It should not surprise you to know that not all managers and leaders spend even 10% of their time coaching others. With such limited time devoted to coaching, organizations should ensure that their managers know how to do it right.
I often meet managers and team members alike, who feel that they get stuck in the coaching sessions, some think that the sessions can be more effective and others find themselves bitten by monotony with low response rate or seeing it as a one-way communication.
Ever wondered how some leaders coach so well that they drive performance and behavior easily. While leaders as coaches should be strong in communication, they should also know which coaching technique fits appropriate in the situation or for a certain behavior.
They need to understand WHY they are coaching, WHO are they coaching and WHAT specific actions they need to discuss. To do so, let me suggest the HOW-
4 Powerful Coaching Techniques
Created by Alexander Graham, Sir John Whitmore and colleagues in the 1980s, the GROW model got famous by Sir John’s best-selling book Coaching for Performance.
I first got introduced to this model back in 2006, when I got promoted as a Quality Evaluator for a customer services operations business and instantly got the liking for this model.
G - GOAL, R - REALITY, O - OPTIONS, W - WILL
Start with coaching conversation with -
A GOAL - What is to be achieved, a goal that your people want to set in that session or if you want to give a certain target to them for a certain duration,
Do a REALITY check of the present status of that goal or where does the coachee now stands with regards to the goal,
Then find what OPTIONS are available or used to achieve the set objective,
Lastly, it is about both WILLINGNESS and actions that the employee WILL take to meet the targets and this commitment should come from the employee themselves.
Document and record the session in the GROW MODEL TEMPLATE or a similar one. Ideal session time is 30 minutes per person in a month or a quarter and a follow-up session of 15 minutes as a touch base at regular interval (like a fortnight)
The GROW Model has been seen to produce higher productivity, improved communication, better interpersonal relationships and a better quality working environment.
As Leaders, you often have a paucity of time and this model as one of my managers told me, comes handy when you have your hands full, and calendars packed.
A - Action
What did you as a leader coach see in real-time, was it a transaction or a particular process step, missed or forgotten in that specific moment by the employee. Make a note of that instance and importantly the actions that were most impactful or damaging.
For example – it is better to give feedback on one or two key actions that need improvement or was skipped and would create a difference/impact in the final outcome. Pointing out ten things which they missed, leaves your team member demotivated.
Basis your observation as a coach, remember -
What are you there to discuss?
What did you see?
What evidence/facts are there for this performance level?
I - Impact
Discuss what is the impact of the action observed. Was it a positive or negative impact on the eventual result, or through the process itself?
it is vital to keep in mind that when praising or condemning an action, don't simply say ‘good job or not appreciated’ instead give the reasons behind the comment, mention the' why' for being good or bad.
Basis your observation as a coach, discuss:
What impact is this performance having on the team?
How does this performance affect other departments?
How is the customer (internal or external) affected?
What evidence do you have for this?
D - Do Again or Do Differently
Post analysis of action and impact, as a coach ask an open-ended question to the employee about what they want to continue doing or do it differently next time, this way the team member feels easy to commit and get a mutually agreed call to action.
Lay the stress on what is missing and not what is wrong. Remember, most coaching models are designed to keep the employee motivation high.
Basis your observation as a coach, remember:
What needs to change going forward?
What does the goal look like?
Are actions SMART?
When will you meet again to confirm improvement or review results?
This technique should not take more than 15 minutes per observation or coaching session and document the discussion
START - STOP - CONTINUE TECHNIQUE
Extremely simple model to use in any type of the organization. In this technique, keeping a particular behavior or performance issue in mind or any goal discussion between the manager and the team member, where the employee is s to reflect on their actions and fill up the form with -
What would they START doing -
What would they STOP doing -
What would they CONTINUE doing -
Towards the end of the discussion, both the coach and the coachee should agree with the points discussed and keep a follow-up meeting to check or evaluate the results.
DIRECT COACHING & FEEDBACK TECHNIQUE
Created by Daisy Tse, The DIRECT Feedback™ Model has six steps to aid people in aligning their goals with the organizational goals and in the process move forward.
D - DATA, focuses on providing the specific, observed behavior;
I - IMPACT, communicate the impact to the team or the organization;
R - REQUIREMENT, what is the expectations from the employee;
E - EXPLORE, provides the opportunity for the employee to develop a solution and action plan through coaching;
C - COMMITMENT, get an agreement to a certain action plan;
T - TRACK, check the process and follow-up.
The necessary step of tracking the process, progress and following up helps in 360-degree evaluation of the employees' performance or attitude.
Through these coaching techniques, one can coach both behavioral and situational issues.
As a coach, you always have two choices:
- Tell the person what you want them to know - This will happen initially, until the time the employees get used to the coaching technique, but don't make it a practice, remember a coach avoids telling
- Ask them to self-assess and consider what has happened and what is the possible action - This will only happen once the employee and a leader coach are comfortable with the coaching method and have formed the trust.
Coaching is both an art and a science. As coaches, don't ignore the power of a simple conversation which can get the results which all such techniques can not at times. It is essential to know what works for you and your teams. As managers, when you coach a person or the team, give your genuine and best shot every time and results will follow. 🙂
Hope these techniques leads you to have meaningful discussions with your teams. Eager to know what coaching techniques you know or work for you.