I’m Skeptical

Dr. Jim,
My company is implementing a coaching program for all managers. I’m skeptical. Will this be a waste of my time?
– Hayden*

 

Hi Hayden,
It could be.  Some items to consider:

  • Have managers been trained how to coach people in addition to their many other responsibilities?
  • Are managers rewarded for coaching people?
  • And finally, and perhaps most importantly, is there a way to measure whether the coaching is successful or not?

At Vivo Team, we have a method that we use to identify the five requirements of a good coaching program:

  1. Evidence – Behaviors. Is there evidence of the behaviors that are going on right now that you would like improved? This allows you to take a look at what the task-specific behaviors are that you’re hoping to see – behaviors that will indicate improvement.
  2. Relevance – Deal/Goal. Is what’s being talked about in the coaching session (which should be no longer than 20 minutes) relevant to that person and the goal that they are working on, in terms of their everyday roles and responsibilities, that lead to the results of the team and the strategy of the organization as a whole.
  3. Consequence. Measurement comes into play here. For example: You were here. I see the progress here. Now it looks a lot better here. There should also be some kind of consequence in terms of whether there is an agreement about required improvement, i.e., what is the consequence if the person doesn’t move forward? A consequence – not a punishment. For example, if an employee wants to move into a supervisory role, then you might say to them: “I notice you’re doing this thing and I think that might interfere with your effectiveness as a supervisor. Your probability of moving into a supervisory position will be greater if you do these things instead,” and you list the kind of things you’d like to see, your expectations of what you’re looking for.
  4. Agreed on Action. At the end of every coaching session there should be an agreed on action with a timeline tied to it. This step requires the person who’s being coached to send their notes (that they’ve taken throughout the coaching session) to the manager, so the manager can get an idea of how well the content was understood, and the person who’s being coached gets a clearer idea because they’ve written it down.
  5. Follow-Up. This is where you look back, you go over what’s working well, what needs improvement, etc. This is very important in terms of results.

Hopefully this is helpful!

– Dr. Jim

*names have been changed