Coaching No Matter the Weather

By October 26, 2020 insights

Is your company interested or committed to continuous improvement?

This question, while incredibly simple, is extremely difficult to answer in practice. For example, when business is good, when employees are happy, and when leadership is aligned, culture is typically a high priority within an organization. Or, in CultureShoc terms, when the skies are blue and clear. Continuous improvement through professional coaching, such as leadership development, tend to be something employees are offered, since time and funds are available to be invested.

However, when a tough financial month or quarter comes, when there is “too much going on,” or when people are unhappy, the perceived “luxury” of coaching teammates is often replaced by meetings and general busyness. Or, as we like to say, when you see storms ahead or find yourself in the middle of one. And it’s not just coaching/continuous improvement that subsides, but rather everything aside from the “Urgent” falls away from the priority list.

When this becomes the case, the merely Interested organizations:

  • Slow down or stop the development of themselves, their employees, and their teams.
  • “Urgent” becomes more of a priority than the Important.
  • Tasks are short term in nature, and the big picture becomes more of a distant halucination than a shared vision.
  • Long-term development is stunted in favor of getting through the days and weeks.

If you find yourself falling into any of these situations, the way out is to take action toward being Committed. Committed organizations and committed leaders are certainly not immune to these missteps and temptations, but they:

  • Recognize when they are creeping in.
  • Take swift action to reset priorities.
  • Devote time to big-picture objectives.
  • Invest in Coaching & development their people, whether led internally or via and external partner.

To avoid the just Interested mentality and stay Committed, simply schedule time to walk your team members through a simple coaching conversation. We use the following model when working with clients and our internal team:

  1. GOALS / OBJECTIVES – Where would you like to see improvement. What would an ideal outcome look like?
  2. REALITY CHECK – What’s the whole picture of your current reality? Include obstacles holding you back from the Goals / Outcomes, resources at your disposal, and any other relevant factors.
  3. OPTIONS / SOLUTIONS – What could you do to get closer to your Goal or Outcome?  What advice would you give a friend if he/she was in your situation?
  4. WILL… – What will you do to make progress toward your Goal or Outcome? What is within your control? Who are you going to talk to? What are your specific steps, and by when?

It’s common for organizations to encounter storms of all sizes.  I don’t need to tell you that. The great organizations remain Committed to coaching, developing, and executing on their shared vision to continuously improve their people and their organization. They recognize issues quickly and stay the course. They lean on their high performers to have their backs when extra effort is required. They send the message that coaching is paramount to long-term success.

In contrast, the average organizations punt on long term thinking. They give up on coaching “until things calm down,” they skip regularly scheduled feedback conversations, and they move from small fire to small fire with proverbial extinguishers.

Interested or Committed?  Which one are you? 

If you’d like help coaching yourself or your people, schedule a complimentary one hour 1:1 Coaching Session. We are a help first company, so no hard sell or strings attached. Ever.