Blog

A conversation to restore motivation

  Remember Ringo from an earlier post (Is it a question of Willingness or Ability)? We learnt that he is reluctant to delegate and worries over his staff while they do tasks for him. We decided that Ringo fitted the ‘Able but not willing‘ description because he understands how to delegate, but doesn’t put it into practice. How can we motivate him to take up delegation? Pay him more? Threaten him with dire consequences? It seems unlikely that these approaches would do much good in the long term, so let’s see what a coaching conversation might produce. We’ll assume that

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A conversation to address workplace challenges

For sake of ease, we’ll return to the example of Ed, whom we met in the last post, Navigating the Competency Cycle, and imagine that his boss, Sue, knew a thing or two about coaching and decided to have a chat with Ed about undertaking the domestic announcements. Sue So I’m going to ask what might seem like a strange question, ‘How will you know if you’ve been successful? Ed Err, that is a strange question. I guess if the group looks happy and if I feel happy too. Sue ‘Happy’s’ a bit woolly Ed, what exactly will you look

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Navigating the Competency cycle

  There is a well known model that suggests that learning – or becoming competent – is a question of passing through four distinct phases. Let’s attempt to see how this applies in a typical work situation. Meet Ed. Ed is a young man who works at a conference centre. Until very recently Ed’s job has been largely manual; putting the chairs in place, rearranging tables, setting up the IT equipment and sorting out flipcharts. One Friday afternoon Ed’s boss informs him that from the following Monday morning she would also like Ed to run through the domestic arrangements with

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Is it a question of Willingness or Ability?

  How would you approach coaching these characters? John is something of an excited puppy. He works with great enthusiasm but often gives clients wrong information because he does not understand how fees are worked out. Several clients have registered complaints which makes John quite upset and you worry that his motivation and enthusiasm may wane Ringo is a management graduate with a wide knowledge of business processes. However he is reluctant to delegate tasks and when he does he worries over his staff while they do it for him. Georgina consistently uses inappropriate humour with customers, often coming across

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Spotting that it’s time to coach

  We’ll start by considering the change in circumstances that would indicate a need to move from the more controlling ‘tell what and how’, to the more empowering (responsibility generating) coaching approach. When learning from the experience is paramount it’s time to coach. There is very little learning that happens from the tell style apart from perhaps learning how to keep our heads down and learning how to cover up errors. Being told what to do does not engage our brains and so we do not forge new connections and insights; we do not learn. There is also the problem

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When should you use coaching?

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. Here we consider the times in which the coaching approach is most useful. Check back in a couple of weeks for a follow-on post. In my office we like to dine out on this little anecdote. A University lecturer we know phoned her HR department and asked “How do I go about getting myself some coaching?” Their reply was, “Why, what’s wrong with

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Do you have what it takes to be a coaching manager?

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. This post continues our look at coaching qualities. Check back in two weeks for a detailed look at when to use coaching. How can we summarise the skills, knowledge and experience required to give us a profile of an effective coaching manager? It would seem that the first requirement is for the manager to find time to coach; to take ‘time out’ from

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More on coaching qualities

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. Here we consider a range of coaching qualities necessary for an effective result. We’ll pick up on some of these themes in the next post in the series in around two week’s time. Let’s take a look at some coaching qualities that are written about less but can have just as much impact on a coach’s success: Credibility. You don’t need to be

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Empathy and the difference it can make to your coaching

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. This post considers empathy one of many coaching qualities of which more will be examined next time. Never forget that your coachees will not be passive during coaching. They will be noticing what we say and how we say it and monitoring our body language in much the same way as we’ll monitor theirs. I would contend that what the coachee hears is

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I said, are you a good listener?

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. In this post we return to the matter of listening; a most vital coaching tool. It helps to create a climate of empathy which we’ll consider more generally in two week’s time I’ve explored the importance of listening many times, but it is such a vital component of effective coaching and such a key skill for the effective coach that I want to

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How well do you know yourself?

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. This post is about the importance of self-awareness for the coach. Check back in about a fortnight for a further look at effective listening. In an earlier post we examined the principle of awareness and saw that before anything can improve we must first increase our awareness of how it is now. This applies to us as coaching managers as much as anything

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Giving constructive feedback: the salt and pepper of effective coaching

Coaching Skills Series This is one of many articles I intend to post this year considering the range of principles, skills and experiences you’ll need to be an effective coaching manager for the people in your team. Here we consider the matter of feedback. Next time we’ll look at the crucial trait of self-awareness. Let me say firstly that I am extremely dubious about the quality and value of the typical feedback offered at work. It is usually thinly veiled criticism or destructive, judgemental nonsense that does neither giver nor receiver any good. It creates new sources of interference and

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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.