Coaching is about finding out the cause of poor performance or behaviour and discussing with the team member how to put it right.
The team member might respond immediately to coaching and improve the situation. However the improvement wont always be permanent and you may have to do further coaching.
When I suggest this to some managers, they see it as some kind of touchy-feely softly-softly approach. Let me assure you right now - it's not!
It's about telling the team member what part of their behaviour you're unhappy with, listening to what they have to say and agreeing a way forward.
The goal is to achieve a change in behaviour that the team member is committed to and helps you achieve your outcomes.
Think of a time when somebody, a teacher, parent, boss, - coached, taught or encouraged you get better at something. When I ask this question on a seminar I get responses such as:
I felt good
Want to do better
This is what you're aiming for in your team
More productive behaviour - The first objective of coaching is to resolve the poor behaviour. If it's done properly then that's what you'll achieve. However there are other benefits.
The team member knows what's expected - Coaching allows you to make it very clear to your team members what is expected of them. Many mangers fall into the trap of "assuming" that the team member knows what's expected. This is the cause of many examples of poor behaviour. The team member didn't know - "reports had to be submitted by the 15th of the month." They didn't know - "they could give the customer their money back." Didn't know - "they had to be on time for the meeting." Coaching allows you to calmly and clearly, make clear what's expected.
The team member is motivated to change - The only real motivation is internal motivation. Coaching allows you to create the environment where the team member makes the decision to change for themselves. This means that they're more committed to the change and it's more likely to happen. It's also easier on you because you don't have to "drive" the person to make the changes.
They know you care - If you coach in a positive and constructive way, your people will see you as supportive and understanding. They'll know that you're not just "picking" on them and that you're looking for a win-win situation.
It ensures a happy and motivated team - That means better results, you achieving your outcomes and there's much less stress all round.
Less warning interviews - The manager, who ignores poor behaviour, lets the situation build up and then finds themselves in the "warning" situation.
If you coach poor behaviour as and when it occurs then you're likely to have far fewer warning interviews.
About the author
Article by Alan Fairweather, International Speaker and the author of, 'How to be a Motivational Manager, ‘How to Manage Difficult People' and ‘How to Make Sales When You Don't like Selling'. Visit: www.themotivationdoctor.com, for more information.