Clare Norman Coaching Associates https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com Challenging business leaders and coaches to grow through change Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:55:29 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/cropped-site-identity.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Clare Norman Coaching Associates https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com 32 32 Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching for Change in Role https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-for-change-in-role/ https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-for-change-in-role/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:53:38 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2878 Often in organisations, the scope and scale of a person’s role can change.  That may be part of a reorganisation so not necessarily welcome, or, more welcome, to give the employee extra capacity to learn and grow. As this person’s leader, we may need to teach them first, before we can use more of a […]

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change in roleOften in organisations, the scope and scale of a person’s role can change.  That may be part of a reorganisation so not necessarily welcome, or, more welcome, to give the employee extra capacity to learn and grow.

As this person’s leader, we may need to teach them first, before we can use more of a coach approach.  There may be new processes to learn, new ways of operating.  So a bit of direction will be important in the first instance.

Assuming this is a motivated, performing individual, you can then move into using more of a coach approach, to enable them to figure out next steps themselves.

 

Grasp those opportunities for growth & learning

Alongside the task element though, there is the psychological change that the individual will need to work through. It’s ideal if the manager coaches their team member through the stages of transition;

  • Asking questions that help the employee to deconstruct the old, recognise the losses and celebrate the endings
  • Find their way through the uncertainty and doubt
  • Make a good beginning

Expecting the employee to just get on with it is missing an opportunity for growth and learning.

An internal executive coach can also be useful

Of course, if it’s the boss that is changing, the employee will want to talk to someone neutral, so might choose an internal executive coach to help them to figure out how to get good closure with their old boss, and make a good start with their new boss.

In the case of a new location, that may also be better dealt with by an internal or external coach, as there may be many personal issues to sort out as well, such as where to live, children’s schooling, spouse’s needs etc.

Whoever the employee chooses to support them, there will be plenty to think about – and doing that with a sounding board will make the process more thorough, such that things don’t come back to bite the employee for lack of consideration.


You may benefit from reading other blogs in my ‘When to use a Coach Approach’ series, here are links to a couple of them:

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Re-joining the Workforce

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching Someone who is Moving Roles Internally

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Re-joining the Workforce https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-re-joining-the-workforce/ https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-re-joining-the-workforce/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 09:05:19 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2874 Maternity and paternity returners benefit hugely from coaching.  They’ve been through a massive change, and that will affect their return to work.  Those who have taken a sabbatical, study leave or long-term sick leave might also benefit from support as they are re-joining the workforce. Coaching for endings for those re-joining the workforce In the […]

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Maternity and paternity returners benefit hugely from coaching.  They’ve been through a massive change, and that will affect their return to work.  Those who have taken a sabbatical, study leave or long-term sick leave might also benefit from support as they are re-joining the workforce.

Coaching for endings for those re-joining the workforce

In the case of the predictable career breaks, it’s wise to start the coaching before they even leave.  There is “closure” to be done, and preparation for the mental shift needed for the break.  It will be a different life for a while, so it makes just as much sense to plan for the break as it does to plan for the return to work.

Coaching in the neutral zone for those re-joining the workforce

Ideally, coaching in the break can be useful too, to keep the employee connected; and particularly just before they return to work, getting their head and heart back in the game. For working Mums and Dads, that’s particularly important, as they now have a different priority in their life and they’ll want to adjust their working patterns to be sure that their new baby’s needs are met.

Coaching for new beginnings for those re-joining the workforce

The new Mum or Dad has a new identity, and he/she may be asking questions like, “am I still the person I was?”, “do I see myself as a professional any more?”, “how do I leave my new identity as a mother/father behind when I go to work?”, “is the best mum the one who goes to work or the one who stays at home?”  This is prime territory for coaching, to enable the parent to figure out these and many other questions around juggling of priorities, guilt at leaving their child in someone else’s hands, what kind of childcare arrangements to choose etc. Until they have figured out those childcare arrangements, their thoughts about their career are likely to be on the back-burner; so it’s in their and the business’ interests to help them to think this through for their own context.

The new Mum or Dad has new relationships to tend to, and coaching can really help her/him to figure out relationships with the adults in their life (spouse, elders, friends), their relationship with the child, their relationship with the organisation.  Conversations are important in all these relationships, to avoid making assumptions – and to avoid others making assumptions about their needs.  If the Mum or Dad can be supported to articulate her/his needs in these relationships, and articulate those, she/he is much more likely to have those needs met, rather than people second-guessing what she/he might want and need.

