What a great time it is to be a manager or supervisor in an organization! For years now, the business world has been evolving into a new normal, and the role of the leader has been transforming along with it. What worked before as a manager might not be effective at getting results in the business world today.
So, what makes it such a great time to be in a leadership role when times are tough, the business world is constantly changing, and the role of the manager is evolving? Certainly, the competition we face will continue to be fierce and challenge us every day. Under these conditions, the best way we can be succeed as managers is to draw out and tap into the skills and talents of the people who work with us.
I like this quote from Marcus Buckingham because it speaks to the changing role of the manager in the new business normal.
The best strategy for building a competitive organization is to help individuals become more of who they are. -Marcus Buckingham
For some, this might require a change in style from a more command and control management approach to one that enables more self-directed employee performance. The primary role of the manager in the new business normal is to help team members discover their own talent and potential and transform these talents into outstanding performance.
As managers, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by developing our effectiveness at coaching for performance. This terminology can be confusing because coaching has many different interpretations. In this context, coaching for performance is a process of creating awareness and responsibility that leads to results-oriented action and maximizes performance potential.
Coaching can be formal and is frequently informal in nature. Coaching for performance can be directed at individual or team performance. It occurs primarily through dialogue, and the most effective tool employed by an awesome coach is asking discovery questions that probe beneath the surface to unlock performance potential.
One of the most important features about coaching for performance is that a primary focus is on assisting employees develop a greater awareness about themselves and identifying ways to address limitations caused by their “mental game”. Coaching isn’t about therapy or being a cheerleader or fixing people. It’s about operating in a new way as a manager to help employees unlock their deepest performance potential and then holding them accountable for achieving their specific, STRETCH goals.
What are the advantages of coaching for performance? Here are just a few for employees:
- Increased awareness of better solutions
- Ownership of individual performance, including accountability for results
- Higher levels of productivity and improved performance
- Greater development opportunity
What’s in it for us as managers?
- Better use of management time
- Less time spent resolving employee problems
- More time spent in activities that “move the needle”
- Greater success in achievement of STELLAR goals
Coaching for performance is not the same as training, disciplining, or counseling. Nonetheless, it’s applicability in performance related conversations is diverse and important, and includes situations such as:
- Goal setting and reviewing progress
- Problem identification and solving
- Situations requiring creativity, innovation and new approaches
- Workplace relationship issues
- Team building and goal achievement
- Staff development
- Feedback on performance
The list can go on and on, but that should provide a sufficient picture of the possibilities.
As managers in the new business normal, we are learning every day how to become more effective at performing our jobs. The challenge is that the competition will continue to be jockeying with us for position. An opportunity for us is to progress in our ability to coach employees to outstanding levels of performance.
Are you ready for the challenge?