Manager Roles: The Coach — Part II

by Dan McGraw

Sometimes feedback is avoided because of the fear and uncertainty of confrontation.  Learning the steps for effective feedback ensures success and effectiveness.  Two of the most important: picking the right time and place and getting the employee’s implicit permission.  Your style during the feedback is crucial. It must be straightforward and delivered in a caring way, with interest and empathy.

Coaching Step # 2 – Acceptance – the employee agrees on the impact of their behavior or performance.

How the coach achieves acceptance:

1.  Describe the impact of the behavior.

2.  Acknowledge it may not have been the intention.

3.  Show interest in their situation.

4.  Ask if they want your help.

5.  Align the change with the employee’s motivation.

a.  Recognition

b.  Achievement

c.  Affiliation

d.  Power

Appreciate that sometimes what they say may not represent their actual motivation.

# 3 – Action — the employee is willing to act to make a change with the coach’s help.

1.  The employee identifies the skill or behavior they’ll improve or change and the impact of the change.  They consider the consequences of not changing.

2.  The employee defines the goal, writes it down and visualizes the future.

3.  The coach and employee explore what to do to get different results.

During this action step, the coach uses the other three coaching tools:

  • sharing experience
  • offering advice
  • asking questions…both easy and tough

Notice the tools connote helper, partner, the two of us.

These tools, along with giving feedback, provide ongoing value in the coaching process.  This allows the employee to discover and own their plan of action and achieve the results they seek:  success.

4.  The employee takes responsibility and executes the plan.

5.  The coach and employee assess what’s working and what’s not, and take appropriate action, repeating 3, 4, and 5 as needed.

6.  They celebrate success, a key step!

Best Coach – Think about the worst coach you’ve ever had. What did they do, or fail to do, that earned them that distinction? Now, think about the best coach you’ve ever had. What did they do that made them “your best?” Chances are, they practiced what we’ve described above. They cared. What’s the lesson here? Go and do likewise.

Afterthought  – Coaching as described here is not limited to the manager/employee relationship. It can be employee/boss, peer-to-peer, player-to-player, wife-to-husband, father-to-son, friend to friend…you get the picture. The key concept prevails — establish trust and ask permission.

Dan McGraw, a management consultant, works with businesses of all types and sizes, coaching managers, changing organizational culture and conducting workshops.  The development workshops focus on new insights and taking appropriate action.  Many find the experience life changing.  This article is based on his workshop “Coaching for Greatness: The Two of Us.”  Dan lives in Seattle, Washington.


About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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