You may think that this kind of coaching is more suitable with a neutral coach, someone who does not have performance expectations of this new Mum or Dad.  You’ll know your own tolerance levels for this and whether the two of you have the level of trust between you to make it viable to coach her/him or ask someone else to step in.  Even if you don’t feel equipped to coach someone in this position, you can still use a coach approach to avoid making assumptions about what your employee needs.

The important thing is that she/he gets the chance to figure out with a neutral supporter what she/he is leaving behind in terms of their old life, what she/he is struggling with in the “not knowing” of the new situation, and how she/he makes a great new beginning that works for her/him, the family and the organisation.  The same applies for those who take a sabbatical or long-term study leave.

You may like to revisit some previous blogs I have written in this series, here are links to a couple:

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching for Promotion

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching Someone who is Moving Roles Internally

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching Someone who is Moving Roles Internally https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-someone-who-is-moving-roles-internally/ Fri, 14 Sep 2018 10:22:58 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2883 One of your team members has found a great new role inside the organisation.  Moving roles internally is a time to celebrate with them – not to feel sorry for yourself because you now need to find a replacement and train them up.  Too many leaders hold onto their team members for fear of the […]

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changing roleOne of your team members has found a great new role inside the organisation.  Moving roles internally is a time to celebrate with them – not to feel sorry for yourself because you now need to find a replacement and train them up.  Too many leaders hold onto their team members for fear of the unknown and the extra work; but in the long-run, that will back-fire, as the employee will find it easier to resign from the company, which will be an even bigger loss.

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s think about how you can support them through the ending the neutral zone and the new beginning.

Coaching through the ending

Of course, you’d like them to close well.  Ask them what their intentions are around what they will complete and what will be left unfinished by the time they move.  Help them to be realistic.  You have a vested interest in them finishing everything, but that won’t necessarily be possible; and you don’t want to send someone who is burnt out to a new leader.

Ask them to think through who they want and need to express their thanks to; who they want to say good-bye to, even if they will still be in touch in a different capacity; who they want to leave behind but not burn their bridges with.

Do they want a farewell party?  What is their preference for marking this ending?

This will all help them to make a good ending and feel a sense of completion.

Coaching through the neutral zone

Concurrently, there will be a lot of things that they don’t know about the scope and scale of their new role.  This may be slowing them down in their current role, so give them time to ask questions of their new boss ahead of their start date, so that they can start to get themselves ready.   Remember they are sticking with this organisation, so on behalf of the organisation’s best interests, support them to be in a good position to make the change.

Coaching through the beginning

When someone is moving roles internally, this will probably fall to the new leader.  But if you have built a good trusting relationship with your employee, it’s quite possible that they will come to you to talk through issues they are having in their new role.  They know that you listen well and will give them time to think it through for themselves; and once again, this is time well invested in the interests of the organisation (even though you are busy with their replacement too).


You might like to look back at a couple of previous blogs in this series, ‘When to use a Coach Approach’ you can follow the links here:

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching a New Joiner

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Team Meetings

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching for Promotion https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-for-promotion/ Thu, 30 Aug 2018 09:10:30 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2887 Your team member has proven themselves to be a strong performer; so much so that they have earned a promotion.  That means things will change.  Not just their status and their pay-grade, but the expectations (yours, theirs and other stakeholders’). So coaching is important to support them through the change, to figure out all of […]

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authentic leadershipYour team member has proven themselves to be a strong performer; so much so that they have earned a promotion.  That means things will change.  Not just their status and their pay-grade, but the expectations (yours, theirs and other stakeholders’).

So coaching is important to support them through the change, to figure out all of those new expectations and follow through on them.

If they are moving from being an individual contributor to managing one or more people, the change is even more complex.  As The Leadership Pipeline explains, our mindset needs to change, alongside the way we spend our time and the skills we need to display.  Too often, organisations assume that just because a person has contributed well as an individual, they will be able to figure out the managerial side of things by osmosis.  THEY CANNOT!

I have seen people floundering too often because they are trying to be a manager of people with the same mindset, skill set and time allocations as they had when they were an individual contributor.  That will never work.  So your job is to support them through this transition.

