Performance management: why poor results should be managed with coaching, not disciplinaries

“We might replace the terms ‘misconduct’ and ‘capability’ with the more optimistic ‘willingness’ or ‘ability’.“ I recently wrote for Training Zone about the way employers conduct themselves around poor staff performances. A friend of mine found a new job in sales after a long time out of work. He was both relieved and excited to land the opportunity because he felt he had exactly the right mix of skills and experience to be successful.After a promising start, however, things began to take a turn for the worse. The company’s main product changed, making it much harder to sell and less relevant to

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How to apply inner game coaching principles

“Only people can achieve targets and they need to be allowed to learn their own effective ways for doing so.“ I recently spent some time with the brilliant Tim Gallway, author of The Inner Game of Tennis, and i wrote about my time with him, and all that i learnt, in an article for Training Zone. My intention in the article is to show that inner game coaching principles can make a real difference in a work situation by setting out what happened when I used them to improve performance in one of my client’s organisations. Please check out the article

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How good coaching can replace bad performance reviews

“If we coach our people properly we can hold them accountable for their performance and develop them at the same time.“ More and more organisations are ditching annual appraisals and formal performance reviews, but before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s look at why coaching might be a better alternative. I wrote an article on this topic for Training Zone, check it out!

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Coaching: why it might be time to ditch the GROW model

“The notion of GROW coaching can make us believe that asking questions is all there is to coaching, but this is simply not true. “ I recently wrote an article for the guys at Training Zone about the GROW model. Many management training courses focus on the GROW model as a way to teach delegates how to coach, but this seldom works and it’s time we equipped managers with the right skills to coach effectively.  Have a read of the article and let me know what you think.

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Coaching: If you manage people, you’re a coach whether you like it or not!

“As a manager of people, being a coach to the team is inevitable. They can do it well or they can do it badly. What they can’t do is avoid it.“ All managers are coaches – but not all managers know this and not all managers are good at it. How can we get managers to better embrace their coaching role? What do you think? I wrote an article on the subject for the guys over at Training Zone. Let me know what you think!

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If you’ve never trained before, start with coaching

“Coaching can help us reinforce the idea that doing the job and learning about the job are not separate, competing activities, but rather part and parcel of the same activity.“ I wrote a recent article for Training Zone on the importance of bringing coaching into a business. I believe the best way to introduce a learning culture into an organisation that hasn’t had one previously is to begin with coaching. Doing it this way dispels the notion that learning is simply about ‘going on a course’ and instead helps embed it into your everyday activities.  Have a read of the

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Improving morale in a crisis

I wrote a blog post on maintaining morale in a crisis for the wonderful The Charity Learning Consortium a few weeks back. It seems so much has changed in the time since, but then so much has changed since yesterday! Anyway, here it is and I hope you find a useful idea or two. Stay safe and well.

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Turn your commute into a coaching session…

It was an absolute pleasure to be Nick Day’s guest on his highly entertaining L&D Podcast series.     Listen to the podcast here.   We addressed a whole range of coaching related questions, including:   • When or for what reasons should coaching be used? • Can any manager be a coach? • What qualities should HR look for in internal coaches? • What’s crucial in training managers/leaders as coaches • How can HR build a coaching culture or encourage the take up of coaching?   Please have a listen and let me know what you think!

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Strong weaknesses or weak strengths?

I read a report recently, and typically I can’t find it now, that looked at how much leadership coaching is focused on developing strengths versus addressing weaknesses. As I recall there were some regional differences (and some of that may have been cultural) but for the most part coaching – certainly at the executive level – is an exercise in developing strengths. There may be some obvious reasons for this. Coaches tend to be an optimistic bunch and may just be happier working in that context. External coaches are paid to get a result and that commercial reality may mean

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By all means ditch the Annual Appraisal, but please let’s not stop reviewing performance!

Lately I’ve seen a number of articles suggesting it’s time to abandon performance reviews, claiming they’re a tired relic of 20thcentury manual-work that has no relevance to today’s knowledge-work environments. There are certainly some obvious problems: how to ensure managers’ views of Excellent, Average,etc are the same; how to link the outcomes to pay without destroying motivation and how to stop staff and managers bending the system to suit themselves. (I worked with a company a couple of years back where someone told me that the staff pooled their Force Ranked bonuses and then redistributed them evenly amongst themselves!) It’s

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Can I have that disciplinary meeting now please?

A friend of mine is in sales. He sells high-end financial services products and is finding it hard going in the current market. The company’s main product has changed, making it much harder to sell and he has been given a new territory with very few of the affluent prospective clients he needs. Whilst he’s a very experienced seller with a terrific track-record, his results and declining and his bosses are getting uptight. Knowing I have coached around such issues previously he got in contact looking for help. I wanted to understand what would happen if things didn’t improve. My friend

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How about some instant coaching skills?

Part of Hodder Education’s Instant Manager series, my book on coaching was first published in 2012 and covers everything from coaching definitions to how to set up and run a coaching session.

For a limited time the publishers and I are making this digital version available FREE to my new and existing subscribers.