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Nine Rules for Coaching Your Employees

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coaching

Many employees work independently in self-directed teams. Managers not only have the responsibility to direct their activities, but they must work with each to assure maximum performance. This means they must actively work with each member, observing, providing feedback and instructing him or her how to correct negative behaviors and strengthen weak skills.

The manager who solely directs and manages his or her team fails to get maximum results from them. Effective managers are motivators focused on assisting each employee to achieve maximum performance and results. This is achieved through the use of effective coaching techniques.

This is important to the manager because as a coach, he or she will recognize negative behaviors that hinder personal performance. The responsibility of effective coaches is not to admonish, but to improve the individual employee. In this manner, these behaviors are corrected and performance is enhanced.

There are specific coaching rules that managers must employ to become effective coaches. These rules are:

Provide a Good Example

Before managers can be effective coaches, they must set a good example for the employees they are supervising. Nothing undermines effective coaching faster than instructing subordinates on how to improve themselves when the coach fails to follow his or her own advice. This only destroys any credibility they may have established.

Be Persistent

Coaches have to be persistent in their efforts to change a negative behavior or to strengthen a weak skill area in an employee. In education it takes over 25 repetitions of proper behavior to overcome one response to a simple negative habit or behavior. Therefore, coaches must have the patience and persistence to work with an employee to correct and reinforce proper behaviors and skills.

Avoid Judgments

When coaches are judgmental of negative or weak behaviors, they put the coached employee on the defensive. This defeats the purpose of coaching as the employee will immediately be resistant to any efforts to correct or polish his or her skills out of fear of being criticized, undermined or intimidated.

Do Not Patronize

Patronizing an employee is a demeaning form of condescension. Employees should be treated as professionals and then they will perform and achieve as such. They are responsible for producing results, and they should be held accountable for their personal performance.

Elicit Advice and Ideas

Managers as coaches are providing feedback focused on altering a behavior or improving a skill. They need to clearly explain what they have observed and state their concerns. Once this has occurred, the employee should be encouraged to express how they feel about the feedback. This should be a discussion where advice and ideas are mutually exchanged.

Listen

Managers must understand that an employee’s performance and behaviors are a reflection of their life and experiences. Other outside influences can impact their performance. When coaching, managers must ask questions and listen for specific answers. They should encourage the employee to talk about all things that may concern them.

Clarify

Conversations and messages can be easily misunderstood. Managers should paraphrase what they hear to ensure they clearly understand what the employee is saying. Paraphrasing prevents miscommunication, clears up misconceptions and creates a more comfortable atmosphere of respect and concern.

Be Accessible

Managers must always be accessible to their employees. Managers can alleviate an employee’s fears and anxieties by being available to listen, empathize, and provide support.

Develop Rapport

When managers are approachable, they openly share their experiences and empathize with their subordinates to understand their thoughts and ideas. Then they unite their goals and vision with them. This accessibility invites rapport that deepens the workplace relationship. When this occurs the stage is set to transition from active coaching into mentoring.

Excerpt: Coaching: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011) $ 18.95 USD

Related:

Feedback is the Foundation of Effective Coaching

Supporting Employees’ Need to Achieve Maximum Results

Should Accountability Be a Primary Priority?

Assessing Employee Growth and Development

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2013 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved

Resolving Negative Employee Behaviors Takes the Right Solution

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manwithproblememployee

The easiest and most obvious solution to a behavioral problem is for the manager to arbitrarily pick a solution that he or she deems appropriate to resolving the problem. However, this does not take into account the motivational issues that can affect the final outcome.

A poorly chosen solution can compound rather than solve a problem, especially if the employee is resistant to the idea.

When confronted with an employee’s behavioral or attitude problem, the manager has several choices to make. If the problem is serious enough, termination is an option; yet with the high cost of recruiting and training, this may not be the best option.

However, dealing with negative behaviors and attitudes present sticky motivational problems of their own.

There may be resentment on the part of the employee concerning any solution presented to them. Often the best approach is to involve the employee in the development of the solution. When the employee is involved, they gain ownership of the solution, which insures that they will actively and successfully be involved in its implementation.

Additionally, they are privy to the process and see that a solution is arrived at in a fair and just manner, not arbitrarily. These steps minimize the motivational problems associated with the resolution of the problem and make it easier for the manager to work with the employee during the implementation phases.

Arriving at an appropriate and effective solution to remedy negative behaviors and attitudes need not take an inordinate amount of time. However, it should be done in a systematic manner so that the employee is actively involved in the process, can readily see how the solution has been arrived at, and understands it serves the interests of all involved.

The following steps should be adhered to during the resolution process:

Brainstorming

The most practical approach to developing a workable and effective solution to a problem is through brainstorming. In these instances the manager is limited to brainstorming ideas and solutions with the employee who has the problem and with other managers and superiors who are aware of the problem.

This problem solving approach produces specific benefits by identifying all possible solutions from every perspective. Additionally, it includes the employee in the resolution of the problem. Empowering them by giving him or her ownership of the solution, gives the employee a vested interest, realizing a successful outcome.

Both the manager and employee should list every possible solution—even those that appear unlikely or impractical. Nothing should be dismissed without careful consideration; otherwise a negative atmosphere as opposed to an open-minded approach to a solution will be created.

Selection Criteria

Obviously not every choice brainstormed will be practical or feasible. However, before any idea is discarded, both the manager and employee should identify the criteria that will be used to evaluate each possible solution.

Criteria should be established according to specific parameters that result in the successful resolution of the problem. These might include the cost, timeliness, time frames, effectiveness and total resolution of the problem so that it does not occur again. Other criteria can be selected that assist both parties in achieving the overall goal.

Bracketing Choices

Once the manager and employee have agreed upon the criteria, it is an easy task to filter all of the choices developed through brainstorming and to bracket the specific options meeting the selection criteria. All other options are eliminated from consideration.

Since the employee is actively participating in this process, they can see the logic of the decisions that will impact them, which eliminates resistance to the final resolution.

Prioritize and Select the Best Option

The bracketing of possible solutions will typically identify several options to resolve a problem. Both the manager and employee should reach a consensus and prioritize each of the solutions in order of their effectiveness.

Invariably, the employee will not wish to see specific options chosen since they are not in their best interest or will take more effort than they are willing to invest. This is why a consensus should be reached as to what will ultimately constitute the best choices for a solution.

The final step is to choose the best solution to the problem, one that satisfies both management and the employee while solving the problem.

Related:

Six Ways to Turn a Poor Performer Around

Unresolved Conflict is Corrosive to Leadership

Seven Proactive Steps to Take to Deal With a Problem Employee

Excerpt: Negative Workplace Attitudes (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011) $ 18.95 USD

Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It (Finalist – 2011 Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year)
Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Web| Blog | Catalog |800.654.4935 | 715.342.1018

Copyright © 2013 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved

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