Coaching & Feedback

Coaching & Feedback

Coaching & Feedback

 

What is coaching all about?
Coaching is the process of systematically developing people at work.  It involves turning work experienced problems into learning situations.

 

Coaching for better performance
Being an effective coach is fundamental to the success experienced by any manager in handling relationships with colleagues and subordinates.

 

Qualities & Skills of a coach
The main purpose of a coach is to work with individuals to improve their performance in a specific area or skill.

 

Why coaching and feedback goes wrong?
Take a long hard look at the way you currently coach. As an overworked manager and most of us are, we find it very easy and tempting to deal with performance problems of our staff at symptom level rather than root cause.

 

GROW Coaching Model
the GROW model is one of the most popular coaching models.

 

The Body Coaching Model
Another useful coaching model using an analogy of the human body.

 

Giving Feedback
Feedback should be looked at as one step in a bigger process, but it’s worth noting that sometimes the simple act of raising someone’s awareness about an issue is all you have to do to improve performance.

 

Receiving Feedback
A few people take feedback well.  Most of us would say that getting feedback is great but come on let's face it there are times when we all find it difficult not to get defensive when we are on the receiving end of feedback. 

 

Giving Negative Feedback
When we have to give feedback to someone that we think they might find difficult or painful to hear, there are certain questions that maybe helpful for us to make sure we find answers for first before attempting to give the negative feedback.

 

Top 10 Feedback tips
Ten of the most effective tips for giving proper feedback.

 

STAR feedback model
One of the well known models to follow for giving constructive feedback to others.

 

The 10 Coaching Commandments
Ten commandments for effective coaching.

 

Different types of coaches
There are many different types of coaching and providing guidance to others in the business world today. Some executive coaches help people plan their lives, others help executives to become more efficient leaders for their teams, some are helping organizations through change to achieve the organization's strategic plans.

 

Giving feedback as part of coaching
By giving feedback, you’ve brought something to your team member’s attention that they hadn’t realized was happening, resolving the issue might simply be a matter of them watching out for a bad habit until they’ve replaced it with a good one.

 

Choosing an area to coach to improve performance
To observe and analyse behavior to pinpoint development needs you should start by asking yourself where do you like to see better results.

 

Coaching/Training/Counselling/Mentoring - Clearing out the confusion
Coaching is strategically guiding someone into improved performance through reflection on how they apply a specific skill and/or knowledge. Coaching is about developing individuals beyond where they currently are.

The 10 Coaching Commandments

1. Suspend your own personal judgments
You can’t like everyone in your team. What impact does liking or disliking a team member have on your relationship with them?
We already know that your perspective changes depending on which team member you are looking at. It’s a lot easier to coach someone you like and feel at ease with. Much as we may wish it was different, we can’t like everyone we work with. Are you the kind of manager who cuts people you like a little more slack? Or are you the kind of manager who is tougher on the people you like and easier on people you don’t like, to compensate? Either way, you’re responding like a human being to another human being. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but be aware of how it impacts on the coaching dynamic.

 

2. Separate characteristics from Factors affecting performance
Separate characteristics from factors affecting performance by thinking of as many factors as possible that causes the performance gaps you are confident you have witnessed that are backed up by evidence and solid facts. It is very important to brainstorm as many possible causes of performance gaps as possible cause this will be the main framework of your performance evaluation and observation then the next step is to divide the causes into two categories:

a - Characteristics : which are all the personal traits, skills and capabilities  that the team member brings into his/her performance (Attitudes, Skills and knowledge)

b-  Factors affecting performance : Those things beyond your team member's control The next step is to revisit the list of characteristics and factors affecting performance and look for evidence to support or counter each. At this point, it is not unusual to discover that all the contributory factors are factors affecting performance rather than characteristics. This means you need to take off your coaching hat,put on your manager hat, and sort out the factors. Supposing, however, you find that in a missed deadlines problem there is evidence of poor time management and coordinating skills? Well, now you know which characteristics you’re working with.

 

 3. What happened that confirms this behavior needs changing?
What do you see and hear in the other person’s behavior that tells you something isn’t good enough? For example, you see this person arriving late for work every morning, and hear the same excuses about traffic.