Further Promotion

The same happens at each promotion to managing more people, bigger functions etc.

You might try asking questions such as:

  • What new skills do you feel you need to develop in this new role?
  • How might you develop those?
  • What training do you need to help you with that?
  • What other resources?
  • What beliefs might be useful to you in this new role?
  • What beliefs might you need to jettison?
  • What do you need to do more of, less of, and continue doing?
  • What tasks will you jettison to make room for the new expectations of you?
  • How will your time be spent differently?
  • What will you prioritise?

You may find yourself changing hats here, between teaching, mentoring and coaching.  Be clear when you are changing hat, asking permission before you do so.  It’s likely that they will want you to tell them what to do.  Be cautious about this, and your role is to help them to develop into their own brand of leader, authentically aligned with who they are as a human being, using their strengths.

You may benefit from reading my other blog posts in this series, here are a couple to get you started…

https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-a-new-joiner/

https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/coach-approach-one-to-ones/

 

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Coaching a New Joiner https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-coaching-a-new-joiner/ Thu, 16 Aug 2018 06:05:09 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2813 You have a new member on your team, new to the organisation even.  How do you support and challenge them?  If they don’t know how to do the job, then of course, training is the right intervention, at least to start with.  But if they have already done the job somewhere else, and are motivated […]

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new joinerYou have a new member on your team, new to the organisation even.  How do you support and challenge them?  If they don’t know how to do the job, then of course, training is the right intervention, at least to start with.  But if they have already done the job somewhere else, and are motivated (which you would hope would be true for a new joiner), then you can use more of a coach-approach, asking them questions that help them to figure out how to apply what they already know to this new context.

This is also a good opportunity for you to ask them what does motivate them, so that you can provide opportunities that align with their motivations.  Don’t assume that what motivates you will motivate everyone else.  

Making a Great Ending

But wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  We have an opportunity to support a person to make a good ending in their old job before they even start with us.  That might seem like we’re giving a service to the old organisation, and perhaps that’s true – but more importantly, we are helping the individual to decide which baggage to leave behind and which to bring with them into this new role.  Making a great ending is crucial to making a stellar beginning.

So, pre-joining, you might ask your new joiner:

  • What are you leaving behind that you don’t need here in this new role?
  • What are you bringing with you? (this isn’t about encouraging unethical behaviour around contact lists and competitor materials, but more about their skills)
  • What would it be useful to know before turning up on day one?  How can you go about finding out this data and information – who can help you?
  • How can you get yourself physically and mentally fit for the new start?
  • How can you organise yourself to be effective with new systems and processes to manage your time and energy?
  • Who and how do you want to be in this new role?  How can you bring the best of who you are into this unique culture?

A Good Start

On joining, there are new things to reflect upon, such as:

  • What would be the most useful way for you to get clear about the new job and the contribution you are expected to make?
  • How will you get alignment with the expectations your stakeholders need you to step up to
  • How will you build great relationships with all your stakeholders, including your boss, your peers, your supporters and detractors, and your team members

Then two to four months in, you’ll be ready to discuss:

  • Early wins; stepping up to challenges, rather than waiting for others to hold their hand.
  • Making the best decisions to suit this culture and context, and for the long-term success of the business.
  • Aligning priorities, culture, people, organisational structure, processes, technology to achieve the strategy and performance metrics.

Changing organisations can be a stressful time, and a place of not knowing, which can be uncomfortable.  It may be that you aren’t the right person to coach this new joiner, as they may not want to admit to not knowing things or feeling vulnerable; but coaching will be invaluable with a more neutral person if that is not you

There is business sense in investing at this stage of a person’s employee experience too, as the new joiner is more likely to figure out in a shorter space of time how they can add value to this new culture – and then start adding that value.  The alternative is people who stick out like a sore thumb, and who are rejected by the system.

You might also like to remind yourself about transitions, as the psychological stuff will get in the way of the task if you don’t attend to it.

You might like to look back at some of the other blog posts in this series ‘ When to use a Coach Approach’.

 

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Giving Frequent Feedback

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ One to Ones

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Team Meetings https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-as-coach-when-to-use-a-coach-approach-team-meetings/ Thu, 02 Aug 2018 09:30:45 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2755 So far, we’ve looked at one-to-ones and feedback that uses a coach-approach.  Let’s move on to team meetings. As always, contracting is really important, to ensure that everyone know what they are there for.  What’s the purpose of the meeting, what are the desired outcomes and what will success look like by the end of […]

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So far, we’ve looked at one-to-ones and feedback that uses a coach-approach.  Let’s move on to team meetings.

