Turn low-performance players around.
Remember, your job as a coach is to enhance your players’ performance. To do so, you’ll need to take a very close look at the situation to find the clues you need to turn the problem around–and it’s not always easy. I use a coaching tool I call “be-do-have” to bring tricky problems into focus. To put it into action, just focus on the different elements of a team member’s performance issue by asking yourself the following questions:
— Being. What’s the person’s attitude regarding her job? Is she exhibiting a change in attitude or temperament that’s interfering with her job performance? Are situations outside of work contributing to the poor performance? — Doing. Is she doing the job poorly because she simply doesn’t know how to do the work? Have you shown her the correct way to do the work then, observed to be sure she can perform the task? Has the work changed in some way that hasn’t been taken into account? — Having. Is she missing a tool, a skill, or the time to do the job properly? In some cases, you may uncover something in each of these three domains that need attention, or the problem may be more isolated. The key is to identify the root issues so you can correct the situation effectively.
Learn from losses
Staff members terminate their employment for many reasons, including job dissatisfaction, a change in personal goals, moving away from the area, and making a career advancement. Completing the cycle of an employee’s tenure with you in a powerful way can set the stage for the new replacement as well as empowering the team members who remain. Here are a few questions to consider:
€ How can you acknowledge the person leaving in a way that she and everyone else on your staff are left empowered? One effective way can be a ‘reversed roast’ where, during an evening celebration you and your fellow staff members acknowledge and appreciate the person for their contribution. € What skills, attitudes, and characteristics did this person have that you want to find in her replacement? What didn’t work well that you could learn from and improve the next time? € Is there anything else you need to say to this person that would make the relationship be whole and complete? Here’s a simple test: Imagine that you ran into this person in six months in the aisle of your local supermarket. Would you try to avoid her—an indication that the relationship’s incomplete—or would you feel comfortable walking up to her and saying hello?
Appreciate individuals’ talents
Learning to acknowledge and appreciate your team members with sincerity is a powerful coaching tool. One approach is to acknowledge people for what they do. For example, you could say to your receptionist, “I really love how you keep your work area and the reception room so neat and clean. Thanks for taking the time at the end of the day to tidy up in preparation for the next day. ” You can acknowledge people for what they have. For example, “I love your beautiful handwriting, Dottie. It certainly makes it much easier and pleasurable to read the notes you leave me. ”
Perhaps the most powerful and empowering acknowledgement is to thank people for who they are. “Thank you, Cathy, for your gentle and generous spirit. Your lightheartedness enriches our practice. ”
Stay in the game
Once you’ve implemented coaching in your practice, don’t think your job is done. Coaching is an ongoing job and your relationships need periodic tune-ups. So ask yourself:
€ Are my staff members and I continuing to create an empowering climate of coaching? € Is everyone clear about which shared commitments form the foundation of our coaching relationships? € When was the last time I had a private coaching session with each staff member? (If it’s been more than a month, it’s time to schedule a meeting. ) € Are my staff members offering to coach each other? If so, this is a good sign, especially if the offers are being accepted by the other person, and even more so if they are then taking the coaching. These are powerful indicators that you and your team are creating a climate of coaching. It was through creating a climate of coaching in my practice that allowed us to increase its gross income by over 40% in one year, while I also moved from a state of burnout to really loving what I was doing. Coaching works!
©2005 Brad Swift of Life On Purpose Institute, Inc. This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.
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