In this blog, you will learn how to place that stake in the ground, marking the beginning of the coaching journey with your team.
Getting a Picture of Where You Are
Framing the reality of the situation for your team is an important step to accepting the coaching process. It is easier for you to outline your team’s performance problem, but this does not create the most receptive environment. In order to gain acceptance of the problem, it is best to let the team come to the realization themselves. Neglecting to do this could result in a non-responsive team. They may feel apprehensive or defensive and shut down. They may go along with your coaching, but their attitude is that of just getting the coaching session over with in the least amount of time. Involving your team is easy if you are willing to ask questions, listen, and guide your them to where they are in their performance. Here are four simple questions you can ask:
- What is happening now?
- How often is this happening?
- When does it happen?
- What is the effect?
These questions help you to guide your team to a place where they can see their performance affect the organization. When they realize the impact on their own more buy-in is created. In addition, more information may be obtained on why your team is not performing at the level they should be achieving.
The realization of the problem marks the starting point. It also serves as a marker on performance. For instance, a team member may discover that they are not reaching production goals because they are taking extra time doing something incorrectly. Knowing this, you are able to refer to this issue when improvements occur.
When coaching, obstacles will arise and you need to be prepared to handle them with efficiency. The last thing you want to happen is your team handing you an obstacle you cannot address because you are not prepared to handle the problem with a consistent response.
Using the IRA steps to obstacle identification and removal is vital to the coaching process. Here is the breakdown of the process.
- Identify the obstacle: Have a frank discussion with your team and determine what is blocking their performance. Waiting for them to give you the information voluntarily will probably not happen.
- Root out the cause: Many times underlying emotions or problems may be the cause of the obstacles. Ask probing questions and jot down the answers. You might realize they have a fear that must be addressed.
- Antidote given: A remedy to the situation is needed in order to get past this obstacle. Brainstorm with your team on ways to remove the obstacles. In some cases, you may have to try several different antidotes. Be patient if the cause is genuine.
No matter what the perceived obstacles are, do not let it stifle you coaching objective. Rarely, you may encounter a team member that throws obstacles constantly your way in an effort to derail you. Identify this and address it with that team member, documenting every conversation.
Exploring the Past
Exploring your team’s past performance and development is a great way to develop the reality of today’s performance. Of course, you want to avoid belaboring a past mistake to the point where it makes the session ineffective. On the other hand, focusing on previous achievements helps to encourage your team.
Here are some things to focus from the past:
- Goals that were met
- Great behaviors
- Great attitudes
- Problems solved
Using the past helps to recap where your team is at today. It is like telling a story, but the end has not yet been determined. Use this time to speak positively to your team. Avoid being negative or emphasizing the consequences of failure. This will leave an impression on your team that could hinder their success.