them that coaching isn't remedial and what you're up to is accelerating their growth and advancement. For those who may be under performing, tell them you want to make sure you're tapping their strengths and finding ways to help them be successful. Now as you begin coaching your people, you will no doubt have to deal with people showing up late, forgetting meetings, missing deadlines or just not participating full out. So here are some rules of thumb for dealing with all of it. One, don't take it personally. Instead be curious and try to focus on the problem and not the people. Two, ask open-ended questions to each and every issue or objection. If you feel a criticism about to leave your lips, pause and turn it into a open-ended question. Now three, give people time to vent without interruption or feedback. Sometimes people get swept up in the moment or a conflict erupts and they just need to let off steam. And that leads me to four, acknowledge but don't commiserate. The worst thing we can do as coaches is to take sides or agree with our people's limiting beliefs. Instead just listen and then try to move things forward. One final piece of resistance I want to deal with is disengagement. Your employee shows up, sits back, doesn't offer much in the way of conversation, they avoid eye contact or give one word answers. They sit with folded arms or they use dismissive physical gestures. Now in the coaching world this is known as geography. And as you probably heard, the body doesn't lie. When people are engaged and interested they tend to lean forward and nod their heads and grapple with things with their hands. Some people might even get up and pace if they think better on their feet. So one thing you can do is play back the physical posture or movement and ask your employee what folded arms mean? And this will often crack things open so you can get to the root of their resistance. With a little persistence and empathy you'll learn to push through resistance rather than let it derail you. So hang in there, remind people of their big picture vision and keep things moving.
- Recall methods for probing deeper in conversations with employees.
- Determine which aspect of a challenge to avoid when determining the challenge an employee can undertake.
- Recognize questions that generate the greatest number of ideas during a brainstorming session.
- Explain the advantage of using focused feedback with an employee.
- Identify the potential benefits of listening and using open-ended questions with an employee who is unhappy with her or her job.