Successful Coaching and Council Which is Best – Part 1
All outstanding managers engage in coaching on a daily basis and counseling on an as needed basis typically we can say that coaching is the proactive manner to help support the mentoring provided to employees to improve their performance and to help them when having difficulties. It is mainly focused on maintaining existing, strong performance and moving it still further. Counseling on the other hand is the reactive fractured approach implemented when an employee is performing below expectations due to either a skill deficiency or an attitude deficiency. It is mainly focused on restoring performance to a minimal acceptable level or failing that, removing the employee from that job.
I remember the first time that I was managing a full force of individuals and I was asked to evaluate the performance of a young woman by the name of Ivy. Unfortunately I was predisposed because I had discovered that Ivy had very poor performance skills, was typically late and was not meeting the quota goals assigned to her. It was up to me to decide whether or not she was worth keeping or terminating her employment. So, with both solutions open to for either coaching or counseling I used both forms to help increase her performance and reverse many of the poor things people were saying. In the next few moments I will provide you some information on coaching and how to use it to help those with weak into personal skills.
My belief is that all employees should be coached on an ongoing basis. It is a form of mentoring that enables ongoing dialogue between the manager and the subordinate so that feedback on performance doesn’t occur only when there is a problem. Nor should it occur and only one time of the year-the performance review. Moreover it allows for excellent work to be recognized, supported, exploited and then finally conveyed to others.
Unfortunately many managers spend 10 times more of their effort and energy counseling. Managers often confuse the two and don’t understand the difference and usually respond only to problems, meaning that the preponderance of their time is spent on correcting weak efforts rather than supporting strength.
The most important attributes of a coaching relationship are the following:
- That the dialogue is constant and ongoing it’s not situated around the periodic review. You never provide information when something goes awry. People need to have good relationships with their coaches and mentors. There must be ongoing interaction and dialogue
- The feedback must be timely and it has to be offered at a point where an issue or a problem arises. This separates the difference between a performance evaluation and periodic feedback to improve performance. When possible observe as a practice so see good stuff when it happens
- It is important to understand that the manager simply coaches and mentors but the employee ultimately performs.
- In order for a good mentoring process to occur there must be a good relationship. In other words both sides must be approachable whenever and wherever. It is not on exclusive terms.
- And finally the employee must be able to be coached. Some people simply do not like the told by others how to improve performance.
When there are issues that require counseling similar to what had to be done at one time and Peter and Randy. Peter was the manager and Randy was a belligerent employee that never seemed to appreciate the job or perform well. Peter decided then he needed counseling.
Drew Stevens PhD works with organizations that struggle with productivity that effects profits. Dr. Drew works with senior officers and their direction reports to dramatically increase relationships that build higher morale. He can be reached through his website at www.stevensconsultinggroup.com
© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.