 

4. After changes are made, how can I evaluate that these changes are effective and the situation now is good enough?
What do you need to see and hear to indicate that the person has made the necessary change? In the example, you’ll see this person at her desk and ready to work at the expected time, just like the rest of the team.

 

5. Ask questions rather than make statements. 
That approach both allows individuals the responsibility of reaching their own conclusions and forces them to think about the issues. "How else could you have reacted when ......?" rather than "You should have ........!"  (The previous examples could all useful be re-worded as questions:  "How do you think it looked to the interviewee when he saw you gripping your pencil so tightly that your knuckles went white?" and "How did she react when you started to shout?"). See also: Asking Questions

 

6. Comment on the thing- that an individual did we!!, as well as areas for improvement.
It is important that people feel empowered by the process if they are to work positively at improving their performance. If the experience leaves them feeling inadequate or humiliated, it will have been counterproductive. Because of our cultural inhibitions about accepting praise, it is particularly important that praise is sincere and given about very specific items of behaviour. In that way, even the most diffident person will accept it. 

 

7. Let them give you their story and experience in a " Narrative rich discussion"
Narrative-rich discussions are those in which you basically get someone to tell you the whole story of the event. If they give you the little details, the nuances, their feelings (all the story’s local colour), you can learn so much more about what’s happening than you can with a ‘just give me the hard facts’ approach.

 

8. Jointly agree development tactics
How will the person go about achieving success? You could help by doing it yourself (ie. People can learn effectively from you in some important respects through observing you as the model of how something should be done). You could also achieve significant change by rewarding appropriate behaviour when you observe it.More likely though, you will need to develop a clear plan, covering the following ground: • What can you do yourself?
• What can other people including myself do to help?
• How will you go about it?
• Who will be involved?
• What methods will be used?
• What is likely to get in the way and make life difficult. Ie. Anticipate any known or likely difficulties and have contingency plans for handling them?

 

9. Monitor Progress & Follow-up
How will progress be recognized? How will it be measured? Balance the person’s accountability against the need to learn, bearing in mind that learning sometimes leads to mistakes being made. Plan for systematic reporting back and create a climate of openness and frankness for when this happens.

 

10. Always allow enough time for the coaching session.
A proper coaching session is not something to be rushed or done on the fly. It is a process that requires a lot of preparation and planning to achieve the desired outcome and actually help your team member overcome a specific performance problem. You may find that your discussion with the coachee about his or her needs and the subsequent objective setting is going to take longer than you thought. The best thing to do in this situation is to end the meeting once you have analysed the needs and to set another time where you will discuss objectives. As soon as you are aware that time is running out, you should start to renegotiate how you will complete this stage.

For more on coaching, check out our Coaching People for Better Performance instant download training package. 

Coaching / Training / Counseling / Mentoring - Clearing out the confusion

Coaching:

Coaching is strategically guiding someone into improved performance through reflection on how they apply a specific skill and/or knowledge. Coaching is about developing individuals beyond where they currently are.

Coaching helps people to reflect on their performance in a specific area with an informed,objective helper. It is about helping individuals to implement their learning within the workplace and therefore improve their performance. It is not about teaching something new. The prime focus of coaching should be on using existing knowledge and skills, perhaps reviewing attitude and approach, to maximize performance.

Training:

Training is simply defined as teaching employees what to do and how to do it.  It's  the process by which someone learns a new skill or piece of knowledge. It is giving someone the tools to do a job, thereby moving that person from conscious incompetence to conscious competence. See also: Levels of learning. At the end of a training session the learner may be able to do the job, but not necessarily achieve the required standard all of the time. Training can be formal (eg training courses) or informal (such as on-the-job instruction).
True learning does not take place until the learner has transferred it from the training environment into the ‘real world’, and made a persistent change in behaviour. Training and coaching will often overlap. Sometimes when coaching someone, it may become apparent that he or she does not have the necessary skills or background knowledge; at this point, the coaching stops and training begins. Training and coaching are part of the continuum of development. It is possible, therefore, that within a person’s role there will be many coaching experiences –potentially for as many skills as are required for that position. An effective personal development plan (PDP) will prioritize the skills that need working on at any particular time in order to ensure that the individual is fulfilling his or her potential and achieving business objectives.

