- Motivate every employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.
- Have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
- Create a culture of clear accountability.
- Build relationships that create trust, open dialogue and full transparency.
- Make decisions based on productivity, not politics.
- Managers usually have no trouble setting the agenda for the coaching session. Managers are busy, and they are accountable for producing results with and through their team. As such, they want and need their time to be productive with their coach, so typically they have some very specific ideas about how they want to spend their time. In addition, they are used to setting agendas for themselves and their teams, and thus their approach to their coaching session reflects that. So, when I ask, “What would be the most productive use of our time today?”, most managers are quick to list the three to four things they want to focus on in their coaching time.
- Most of the time, managers want to use their coaching session to focus on challenges they are facing with their team as a whole or with individuals on their team. Rarely do they want to focus on a deeper dive into their own strengths, even if they are, by nature, self-reflective. They are invested in developing their team first and foremost. Your role as the coach is to help them discover more about their own strengths as you help them find strengths-based solutions to the challenges they are facing. It is through exploring solutions to real-life challenges they face that managers come to deeper self-discovery. Perhaps this is a change from self-discovery as an end in itself.
- Most managers appreciate your coaching more if you offer them solutions to the challenges they are facing. Honestly, if these managers could solve the issues themselves, they wouldn’t be coming to you for coaching about the issues -- because part of what they get paid to do is solve problems. So, they typically appreciate you offering up alternatives they haven’t thought of before. Now, this isn’t to say you should tell them what to do. Far from it. You are a partner with them in exploring several alternatives to the issues they are wrestling with, and then they choose the option that makes the most sense to them. All the while, you are taking into consideration and exploring possibilities not only based on the talents and strengths of the manager, but also on the talents and strengths of the manager’s team and/or individuals and the interplay of the manager’s strengths with the team’s. That is a huge challenge for you as a coach -- and calls forth all of your coaching talent and expertise in order to reach a successful conclusion. If you are like me, you live for these challenges!
Read more from Al:
Embrace Your Dark Side: How I Learned to Let Go of Who I Am Not
“I’m Your Coach, Not Your Friend.”