Finally in this series of posts on coaching conversations, a quick, task focused exchange.
|Matt||Angie, I need you to finish preparing that slide presentation by 5pm, so I can send it to the client before he goes home.|
|Angie||Okay, I’ll get on to it straight away.|
|Matt||Great. When you’re doing it see if you can work out how to include a video clip. We don’t actually need it for this one, but it would be nice. Do you think there’s time?|
|Angie||Well I’ll finish what we definitely need for the client first and then look at the video thing if there’s time.|
|Matt||Great. It’ll be so useful for other presentations if we can take the time to learn about it now. Tell you what, you get on with that and I’ll make the coffees this afternoon.|
Here we can see that in addition to passing on an instruction and inviting my team member to perform I am also looking to see if I can let the opportunity double up into a learning and enjoyment experience too. This won’t always be possible of course, some deadlines are just too fearsome, but it’s surprising just how many opportunities there are to coach, once we raise our awareness of them.
These posts have been about establishing that the time for coaching is now. Most situations at work are a coaching opportunity either at the time or when a crisis has passed, we just need to look. At the risk of repeating myself, I want to stress again that it is not only problem situations at work that provide coaching opportunities. What would happen if we started playing to strengths? Is it best for the team and the business for everyone to be an identikit employee with the same skill profile or should we use coaching to create unique profiles?
There’s been much talk in HR circles in recent years about the need for businesses to become learning organizations. There are many facets to learning organizations but management style is undoubtedly a foundation stone. We can use coaching to establish that learning can happen alongside the need to perform and achieve results. We can use coaching to illustrate that learning and performing are not mutually exclusive.
It has been said that high performers are simply those individuals that learn faster. If this is true it further strengthens the need for the coaching approach as we can readily see the business benefits that accrue for accelerating the process of learning from our work.
Coaching is about having the experience and learning from the experience. When we can make the experience enjoyable too we have a potent cocktail for sustainable high performance. Coaching is about moving forward; taking the next step. It is useful in virtually all aspects of working life. Its limitations are only those in the mind of the coaching manager. What internal interference do you experience when you consider the uses of coaching in your organization?