Counseling:

Counseling is simply defined as helping explore and possibly resolve problems that could be impacting performance,  it uses similar skills to coaching. A counsellor will generally be used by individuals to help them deal with a specific problem; counseling focuses on emotions and feelings rather than performance. Counseling tends to look at the causes for today’s issues; it looks at the past and the route taken to arrive at the point where the individual currently is. Coaching turns the attention to the future, with the starting point being where the individual is today; its focus is on planning a route to arrive at a pre-agreed point. Within the workplace, individuals would generally only seek the advice of a counsellor if they had a problem, whereas coaching can involve the development of good performance as well as under-performance. There is also a fine line between coaching and counseling. The line here is between functionality and motivation. If a person has no knowledge or only partial knowledge of a particular job function, then that person needs to be coached toward competency. On the other hand, if that same person knows how to perform a particular job function and is just not doing so, there is another issue. This issue could range from a simple motivational one to a more complex one where counseling needs to take place. Another way to look at it is that coaching has to do with the performance and the standards set, and counseling has to do with a problem that is affecting the employee and that could be affecting others as well.

Mentoring:

Many organizations couple coaching and mentoring together as part of the same scheme or process. Again, we would agree that there is an element of overlapping;  We define mentoring as: General guidance or advice regarding life or career. Mentoring, which covers a range of issues, is much more general than coaching, which looks at a specific skill or area. It usually helps people progress within a specific field or organization and helps individuals look at how they use their networking, profile and organizational politics. More often than not a mentor is someone who is senior to their mentee, either within the organization or within their specialist field. In seeking a mentor, individuals will look for a role model who they can relate to on a personal level as well as someone who is well-respected within their area. This differs from coaching in a number of ways:

The coach does not have to be senior to their coachee. The relationship is not so personal – the coachee does not need to like his or her coach, but a mentee generally needs to like his or her mentor. Coaching is about one specific subject, where mentoring is about general issues of career and life development.

 

For more on coaching, Check out our Coaching People For Better Performance instant download training package.

Different Types of Coaches

Nowadays for someone to say that he or she is an executive coach and stop will not mean a lot. There are many different types of coaching and advising in the business world today. Some executive coaches help people plan their lives, others help executives to become more efficient leaders for their teams, some are helping organizations through change and on the organization's strategic plans. some coaches focus on behavioral issues, while others focus on business issues. Coaching categories range from the micro level of changing individual behavior to the macro level of future and strategic plans of organisations. The 5 categories below are considered the major different types of coaching

 


Career life coaching

Career or life coaches spend more time on developing personal values, personal mission statements and the broader aspects of life. They focus more on the interpersonal world of one person rather than his/her interpersonal skills in relation to his/her group or co-workers. Coaches in this category believe that their work on personal growth and helping their clients solve life problems and issues either personal or business related adds a great value to the organisation.

 


Behavioral coaching for leaders

The main focus of behavioral coaches is achieving a long-term change in interpersonal skills , behavior and attitude of  leaders and people managers to enable them to work more efficiently with their teams , they give advice on how leaders can build better relations and more cohesive teams , how to more effectively motivate their people. This is one of the mostly requested type of coaching which can be very useful for all people managers.

 

 

Coaching for leadership development

There is a distinction here between coaches who help leaders and people managers to become more effective individual leaders and coaches who help leaders and organisations develop a cadre of leaders and a development plan or system that ensures a constant supply or a pipeline of great leaders. The main difference between this category of coaches and the previous category is that coaches in this category work with a large number of leaders and people managers and not just work solely with individual leaders.

 

Coaching for organizational change

Coaches in this category are faced with a number of challenges due to their role of mainly helping organisations through change. from organisational capacity for innovation, mergers, executing new strategies , major restructurings. these coaches work closely with senior leaders as well as their teams to make major changes happen successfully.
 

Strategic coaching

Strategic coaches work with top executives in defining the long term direction and putting together a long term strategic plan for the organisation. The main role of this category of coaches is help and guide the organisation at it's top levels to plan and create the path for it's own future.

