Way too often managers coach reactively versus proactively. A situation arises and they coach based on resolving it, rather than having the coaching as part of a more long-term plan for the associate.
The result is the sporadic development of your team based on immediate needs rather than long-term goals. There is a better way.
Define the Destination
If your associates don’t know where they are expected to go, then how can you expect them to get there? Leaders need to first define the ideal performance they need from their team. They then need to observe their team members in relation to that level of performance. Following that, they must identify the gaps in the performance so that they can be addressed over time. And then, the coaching begins. Creating a plan that maps back to the performance level desired will help keep each associate on the right track, and you’ll know when they’ve drifted far from it.
Coaching Takes Time But Delivers Results
I realize coaching in this manner requires a lot of time and energy. However, I also know from my experience that team members often have never been coached to this level of thoroughness and concern. It speaks volumes about leaders who commit the time to do this.
I’ve just heard from a client who is in the middle of this process and is elated to find out that his direct report is completely enthused by his concern and empathy and is ready to engage in the process. Sometimes, that’s all is takes…attention!
Try it and let me know.