As a manager or leader, your job is to get things done and deliver results through people. They are the most important resource available to you and it’s through them that other resources like money, machines, material, method and time are managed. The organization’s performance and resulting productivity are directly proportional to the quality of its people and hence an effective coaching leadership is necessary to improve the quality of people and inspire them to achieve the objectives.
Coaching is an interactive cyclic process through which the leader works with reports to impart knowledge, foster skill development and influence the right attitude that will help them to enhance their performance and achieve organizational goals and prepare them for more challenging assignments and to move them up to next level on the job.
S-P-O-R-T-S COACHING MODEL
When you think of coaching, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Yes, it is sports. Hence, this coaching model was developed with acronym S-P-O-R-T-S for easy recall. As in sports, coaching is a process of training someone to improve his/her skills and do a better job (executive coach, performance coach) or advising people on how they should achieve the things they want in life and work (life coach, development coach).
Research clearly shows that coaching has a great impact at the work place, but leaders are unable to reap the benefits due to the lack of a simple and effective process. The primary objective of this form of coaching is to focus on enhancing performance, productivity and preparedness of people for more challenging assignments and to handle next level jobs.
To be an effective coaching leader, managers need to start building the SPORTS coaching culture by following six simple steps:
- Set expectations
- Provide inputs
- Offer opportunities
- Review results
- Timely feedback
- Support sustained development
1. Set Expectations
The first step is to set the expectations and goals for the team/report. This is very important as most often people fail to achieve the desired business objectives for want of clear directives. Establish clear course of action and explain how you are going to assess or evaluate progress and performance. Clarify any questions or concerns and make sure that s/he understands the expectation. The success of the goal depends on how you set specific expectations and clearly explain what you want from the report/team as it will give them a sense of purpose, direction and motivation to pursue the goal.
2. Provide inputs
Once you set the specific expectation, you need to provide inputs like available resources, challenges and obstacles in the task etc. to achieve the desired goals. Most people fail to complete their tasks due to lack of timely inputs, support and resources. Leaders need to keep providing instructions to their reports on how s/he should proceed and seek support/advice to combat the challenges. Providing inputs and instruction upfront gives employee confidence, courage and comfort to surmount any issues he encounters.
3. Offer Opportunities
Provide the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skill and competencies in any given situation or task. It is also important to give options if the report is unable to progress in his work. The primary learning and development of employees happens on the job. You have to provide them the opportunity to help them to demonstrate the competencies. They will gain first-hand experience and it will help them to take up challenging projects.
4. Review Results
Critical evaluation and assessment is very important and one must review the progress and results against set expectations. It will help you identify how the employees have performed, the key actions he has demonstrated, checking on quality and quantity of work performed and very importantly whether the agreed timelines were achieved or not. Identify the areas for improvements and the areas where he exceeded expectations. The review will help people identify strengths, areas for improvements and prepare for the path forward for development of reports.
5. Timely feedback
Next step is to give timely feedback, the most important and critical step in the coaching process. After you review the results and identified the progress, it is essential to give specific feedback about the behaviours you observed and the key actions they demonstrated. The leader needs to clarify the right way of doing things and the consequences of missing targets. Finally, sincerely appreciate and recognize good work and encourage reports to improve their work.
6. Support Sustained Development
The last step in the coaching process is to support sustained development. More often than not, leaders give up coaching after seeing some results. But, sustained coaching will help in developing the working relationship of productive employees and leaders should continue to engage the employee in learning and development process.
After training, coaching sessions will help reinforce the learnings. It will motivate employees to perform better and look for challenging assignments. It can also be a good tool for development and retention of star performers.
Developing a coaching culture in the organization is challenging and rewarding at the same time. It’s challenging because the commitment of the leaders to people development is critical and rewarding because an effective coaching session will aid in individual and organizational performance, productivity and profitability and people preparedness.
Coaching is one of the most important skills leaders should hone and harness regularly. Any management process or technique or tool or tips works well and produce results when the leaders believe in it and practice it sincerely for continuous improvement in people development.
Look for opportunity day in and day out to help your reports or teams and practice effective coaching moments. I’m sure you will get amazing results, outstanding performance, excellent working relationships, conducive culture helps in enhancing productivity and preparedness to employees for next level, excellent motivation and retention tool for the leaders
Wish you happy coaching moments!