For more on coaching, check out our Coaching People For Better Performance instant download training package.

Why Coaching and feedback goes wrong ?

How are you coaching currently?

Take a long hard look at the way you currently coach. As an overworked manager and most of us are we find it very easy and tempting to deal with performance problems of our staff at symptom level rather than root cause. We all get a buzz out of taking decisive action and find it hard sometimes to slow down enough to find out why something has gone wrong. so if we take a long hard look at the way we currently coach, most of us are itching to get to the " how to do it " part and that is usually where it goes wrong.

Let them give you their story and experience in a "Narrative rich discussion"

 

Narrative-rich discussions
Are those in which you basically get someone to tell you the whole story of the event. If they give you the little details, the nuances, their feelings (all the story’s local colour), you can learn so much more about what’s happening than you can with a ‘just give me the hard facts’ approach.

Feedback is about observations and not judgments and criticism, our questions during the coaching session or while giving feedback should provide a framework for the other party to critique their own work.

For example : suppose you are giving one of your subordinates feedback about their report writing skills, you should ask questions like: - What are we hoping to achieve with this report ?
- What are the key questions the people who are reading it will want answers to ?
- Does it take people through our line of thought so they can see not just what we want but where we're coming form ?

 

Different people learn in different ways.
Every different team member has a different way of learning : -  Some people trust their instincts and just shrug it off when things go wrong. They’re bored by routine, repetitive tasks and thrive on drama, excitement and anything new. They take an active part in meetings, often contributing more than their share. They’re open-minded about new experiences and tend to act first and think second.

 

These people are event-oriented and learn best from new experiences and anything with a hands-on approach.

- Some people are life’s observers, standing back and watching rather than getting stuck in. They do less than their share of talking in meetings and often make great facilitators. They don’t like to be rushed, preferring to get all the facts together before making a decision.

These people are review-oriented and learn best when they have time and space to think things through.

-  Some people need something new to make sense to them before they can do it. They are analytical and detached, and can get irritated with people who lark about. They feel uncomfortable about going with their instinct, so they like structure and format.

These people are insight-oriented and learn best when they have an input of theory that has a sound basis in logic.

- Some people are life’s questioners, needing to know why as much as how. They delve into things rather than accept them as they are. They don’t take anything for granted, and they think it’s only natural that people should ask questions when they don’t understand.

These people are challenge oriented and  learn best when they can ask questions and are not hurried along to a timetable.

- Some people love putting ideas into practice and are always looking for ways to make things work more effectively. They are practical, down-to-earth people, and they probably subscribe to the idea that those who can do, do and those who can’t, teach.

These people are application-oriented and learn best when there is an obvious link between what they are learning and their job.

Which ones sound like your team members  and are you putting an effort to find out which type of  preferred learning style your team members are ? are you coaching them accordingly  ?

See also: Learning styles Click here for the VAK learning styles questionnaire

 

Different beliefs lead to different behaviours

Your team member will have their own perspective – on their performance and on you. How is your coaching affected by what you believe your team member thinks of you?

Different team members have different beliefs, which lead to different behaviours, which lead to different results, and they bring their beliefs, characteristics, experience, values and  pre-programmes to the coaching dynamic. When you coach,you’re entering potentially treacherous waters because you’re working to raise someone’s self-awareness, which might lead them to have to challenge their perception of themselves, the image they believe they portray, or an important coping strategy.

Your own personal judgments about the person that must be suspended

You can’t like everyone in your team. What impact does liking or disliking a team member have on your relationship with them?

We already know that your perspective changes depending on which team member you are looking at. It’s a lot easier to coach someone you like and feel at ease with. Much as we may wish it was different, we can’t like everyone we work with. Are you the kind of manager who cuts people you like a little more slack? Or are you the kind of manager who is tougher on the people you like and easier on people you don’t like, to compensate? Either way, you’re responding like a human being to another human being. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but be aware of how it impacts on the coaching dynamic.

 

Adapted from a great book on coaching " Real coaching and feedback " By Karen Smart . This book is a highly recommended read on the topic of coaching and feedback.

 

For more on coaching, check out our Coaching People For Better Performance instant download training package.

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