As always, contracting is really important, to ensure that everyone know what they are there for.  What’s the purpose of the meeting, what are the desired outcomes and what will success look like by the end of the meeting?  As the convener of the meeting, you can be directive about these:

  • We’re here to discuss x
  • We have 30 minutes
  • The outcome I’d like us to reach within this meeting is y
  • We’ll know we have achieved that when z
  • I suggest we do A, B and C to get us there
  • The final decision will be [a consensus, a vote, my decision]
  • Let’s start with….

[STOKeRS credit: 3d Coaching].

You may need to come back to this to remind people if they stray off topic, and you may want to have it written on a flip-chart to keep everyone focused.

A Facilititative Approach to Team Meetings

But this is where you move out of directive and into coach-like, facilitative, asking questions rather than giving solutions.  You want to encourage open debate, and that might mean conflict.  Conflict is a good thing when it comes to making the best decisions.  We need to hear all sides of an argument before we commit to a way forward.  Your goal is to get multiple possibilities out on the table, just as you would in one-to-one coaching.

But just as in one-to-one coaching, don’t move to action too early.  It’s important to explore the root causes of a problem, or what’s underneath the surface.  Your goal is to create awareness of the situation and the ramifications.

Be sure to ask the quieter members of the team for their contribution.  That might mean giving them a bit of time to think about it, if they are more reflective.  You could ask everyone to write down their thoughts before they come to the meeting, or at the beginning of the meeting, before you dig in.  That way, they will have a chance to reflect and be more confident in contributing something.

Equally, you may need to ask the vocal team members to allow others to voice their thoughts.  This is really important for everyone to feel heard and valued; and for the team to be able to deliver the best quality decision.  This is an example of direct communication.

Toward the end of a meeting, the leader should write down in a place that is visible to everyone the answer to the question: “What have we agreed upon today?”  Team members then provide their individual responses about whether this is their understanding of what has been agreed.  If there is no consensus, the leader then provokes further discussion to eliminate any discrepancies and clarify commitment and agreements.  The leader then records all commitments in writing where everyone can see them, and has all team members record them as well (credit to Patrick Lencioni).  In essence, this is about Planning and Goal-setting.  The next time you convene, you can check in and manage progress and accountability.

I suggest that at the end of every meeting you also reflect together about what worked well and what could be improved for the next meeting.  This way, you can learn together what makes a great meeting for your time.

What are your best experiences of meetings where you felt able to contribute and fully explore the contributions of others?  What did the team lead or chairperson do that created an environment where this was possible?  I bet that trust and intimacy was a part of the mix, as well as the location.

If I were to draw this, it might look something like this (an adaptation of Peter Hawkin’s CLEAR model, with some coaching competencies thrown in)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would you add to the model?

You might like to look back over some of the other blog posts in this series ‘When to use a Coach Approach’

Leader as Coach ~ When to use a Coach Approach ~ Corridor Conversations

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Giving Frequent Feedback

 

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Corridor Conversations https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-coach-approach-corridor-conversations/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 11:54:02 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2803 Coaching, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t need to be a one hour conversation hidden behind closed doors away from the work, it can be short and sweet too, ‘corridor conversations’. Tweet This! Afterall, as Teresa Amabile says, any progress is good progress.         Here are three scenarios. Great opportunities for a bit […]

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corridor conversationsCoaching, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t need to be a one hour conversation hidden behind closed doors away from the work, it can be short and sweet too, ‘corridor conversations’. Tweet This!

Afterall, as Teresa Amabile says, any progress is good progress.

 

 

 

 

Here are three scenarios. Great opportunities for a bit of coaching, short corridor conversations….

  • You’re on your way to a meeting, and one of your team members asks to walk with you to discuss an issue they are facing.  What do you do?
  • You’re approaching the water cooler, and one of your project team is already there; he’s encountered some obstacles to getting a piece of work done.  What do you do?
  • You’ve just finished a meeting and you’d like to give some positive feedback to one of the meeting participants for their contribution.  What do you do?

Don’t rush off to the next thing on your to-do list.  Take a few minutes to move people forward, so that they can make progress.

