September 18, 2019
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Integrating coaching in your everyday conversations
The advantages of coaching culture our numerous. Coaching outperforms every other leadership style. It brings the full strengths and gifts of the entire workforce into play with less work and strain on the managers and leaders.
The data shows that organizations with a strong coaching culture outperform their peers financially and enjoy greater employee engagement.
One of the simplest ways to introduce coaching culture into your organization is to train your leaders on coaching skills. This is often a 1-2-day workshop introducing the skills of coaching like building rapport, active listening, reading body language, and powerful questioning. And then giving the leaders a formula to work with. My favorite ‘formula’ is the simplest model I know- called TGROW.
Here it is:
TOPIC: When an employee (or peer) begins a conversation with you – determine the topic (just as you would in a meeting- what’s the topic?)
GOAL: Narrow that topic to a goal (the objective of the meeting) is it to: get something off their chest? to make a decision? list pros and cons of the alternatives? etc. Sometimes the goal isn’t always clear, but keep asking questions- because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there! In some of my coaching sessions this can take up to 15 minutes, but then the rest of the conversations is smooth sailing and goes very quickly.
REALITY: After determining the topic, AND the goal- establish the baseline. Where are they today? Have they already debriefed this before with someone else, and just want another opinion? Have they mostly made up their minds on this decision but want to confirm? Or they are just collecting data? Have they started the list of pros and cons?
OPTIONS: Once you’ve decided the goal, and you know where they are now- then you can brainstorm options. Careful here- as you’re brainstorming, be sure they know you are not attached to any of your offers of ideas, this is their plan. You can even just offer to take notes on all their ideas. You may also want to review the potential obstacles to each of these options to make sure you have enough viable ideas.
WAY FORWARD: Of all the options you reviewed, which sounds the most fun, easy, least costly etc. what’s the final decision? And in SMART fashion – include that timely element of ‘by when’ or ‘how often’.
You’ll find this is “fun” work- you as the leader don’t have to come up with ideas, or be the expert, in fact- you can know NOTHING about this person’s challenge and still be extremely helpful by asking questions.
Does it take longer than barking out what to do? Sure, the first few times, but you’ll find your employees take greater ownership and pride of their own ideas, and you’re building their innovation and problem solving muscles while freeing up your own time, and reducing the stress in your own body. You’ll even find you’re working fewer hours in the long run to accomplish even more work as a team.
Want to learn more? For in-depth training on the TGROW model and the coaching skills for your leaders - I am available to advise
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