10 Reasons for Managers to
Use Coaching Conversations

Coaching-ConversationsIn spite of all the coach training, some managers are still cautious about shifting to coaching conversations when it comes to boosting productivity and performance with people. After all, what’s worked in the past has served them well enough. Without going in to all the statistical ROI studies on the benefits of coaching, let’s look at the benefits of coaching as a managerial style. Why bother with coaching conversations?

“Clearly, the benefits of building a coaching culture and increasing the effectiveness of coaching are great. There are both tangible benefits (increased employee engagement and productivity) and intangible benefits (improved culture and finding meaning and purpose in work).” ~ John H. Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett, The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow, McGraw-Hill, 2010

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Coaching Conversations: Face the FACTS

Coaching-conversationsFrom what I observe in businesses, not a lot of managers use coaching skills to guide and develop their people. When managers don’t have clear framework for initiating coaching conversations, they revert to managing in more traditional ways, without coaching. That usually means making suggestions and asking leading questions to get someone to do what needs to be done. Here is a coaching conversation framework and some powerful questions that work for coaching.

People enjoy receiving their managers’ support, yet they also want to be challenged, note John Blakey and Ian Day in Challenging Coaching: Going Beyond Traditional Coaching to Face the FACTS (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2012).

Blakey and Day developed the FACTS coaching model from frontline observations: Read More »

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Frameworks to Help Managers
Have More Coaching Conversations

Coaching-ConversationsIn the companies where I coach and consult, I see a lot of managers who fix problems instead of being a manager coach who has coaching conversations. It’s rare that I see or hear a boss take the time to walk an individual through a coaching conversation in order to help them find their own solutions.

I’ve been writing about why more managers don’t use coaching skills to guide and develop their people. Some managers don’t have a clear framework for initiating coaching conversations. Here are two popular models that are easy to follow. Read More »

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Why Managers Don’t Use
Coaching Conversations

Coaching-conversationsEven though most managers get trained in coaching skills, the majority aren’t having coaching conversations that expand awareness, thinking and capability in the people they lead. Why don’t more managers coach?

According to John H. Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett in The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow (McGraw-Hill Education, 2010), three common barriers stand in the way:

  1. Misconceptions of what coaching is
  2. A desire to avoid difficult conversations
  3. No clear game plan for initiating and framing coaching conversations

I discussed the first reason, misconceptions of coaching in my previous post here. Let’s discuss the next barriers. Read More »

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Coaching Skills for Managers: Misconceptions

Coaching-skills-for-managersRecently I got into a discussion about coaching skills for managers. It seems that not a lot of managers bother with coaching questions, and when they do, they don’t follow a framework that leads to consistent outcomes or even follow through. Many have had training in coaching skills for managers, but aren’t using them effectively.

Here are some observations I’ve experienced in my work as a coach, and that are also described by authors John H. Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett in The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow (McGraw Hill 2010).

The best managers initiate coaching conversations to get their people to reflect on what they are doing and how they are doing it. The purpose of coaching is to expand a person’s awareness, discover better solutions, and make and implement better decisions. Read More »

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Are You a Manager Coach or a
Manager Who Fixes?

Manager-CoachIn the companies where I coach and consult, I see a lot of managers who fix problems instead of being a manager coach who uses coaching skills. It’s rare that I see or hear a boss take the time to walk an individual through a coaching conversation in order to help them find their own solutions.

Companies are spending big bucks training leaders and managers to use coaching skills to guide performance and develop employees. Everyone seems to agrees that coaching people to find their own answers is more effective, so there’s a lot of money invested in training coaching skills. But once back in the office, in the heat of a problem, a manager’s default response it to fix things and move on. Read More »

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Why Don’t More Managers
Use Coaching Skills?

Coaching-SkillsHere’s something I read frequently: Managers who use coaching skills have employees who are more committed, willing to put in greater effort, less likely to leave, and create better results than those who don’t coach.

The impact of coaching is significant on both people and profits in the organizations that train managers to use coaching to guide performance and develop employees.

And yet, when I’m working and coaching in businesses, talking to people on the front lines, few report their manager engages in coaching conversations with them. Read More »

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How to Change a Strong Habit Loop

Habit-LoopSo much of what we do is simply habit and routine that we selected because it was beneficial to us at one time. When it comes time to change a habit, we find out how powerful it has become. A well-used routine seems to have muscles, reinforced into a strong habit loop. How do habits become so strong?

The process is a three-step bio-chemical, psychological loop:

  1. A trigger event or cue occurs.
  2. There’s an automatic response (physical, mental and emotional).
  3. A reward such as dopamine provides pleasure and helps the brain decide that this loop is well-worth remembering.

Over time, the habit loop becomes increasingly automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation emerges. Read More »

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How Powerful Are Your Habits and Routines?

Habits-and-RoutinesHow much power do you have over your own habits and routines? Most of the choices we make each day feel like well-considered decisions. In reality, ingrained habits drive us to act.

Research has shown that the average person has approximately 40,000 thoughts per day, but 95%  are the same ones experienced the day before. As much as 45% of our daily actions are based on habits and routines, not newly formed decisions. I wrote about this in my previous post here. Read More »

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Great WAYPOINT Goals:
5 Ways to Change a Habit

Change-a-HabitThe best laid plans—and WAYPOINT goals—are no good if we don’t put new behaviors into play. We need to override old habits to change a habit. The problem is that although we think we’re in charge, so much of what we do is directed by our subconscious beliefs. A Duke University study says that at least 45 percent of our waking behavior is habitual. That’s a little disconcerting for anyone who has sat down and mapped out an action plan with resolve and smart steps to change for future success.

Which is why the WAYPOINT goal setting worksheet (you can see it here) asks you to think things through and mentally prepare for making change. Unfortunately, the brain is pre-programmed to conserve energy, which means it tends to take short cuts and revert to status quo habits. While the brain represents only 2 percent of our weight, it consumes 20 percent of the body’s available energy. Read More »

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