STOKeRS

You can still use your STOKeRS questions to contract for the conversation, to give it some structure.  I know what you are thinking, that alone can take 10 or 15 minutes, so how is this conversation going to be succinct?  Use the time you have.  Get to the point.  Pace is good.

In the first corridor conversation scenario;

  • ask what they would like to talk about (Subject)
  • let them know you are on your way to a meeting and have 5 minutes before you are due in the room, so what specifically would they like to walk away with from that 5 minutes? (Time, Outcome)
  • how will they know they have what they need? (Know)
  • how would they like you to support or challenge them? (Role)
  • where would they like to start?

[STOKeRS credit: 3d Coaching].

You may need to encourage them to bottom line, to get to the point, in order to get them the outcome they want.  That’s ok, that’s a good challenge for them to be brief in this instance.  Whilst the subject matter might be much bigger than the two of you can tackle all at once in this 5 minutes, they will walk away with just enough to move forward.  Often that helps them to keep moving forward, without needing another hour to resolve the rest of the issue.  Simply getting them started on the path is enough.  And if they do need more time when they get stuck again, perhaps another 5 minute conversation will be enough to nudge them forward.


In the second corridor conversation scenario, where your team member has encountered some obstacles, you might use STOKeRS in a different way:

  • Steven, I noticed that you had come up against a barrier to making progress this week. (Subject)
  • I have 7 minutes before I need to get back for a phone call, but I wondered what might be useful for us to explore together in that time, to get you moving again? (Time and Outcome)
  • How will you know you have got what you need by the time we end? (Know)
  • How shall we do this together? (Role)
  • Where would it be useful to start? (Start)

Again, your aim is to support Steven enough to enable him to take one step forward, to try one new experiment, to talk to one new person (whatever his outcome is), in service of knocking down the barrier in his way.  He can then proceed.  If you do need more time together, at least you’ve been able to get started on the process and can then book more time in your respective diaries.


Scenario three is a more feedback based corridor conversation, and you’ll remember that we looked at a coach approach to feedback in the last post.  So take another look at that to see how you might do this.  In a nutshell though, you might say something like:

  • Sophie, how do you think that meeting went?  And your contribution?
  • I noticed that at the point Josie said x, you responded with actual data that prevented us from getting into a long-winded discussion.  I’m grateful for the way that kept the meeting on point, saving mend the other participants’ time and saving the organisation the cost of 10 people’s salary for 30 minutes.  Thank you

Because it’s positive feedback, you would not move into coaching mode to help Sophie to think through what she would do differently next time.  But you could still ask her what she learned about herself and how she might apply that learning in similar situations in the future.


In Summary

Corridor conversations are a great opportunity for nipping something in the bud, or getting something sorted, or giving some feedback while it’s still fresh in the mind.  So don’t miss those opportunities to use a coach approach in a pacy way. Tweet This!

You may find it useful to catch up with some of the previous blogs in the series:

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Giving Frequent Feedback

Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ One to Ones

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ Giving Frequent Feedback https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/leader-coach-when-use-coach-approach-giving-frequent-feedback/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:00:45 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2752 Within your one-to-ones, and as you see things that merit it, you will want to give frequent feedback to keep your employee motivated and on-track. Creating and delivering a specific message based on observed performance is vital to effective feedback.  You may have told a fellow manager, a co-worker or even your boss that he […]

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feedbackWithin your one-to-ones, and as you see things that merit it, you will want to give frequent feedback to keep your employee motivated and on-track.

Creating and delivering a specific message based on observed performance is vital to effective feedback.  You may have told a fellow manager, a co-worker or even your boss that he is a good leader or that she communicates well, or that he needs to be more strategic. You may believe that such statements are helpful examples of feedback.  But these statements only evaluate or interpret, they don’t describe specific behaviour that a person can learn and develop by repeating or avoiding that behaviour.

 

Effective Feedback

Effective feedback should enable the receiver to walk away understanding exactly what he or she did and what impact it had on you.  When the feedback is this specific and this direct, there is a better chance that the person getting the feedback will be motivated to stop, start or continue behaviours that affect performance.

Feedback is most effective when it is little and often, within a short period of time of the behaviour being observed.  This way it can be easily recalled – and it can be acted upon immediately.  This takes no more than 5 minutes.

