Avoid This Mistake When Managing Others
You may already be a leader who directly supervises a team of professionals. If you don’t supervise anyone now, this most likely WILL happen as you increase your influence and effectiveness in your organization.
Most good managers are good at directing the people they supervise. They tell their direct reports what to do and even how to do it. This approach is fine, and even essential, when you are working with direct reports who lack competency and experience.
However, when you are working with highly-skilled professionals, you want to add coaching to your repertoire.
What Coaching Will Add To Your Leadership Effectiveness
It’s more effective to demonstrate coaching than to describe it, but let me give it a try:
Coaching is a collaboration where you help your direct report find the answers that are right for them.
And you do this in a way that increases their AWARENESS and their sense of RESPONSIBILITY and OWNERSHIP.
If you’ve ever tried to train and develop someone, you probably know this to be true:
A transfer of knowledge does not translate into changed behavior.
You work with your people, transferring all kinds of great knowledge and it just doesn’t stick – nothing changes.
Did you know that 80% of what a person sees is based on information they already have? What that means is that we’re locked into the beliefs that developed out of past experiences. This makes it difficult to modify our behavior.
What microbiology has shown us is that you cannot direct a living organism, you can only disturb it. This is done all the time in a coaching relationship (challenging assumptions, making someone present to their patterns, etc.) in a way that raises self-awareness.
Coaching also leads to your direct report OWNING the problem and the solution. Leaders often default to a directive style that inhibits the follower’s personal growth and causes them to be dependent on the leader for the answers.
Coaching is about a process of staying in relationship, of empowering, of raising awareness, of keeping concepts and ideas alive long enough that they take root in the individual. It’s the medium in which growth and change occur.
Adopt coaching skills into your leadership style and you will notice significant improvement in your level of influence and effectiveness.
(Contributed by David C Miller.)