Coaching Within the Workplace
By Valerie Martinelli, MPA – Leadership, Life, & Career Coach/ HR & Management Consultant
Managers provide some level of coaching to all direct reports, which helps them attain a certain level of professional achievement, as well as assisting others improve their performance to fulfill their current roles. However, it is also important to distinguish when coaching isn’t working. If coaching is no longer working despite your best efforts, then your employee may not be coachable. So, what do you do?
- Be sure that she is committed to her development. This means that she will be more willing to accept feedback, more willing to consider trying new things, and more willing to confess if she didn’t do something right- because she sees that moment as a learning opportunity.
- Does she have the capacity to get to the skill level you would like her to reach? There are times we can coach someone and despite our best efforts and our coachee’s willingness, she will not attain a specific skill level that we may aspire for her.
It is important to keep in mind that her skills may not improve right away. If she is still is showing willingness, progress will may follow suit. There are cases when that can take some time and that is why it is important to remember that not everyone has the same skill level, confidence, and abilities, and will progress at the same rate. Be sure to make consistent observations to ensure that she is in a place where coaching can be benefit her. It also isn’t uncommon for motivation to begin to diminish. It is important to keep a check on this and maintain open lines of communication for coaching conversations.
It is also wise to continually pay attention to your employee’s behavior. Listen to your instincts if you believe that something deeper may be occurring. Sometimes psychological therapy or counseling can be necessary if the issue is beyond the scope of coaching. If you are concerned that suggesting additional assistance will place judgement, then you can confer with your HR department as to how to approach the topic before discussing any sensitive forms of treatment.
If progress still isn’t made, then it is up to you as her manager to decide if she is the appropriate person for the skills that you are trying to impart on her. If not, it is in both of your best interests to discontinue the process.
Five Steps to Coachability
The right coaching mindset is important in attaining personal and professional success. I work a lot with women to ensure that they have the confidence levels necessary to achieve personal and professional success. As women, we have the tendency to hold ourselves back, which is why having the proper mindset becomes even more important.
So, what are some steps to coachability? First, be humble. Humility teaches us there are things that we cannot do on our own. Humility is the first trait that can show us the most important things we need to learn to require fundamental changes in our outlook and behavior. Humility necessitates a change of heart rather than a change of mind. The second step is action bias. If you’re not willing to act, then you cannot make enough profound change to be successful in life. The third step is maintaining the purity of your purpose. Sometimes if we are simply hungry for wisdom, to grow, to be more, or to drive change in our lives and in the world then that is enough. Selfish intentions do not always pay off in the end. I advise clients not to get caught up on the compensation, benefits, or any other rewards or incentive as a reason for wanting to attain professional success. You and your purpose must be your best motivators.
Fourth, you must surrender control. What many don’t realize is that this is when you will see results. Some insist that they will give up control once they see the desired results but that simply isn’t true nor does it work. The unwillingness to surrender control is typically the biggest reason why authentic change does not occur. Some even need a coach just to learn how to give up control. Lastly, you must have faith. Sometimes this can be the most difficult because we are seeking change and we can only see it when we look back. However, we should always be forward-looking.
The most important lesson? If you wish to attain your personal and professional goals then do not fear your potential or your vulnerability. If you maintain an open mindset and continue to work towards your goals, success can become a reality.