Feedback Technique – Situation – Behaviour – Impact (SBI)

This post describes a feedback technique called Situation-Behaviour-Impact, where you describe the situation, describe the behaviour you observed, and explain the impact that the behaviour has on you.

You will notice that this approach starts with a directive approach, and then moves into coaching.  As an alternative, you could start by asking them what did they learn from a particular situation, and then move in to this method – particularly if they have a different point of view.

Describe the Situation

The first step is to describe the location and time when a behaviour occurred, so that you create the context for your feedback receiver, helping them to remember clearly their thinking and behaviour at the time.

For example, “Yesterday morning, while we were walking with Dave to the meeting…”, or “Today, when you and I were talking at the coffee machine…”.

The more specifically you can recall the details of the situation, the clearer your feedback will be.

Describe the Observed Behaviour

Describing behaviour is the second step to giving effective feedback.  It’s also the most crucial and most often omitted.  The most common mistake in giving feedback happens when judgments are communicated using adjectives that describe a person but not a person’s actions.  That kind of feedback is ineffective because it doesn’t give the receiver information about what behaviour to stop, start or continue in order to improve performance.    Consider the phrases below:

  • He was rude during the meeting
  • She was engaged during the small-group discussion
  • She seemed bored at her team’s presentation
  • He seemed pleased with the report his employees presented

These phrases describe an observer’s impression or interpretation of a behavior.

Now look at the following list of actions an observer might witness that would lead to those impressions and interpretations:

  • He spoke at the same time as another person was speaking
  • She leaned forward in her chair, wrote notes after other people spoke, and then communicated her thoughts to the group, repeating some of the things that other people had said
  • She yawned, rolled her eyes, and looked out of the window
  • He smiled and nodded his head

The phrases in this list use verbs to describe a person’s actions.  The focus is on the actual behaviour, not on a judgment as to what the behaviour might mean.

When giving people feedback using SBI, it is not only important to capture what is said or done, but also how it is said and done.  You can capture the how by paying attention to three things: body language, tone of voice and speaking manner, and word choice.

Explain the Impact

The third step in giving feedback is to relay the impact that the other person’s behaviour had on you.  The impact you want to communicate is not how you think a person’s behaviour might affect the organisation, co-workers, a programme, clients, a product, or any third party.  The impact you want to focus on and communicate is your reaction to a behavior.

To do this, acknowledge the emotional effect the person’s behaviour had on you.  “When you told me in the meeting that my concerns about product deadlines were “overblown”, I felt humiliated”.  Your personal reactions to the feedback can’t easily be dismissed, as it is a personal experience, so the feedback is more likely to be heard.

Explain why it is Important

This is a description of what is at stake for the individual, others, the organisation.  This can act as a motivator to change.

 For positive feedback, you can stop at this point.  Good job!  Your affirmation will give them a glow for the rest of the day.  If you are offering constructive feedback, the next step is to:

Identify the Part you Played in Creating the Problem (if Giving Constructive Feedback)

If you share up-front how you think you may have been part of the cause, this will prevent possible defensiveness on their part.

Putting it all together

To develop your effectiveness in giving feedback, practice putting your feedback in this form:

  Situation  

Behaviour
When you did/ said  (behaviour)

Impact
I felt (impact)
Why is this important? Your input to the problem
Peer feedback Sophie, this morning in the hallway, You asked my opinion about decisions to launch our new product. That makes me feel included, part of the team It’s important for us as a team that we work together for greater impact.
Sunil, last night as we were leaving, you said that you weren’t clear about my role in this project, I felt hurt. It’s important for me that my contribution is recognised. Maybe I haven’t been vocal enough about what I am doing behind the scenes
Subordinate feedback Matt, in the meeting with the new Senior Executive yesterday, you kept your voice at an even tone, even when she questioned your numbers. I felt really at ease with your delivery I can see how she is already starting to trust you as a result.
Gerhard, I read through the report you wrote, in which you had some factual mistakes, such as…. As a result, I feel frustrated. Accuracy is so important for our credibility with the client. It’s possible that I sent you the older data as well as the new, in which case I may have confused you.
Boss feedback Over the past couple of months, you have not commented once about the reports I have completed. I feel unimportant. My engagement levels have dropped as a result. I realise I haven’t asked for feedback either, and I could have done that.
Alessandra, yesterday in the conference call with Stephan, you said that you were pleased with how I had built the relationship with Ben I want to let you know that makes me feel recognised. It’s important to me that I know you see these things

So you’ve laid the feedback out on the table, and now it’s time to move into coaching mode, that is finding out what the individual thinks and feels, and helping them to move to a solution. For this, you can use the GROW model, Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward (from John Whitmore).

