Let’s have a conversation and examine the reasons I still hear people throw up against using coaching or engaging with a coach. Let’s explore their thinking a little to realise the value coaching can bring.
“Nothing’s broken, everything is running smoothly, I’m doing ok”
Really pleased to hear that things are going well for you, that’s great news, it’s a good place to be isn’t it?
Are the rest of the team feeling the same? Your strategy for the next 24 / 36 months is in place? How’s your leadership style holding up with the team? How are you maximising the team’s potential? What are you doing about examining the market place, competitors and changes in the industry? Happy with things just running smoothly..? What do you really want for the organisation, your teams and people? What would doing great look like for you? Tell me about your contingencies for when it’s not going smoothly.
“I am the boss, it’s not something I do”
Just the boss?
If we what swapped the phrase leader for ‘boss’, how might that change your view of coaching and you? How happy are you with what you do and how you do things in the business? It’s interesting you talk about being a boss simply from your perspective. What about being a boss from your employees, teams and stakeholders perspectives? What are their views on how you do things?
Tell me about the feedback you have sought from you top team about you? If you were looking back at yourself in 10 years-time, what would you have done differently? How do you want to be seen by your employees in the future? You say you don’t do coaching, but if you did, what areas would you want to develop? What ares might others need you to focus on?
“Coaching’s a fad, another shiny approach will be along soon”
Yes sure, coaching in its modern guise since the early 1990’s. But as an approach it’s been around since the 1830’s. But it’s still a fad right..? Even if it might be a fad I wonder what value there might be in learning more about yourself? Because that is all coaching is. Developing self-awareness to make better decisions for yourself and others. How do others in your industry view it? Who do you know who has got a coach, or has received coaching?
“It’s not as effective as learning something myself”
Sometimes, yes. How often have you learnt something and considered it from different perspectives? When did you last challenge what you learnt? How do you know you learnt the right thing? What’s the relevance of your learning to your business and people? How would you have benefitted in exploring that learning with another? How much of that learning have you transferred to your productivity? Did you reflect on what you learnt and what it means for you as a person, colleague, leader?
Within your learning how much have you explored your thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences as they affect both you and your employees.
“My manager never had one and he did ok”
Yes your manager may have done ok. In your opinion where do you think he could have been better? How did you want or need him to be stronger in as your leader? Do you want to be just ‘ok in your role’? Is that your legacy to the business and your people, to be known by others as just ‘ok’? What happens if you are just ‘ok’ every year, isn’t that really a loss longer term..? What’s stopping you?
“It’s too costly in time and money”
It’s true, coaching does cost, but not as much as you think. If you sat and added up all that time you have spent trying to work things out by yourself, what would it come to in money? How many things have not worked, but having another’s input might have reduced the likelihood of that happening? If a coach helped to develop or change many of the things frustrating you, what value would you put on that? If a coach helped to change how you felt, viewed people or situations, or helped you to solve you own issues, what would that bring you? What if a coach enabled you to maximise your employee’s expertise, and freed up time for you, how would that make you feel?
It doesn’t have to come from an external, though there is value there. You could be coached by your peers, or even your own manager – that’s cheaper. Coaching is only a short-term intervention, so the costs are short term. It’s about perspective and what’s important to you.
Coaching does have value
By exploring the thinking of those who might doubt coaching and its added value, we can begin to influence them a little more. We can begin to understand where their thinking comes from and how coaching can transform them as leaders. Sometimes thinking comes from ignorance, fear or being given poor previous information. In conversations demonstrating empathy can increase buy in and demonstrate coaching value. By identifying what ‘value’ means to doubters, we can align coaching and its opportunities to this.
Nick Howell’s focus is people, their development and their performance. He is passionate for coaching and the training of coaches to enable personal and organisational performance. He works across the country and sectors adding value to people and businesses. Want to have a chat about you or your team and where coaching might transform performance? Contact him now and let’s talk performance and development – firstname.lastname@example.org