Don’t wait too long to Coach

Please
I implore you….

Don’t wait too long to get coaching in your organisation for people in leadership roles.
This year I’ve had to pick up the pieces after people have had bullying claims made against them or are halfway out the door. By this stage habits are ingrained and the damage is done.
You know what’s coming when you are approached with;
“I’m not sure if you’ll want to take this on but …

Either because I love a good challenge, am a succor for punishment, or really like these clients, I have.
I call these gigs remedial coaching to differentiate them from the normal good to great coaching. This also helps to remind me of the difficulty involved – so I don’t beat myself up if I there isn’t much progress. It also ensures I get forensic and diagnose the issues.

So what are the actual issues?

In my experience usually one of two things:

1. Lack of Leadership from the next level up: typically in this situation, underperformance by an employee is code for avoidance by the manager to give feedback or set clear expectations. In order to understand the person I am coaching I look straight up.

2. Personal Deficits in the Coachee:

  • Often in Emotional Intelligence – he or she may really struggle to “get’ other people.
  • Being overly invested in their own worldview with a refusal to budge. We call this ‘fusion’.
  • Their identity wrapped up in being a technical expert. This generally manifests in struggling to delegate.

Over the years I have learnt:

  • You need wisdom and timing to be a good coach.
    • Provoke too early = shutdown
    • Don’t provoke at all = stalemate
  • A good dose of cold hard feedback + data can strongly assist in this process. Sometimes pain is a good catalyst for change and on the flip-side, so is aspiration.
  • The fine line between optimism and naivety is hard to spot.

What can you do?

  • Train your leaders in feedback skills. This is their job. Make it the norm.
  • Hold the mirror up. Get some data. Do 360’s on your leaders and you’ll soon find out what is going on.

I do take some pride in being a turnaround queen I admit– maybe that’s a better name than “remedial’?
AND Here’s to addressing things early in 2018.

Speaking of which – have a great Christmas and blog you in the New Year.
Georgina (and Sam)

 

 

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