Re-emphasise your Goal for this Conversation

Something like:  “I want us to figure out how to resolve this issue – the effect your mistakes are making on our credibility with the client”.

Ask the Individual to Share the Reality as they see it

In your own words, express something like the following: “I am really interested in learning your perspective.  How do you see this?”

Now, continue to listen and ask open questions about their reality. 

Explore Options

  • What options can you think of for solving this issue?
  • What else?
  • What else?

Decide upon the way forward

  • Of these options, which are you going to put into action?
  • What are you going to do for each of the options?  Break them into steps.
  • When are you going to do each of the steps?
  • Who will you approach for support?
  • What will you say to them?
  • When will you talk to them?
  • What support do you need from me?
  • When shall we review progress?

Follow Up

Finally, follow up with the individual to give them continuous feedback about this behaviour – both positive to affirm them and any changes they are making; and developmental where they are still having trouble.

Points of delivery

  • When you approach someone to offer feedback, use a phrase such as “May I share an observation with you?” This open approach, in which you ask permission, can ease anxiety and sets the scene for a conversation, not a confrontation.
  • To create more openness around the notion of feedback, take opportunities to offer positive feedback more than offering developmental feedback. The ratio of positive to negative statements in high performing organisations is 5.6 to 1 (Kim S. Cameron, Positive Leadership).  In poor performing, struggling organisations, the ratio was as low as 0.36 to 1.  It is as important that people know what behaviour to repeat as it is for them to understand what they should stop and start.
  • Acknowledge the uneasiness or discomfort you may feel when giving a person feedback. Say something like “As I am telling you this, I’m aware of how uncomfortable I am”.  A simple acknowledgment honours your experience and can minimize the perceived threat of the feedback experience from the receiver’s perspective.

I challenge you to experiment with this approach and come back with your observations.  How did it go?  What did you do well? How would you do it differently the next time?

Recreated with the kind permission of the Center for Creative Leadership, based on Feedback that Works, Sloan R. Weitzel; and Sir John Whitmore’s GROW model from Coaching for Performance.

 

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Leader as Coach: When to use a Coach Approach ~ One to Ones https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/coach-approach-one-to-ones/ Fri, 08 Jun 2018 10:10:14 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2748 When to use a Coach Approach  – Overview Previously, you’ve read here that it’s more difficult for a leader to coach his or her team members directly, due to the conflict of interest that you have: you want them to perform well in this role, where they may want to discuss a move to a […]

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When to use a Coach Approach  – Overview

Previously, you’ve read here that it’s more difficult for a leader to coach his or her team members directly, due to the conflict of interest that you have: you want them to perform well in this role, where they may want to discuss a move to a new role for example.  Despite this difficulty, you can still use a coach-approach, contracting at the start, asking more questions than telling, listening rather than advising, supporting and challenging them towards action, getting a commitment.

In this new series, I will write about all the different kinds of conversations where you, the leader as coach, can use a coach-approach with your team members:

 

 

  • One-to-ones
  • Giving frequent feedback
  • Team meetings
  • Corridor conversations
  • Career Change discussion
  • Re-joining the workforce
  • Coaching a new joiner
  • Coaching for a change in role
  • Coaching someone who is moving roles internally
  • Coaching for promotion
  • Coaching upwards
  • Coaching before and after training
  • Coaching when leaving the organisation

Let’s start with one-to-ones.

One to Ones

First thing to say is that I hope you are, indeed, having one-to-ones on a regular basis.  They need your focused time to enable them to move forward. What’s the right cadence?  I’d suggest once every two weeks at a minimum.  Less than that, and you risk them losing momentum on the key deliverables in their portfolio of work.  You look good if your team makes progress!

Delegation

When you delegate a task or project, you will need to be clear about expectations.  Though this is not a time to use a coach approach!  Ensure you are both clear on what success looks like.  Discuss the outcomes you are both aiming for early and often:

  • outcome that is needed – the deliverable and any standards for meeting that
  • deadline and milestones between now and then
  • context, and where this fits into the business strategy
  • barriers to success
  • resources that are required
  • tools available
  • people who might be affected

Delegate early, because the employee will need more time to complete this the first time around.

