Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

I’m looking for 12 people who want to achieve their targets

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Coaching Skills Training

Tagged: / / /

Do you know how to achieve results through others?

Do you know how to achieve results through others?

Like it or not, we live in a target driven culture and few people are spared the stress of goals, objectives, KPIs or whatever raining down on them like never before.

Such targets are typically tough to meet and tend to increase year on year.

In any kind of management role the challenge will be greater still because you’ll have to motivate others to perform in order to achieve your targets.

If you want to discover how you can dramatically increase your ability to achieve results through others, then I urge you to grab your diary and score out the following dates:

26th-27th June 2012, Blackwell Grange, Darlington

when we’ll be running Coaching at Work, our face to face training programme specifically designed to help managers motivate their people to higher levels of performance.

How to make coaching stick

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Coaching Skills for Managers

Tagged: / / / / / /

One, two, three, left!

One, two, three, left!

This is a question I get asked a lot and whilst there’s a lot I would need to know about your particular organisation before I could give specific advice, I thought the following pointers might be helpful:

Follow up initial training

Whilst a typical one or two day coaching skills training course will equip managers with the basic tools and techniques it will only address a change in behaviour. Where behavioural change is not accompanied by a similar change in thinking and attitude it will not stick. A series of follow ups to any initial training is useful particularly where the participants are required to be coached on an ongoing work issue and to regularly report back on their progress.

Include a coaching module on all ‘people skills’ training

In order to move away from coaching as ‘task’ to coaching as ‘style’ it must be seen as part of the overall approach to managing people. It is therefore useful to reflect this need on all people skills training and not just specific coaching workshops.

Get the support of the most senior person you can

Where coaching is seen as merely a skill to learn the involvement of the training department is all that is required. However where coaching is seen – as it should be – as part of organisational and cultural change, it becomes a policy decision that requires the full support of the senior team. However, it is not necessary to get the whole team on board from the start, target the most obvious champion and work from there.

Coach the senior team so that they get the benefits

Many of my coaching skills training projects had their seed in a senior executive being bowled over by the benefits of being coached and wanting that experience to permeate throughout the organisation.

Make sure high performers are coached too

Too often coaching is seen as remedial and people understandably shy away from being seen as needing “special lessons”. We can overcome this through coaching by stealth, i.e. by not labelling it as such – but this seems counter-productive if we are really trying to increase the take up of coaching. An alternative is to very deliberately coach already high-performers. They are highly likely to welcome the initiative and become strong advocates for the approach.

Share coaching success stories loudly and visibly

As above, the positive aspects of coaching should be shouted from the rooftops as much as possible.

Publish the results so that the Executive’s greed outweighs their conservatism

We can tie ourselves in knots in trying to evaluate coaching with a degree of precision an academic would admire. However, simpler means are available which nevertheless highlight the sheer irrefutable logic and power of the coaching approach. Some raw statistical evidence backed up with stories and anecdotes of meaningful performance will often be enough to convince even the hardened skeptics.

Include a coaching related KPI in managers’ performance reviews

“What gets measured gets done” so the saying goes so if we really want managers to give as much energy and attention to people and well as task matters we should measure their results with equal seriousness

Deal with excuses:

I don’t have time… ..yes you do, just differing priorities
The culture works against coaching… …which is exactly why you need to adopt coaching
My boss doesn’t coach me… …but that is no reason not to coach your people. You may wait a long time for your boss to change but you can change today
I already manage my people this way… …not according to them you don’t

If you have any others from your own experience that you’d be happy to share, please do add them in the comments box.


Let’s all pretend to be a tree

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Coaching Skills Training

Tagged: / / /

Which way's left again?

Which way's left again?

Waiting for a tube train in London this week, I saw a great poster from Vodaphone. It depicted some corporate types in the grounds of a conference centre standing on one leg as part of some bizarre management game. The advert was making the point that your team would be better off networking using Vodaphone’s products than it would attending a team building event.

Whether this is true or not, I wouldn’t like to say, but it got me thinking about whether people like me take the time to really set out the reasons for exercises of this kind.

On our programmes we ask participants to undertake exercises designed to illustrate coaching principles. There is no real physical exertion involved and we’re certainly not talking about ‘outward bound’ style activities.

They are not be required to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or asked to ‘confront their fears’ by walking over hot coals or smashing a house brick with a Karate style chop.

There are two main reasons we use physical activity:

  • We want to convince you that coaching works. To do this we have to prove it to you. It is not possible to model real business results in a few minutes but it is possible to see how coaching can radically improve a golf swing or a person’s ability to catch a ball.
  • To be truly memorable, learning needs to be impactful and fun. There is only so much you can do with a flipchart and PowerPoint.

For participants with mobility issues we include a variety of other ways to get involved.  All of the exercises require someone to act as ‘coach’. After all, it is coaching we are trying to demonstrate. If people have any problems with the exercises or simply find the idea uncomfortable, then they can always opt to be the coach.

We are concerned that every participant on our programmes should not feel worried about what they might have to do or feel excluded in any way.

And we never ask anyone to pretend to be a tree!