Coaching is Critical!

Coaching is Critical

Leadership, which is a required aspect or skill of management, cannot be done successfully without the leader being a great coach. Being a great coach means that you are a terrific communicator. However, time becomes your enemy. You really will never have enough time to provide pertinent feedback to your direct reports. So how are we supposed to be able to be effective as coaches?

In the world in which we work and live there is too much going on. We are having to constantly upgrade our skills. This is true for us as managers, as well as for our support groups and teams. As a result of the time squeeze and the need to be constantly upgrading skills, sufficient time spent coaching employees is rare. This is an area that has found a good amount of study at Universities and Think Tanks. How do we continue to be able to lead and coach and keep current with skills? Harvard brings us the concept of what they are calling “a connector.”

HR leaders surveyed by Harvard found that they expected Management to spend 36% of their time developing their subordinates, their team members. But a survey within the same organizations with the management found them saying that they spent 9% of their time developing employees. This is a tricky result. More time coaching is not necessarily the answer.

Another survey by Gartner of 7,300 hundred employees and 100 HR managers asked “what are the best mangers doing to develop employees in today’s busy work environment?” They created four different categories of management.

1) Teaching Managers:
Coach based on their own knowledge. This is advice-oriented feedback to employee job performance.

2) Always-on Managers:
Provide continual coaching, it is part of their daily work. This category is typically in alignment with what HR executives think that management should be doing.

3) Connector Managers:
Provide targeted coaching. They constantly are assessing skills and provide specific coaching from the best coaches available. Not necessarily themselves.

4) Cheerleader Managers:
They are supportive. Providing positive feedback and have the employees in charge of their personal development.

The most common type is cheerleaders, which represents 29% of management. While the category representing the least followers was teaching at 22%. The splits are relatively the same.
So, let’s go back to the statement that more time coaching is not necessarily the answer. This survey by Gartner found that “there is very little correlation between time spent coaching and employee performance.” “It is less about quantity than quality.” This is pointing out a stark reality. It is time we start teaching managers how to “COACH.”

As I mentioned last blog we are in the process of creating a coaching class. We are aiming at providing learning on coaching that addresses building trust with team members, tapping into employee potential, creating employee commitment, and actually executing and meeting goals and objectives.

We have referenced the International Coaching Federation (ICF) which has published a set of ethical standards for coaches to build this class. They ask coaches to pledge to do the following

 Show genuine concern for the individuals’ welfare and future.
 Continuously demonstrate personal integrity, honesty and sincerity.
 Keep confidences.

More on that list will come in the weeks and months ahead.

The Time is NOW.