Delegate whole tasks – if you truly want the experience to be meaningful to the employee, transfer as much of the task as possible (e.g., rather than only delegating the creation of a report, delegate the analysis of it and the presentation of the themes in a meeting etc).

Here’s a set of questions that I suggest you might use in a one-to-one to keep them moving forwards with each task or project that you have delegated.  Edit the questions, make them yours, but do ask questions that get them to be independent, critical thinkers.  By using a Coach Approach, you want them to be self-reliant when you are not there, so helping them to figure it out for themselves will get them into that groove, where telling them what to do will make them more dependent on you and more likely to stall when you are not there to answer their questions.

Focus on the most important, value-added tasks/projects that the individual is working on this week.  For each task/project, ask:

  • Last time we met, you said you were planning to__________.  How did that work for you? [Congratulate them for their progress and successes]
  • What challenges and problems are you facing?
  • How might you resolve those?
  • How are other people reacting? How are you dealing with that?
  • How can I help you? [this is not about doing it for them, rather helping them to think through how to knock down the barriers]
  • What actions will you take next week to move this forward?
  • What are you learning? [Give them feedback on what you are noticing about their behaviours and outcomes; this could be constructive feedback and/or positive feedback]
  • How are you developing others through this big rock?

I’ll share more about the feedback piece next time.  In the meantime, I challenge you to experiment with this coach approach to see how much further it takes you and your employee.

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Group Coaching Supervision – A Case Study https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/group-coaching-supervision-case-study/ Thu, 31 May 2018 10:00:18 +0000 https://www.clarenormancoachingassociates.com/?p=2732 The ICF describes Coaching Supervision as; “the interaction that occurs when a coach periodically brings his or her coaching work experiences to a coaching supervisor in order to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach and his or her clients.” I’ve been working with a group of […]

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supervisionThe ICF describes Coaching Supervision as;

“the interaction that occurs when a coach periodically brings his or her coaching work experiences to a coaching supervisor in order to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach and his or her clients.”

I’ve been working with a group of coaches in a supervision capacity for a few months, and we’ve had some wonderfully touching highs and lows, where they have each brought their most vulnerable coaching moments to shine the light on their own capacity as coaches.

It’s been a privilege for me to hold the space for them to do their best thinking about how to grow through these experiences, and they kindly agreed to create this case study with me, about how coaching supervision had helped them.

Issues brought to coaching supervision

·      Organisational contracting and the complexities involved

·      Coach/client boundaries, conflicts of interest, changing relationships

·      Coach well-being: Staying safe, managing overwhelm, self-care, resourcefulness, authenticity and ethics

·      Adult to adult relationships and professional behaviour

What we did together in the coaching supervision

·      Created a safe space through contracting and openness to allow for vulnerability, and to challenge and be challenged

·      Shared the time and gave each other the time to think and talk in a structured way

·      Used a variety of tools, materials and approaches, which could equally be used in coaching

·      Heard each other as human beings

·      Accepted and valued the differences in the group

·      Modelled professional behaviour

Coach outcomes post-supervision

·      Owning their individual coaching philosophies and approach

·      Confident, coherent, congruent in the way they coach

·      Learned to trust themselves, reducing performance anxiety

·      Getting clarity on specific cases, and taking action to shift the client

·      Leaving each time feeling resourced and lighter

Coach Testimonials

“This was my first experience of supervision and I wish I had invested in it much earlier in my coaching career.  Supervision is not a cost, it is a gift to yourself, both as a professional coach and as a person.  Clare is an expert in holding the space, facilitating the process and growing you as a coach.”

“I have found Clare to be professional, knowledgeable and enabling.  I trust her.  What I really value is her openness to feedback and her role-modelling growth and growing as a coach/supervisor herself.  This is courageous and enabling.”

If you’d like to see beyond your blind-spots, I will be starting a virtual supervision group in the Autumn.  I also have a waiting list for a new face-to-face group, so give me a call on 07775 817 344 if you would like to:

  • stay safe, ethically
  • reflect on your relationship with a client(s)
  • restore your own energy
  • look at patterns of behaviour (yours and theirs)
  • and get the kinds of outcomes you see above

Or please email for more details: clare@clarenormancoachingassociates.com

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