We are fundamentally committed to lifting others through coaching. We find this stewardship role exciting and effective. However, not everyone is as excited about coaching as we are!
Benefits to Business
Professional coaching is directly correlated with employees increased level of satisfaction. By association, it contributes to lower levels of staff turnover. It’s also an opportunity to build understanding of team member’s D.O.S. (dangers, opportunities and strengths) Strategic Coach, Deep DOS Innovation (2020).
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that employees who experience higher levels of satisfaction and feel more understood are:
- more committed to organisational success
- are invested in more meaningful outcomes, and
- less turnover means less disruption and higher productivity.
So Why NOT coaching?
The reality is we are all stretched for time.
Our days are full of activities and immediate demands (see my article “It’s Okay to Say No”, March 2021). An individual may not validate coaching if they have never received coaching themselves. Or, maybe a team is made up of high-performers – the thinking is they simply do not need coaching. (Really? Would you turn down coaching from an effective leader or person you respect?)
Digging a little deeper into WHY NOT COACHING, we will find personal insecurities play a bigger role than what is recognised. Coaching can be a little scary – after all, while focus should predominantly be upon strengths and successes – growth often necessitates the acknowledgement and discussion of areas for improvement. Some may be a little prickly about that. Other insecurities may include the self-belief that ‘I do not have enough experience to…’
Instead, why not consider coaching as a joint learning opportunity – coaches can successfully facilitate and guide development without having to be an expert in the technicality of roles.
Coaching allows Growth
Essentially, we believe that the development investment in your team now, will return dividends in the months/years to come. As one of our client CE’s shared, “Don’t look at the cost, look at the value…and the change you will see in your people.” (Watch CEO interview here: Client Journeys at www.wellbeingandleadership.co.nz).
Approaching coaching as a facilitative process, means that both coach and coachee are learning and growing through mutual engagement.
The leader/manager has a choice to ‘manage’ or ‘coach’ their team. What’s the difference you may ask? Managing a person could be considered more autocratic (and hence people’s reluctance to become a coach); whereas coaching is helping the coachee to discover their next steps. The approach is in the mindset. “Coaching conversations should move the coachee forward, whether in thought or in action…” (Zenger & Stinnett, 2010). So what might this look like in practice?
It can be tempting to ‘wing it’ when it comes to having a sit-down and discussion with a colleague. However, it would be fair to say that most complex activities work best when we have a plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a plan right? Coaching conversations establish a framework for an individual’s development and direction and preparation will provide fuel to the process. (Adapted from Zinger & Stinnett, 2010)
- Framing the conversation – agree the purpose, process and desired outcomes of the discussion
- Understanding the current state – explore the issue/situation with the coachee and ask some key questions to identify the root issue
- Exploring the desired state – verbalise what success in this issue/situation would look like, discuss alternative paths to reach the desired state before settling on direction
- Lay out a success plan – identify the specific and timebound steps and milestones to achieve results. Be clear about follow up and accountability
In our experience, we’ve noticed a number of our clients – with the best of intentions – focus on behavioural symptoms and not behavioural root causes.
This means clients continually invest time and effort in fixing the problem that actually is not the problem. Let me explain. An employee may regularly respond to criticism or suggestion with an angry outburst. The symptom is the outburst, however, the root cause may be stress outside the workplace, fear of job security, lack of understanding about role, frustrated communications, adversarial work relations…..the list could go on. Holding coaching conversations using the FUEL framework can unpack the underlying root causes.
Unveiling the Master Piece
It does take time because change is a process not an event and all good things come to those who wait! As one of our Director’s likes to coach “Don’t feel overwhelmed by thinking there’s another thing to do. It’s actually a process of subtraction rather than addition or multiplication. We’re going to reveal the masterpiece already within by removing what isn’t part of it.”
We believe the value of coaching is in unveiling the individual master-piece. It’s a privilege to be part of this process and all of us can experience professional and personal benefits from such a journey.
Author: Eden Hersey | Communications Project Leader | Kānuka Wellbeing & Leadership Ltd
“Building wellbeing and leadership practices that support individual growth and organisational prosperity.”