Part of our mission is to help companies cultivate a coaching culture. Not only does it help highly capable Leaders get even better at work, it also helps create an environment where employees feel more engaged and more fulfilled.
Our seasoned Account Executive, Kelly Leatherwood, shares two exercises that she’s seen have success in her coaching teams.
For the people managers out there — let’s do a couple of quick exercises to help you nurture a coaching culture in your organization.
Exercise #1: Even Better
What if a leader you really respect shared the following with you:
“Wow, you are really strong at X, and people see you as a role model in Y. If there is one thing that could make you even better, it would be to ___________. “
If done from a place of help and support, would you find that valuable? Do you think you would appreciate this morsel of insight and help?
Now, think about a solid performer on your team with whom you have a trusting relationship — someone who consistently delivers, gets high performance ratings and is a go-to resource for you and others. Next, think about the last time you gave that person critical feedback — a small adjustment or insight that was new information to them.
What if you provided them awareness of a blind spot and gift wrapped it up for them in a meaningful way?
What do I mean by that?
Giving strong performers their annual reviews and associated raises or bonuses is a fulfilling exercise. (Also the easiest conversations of the performance cycle!) But how can you truly help these top players to continue to develop?
What if you took one hour out of your week and carved out a regular 30-minute calendar block for a thought session on how to help one high-potential team member become even better, found an opportunity to connect with them, and had a conversation dedicated to this topic?
Your conversation might look like this:
“Wow, Julia – you consistently deliver on your programs and your team really enjoys working for you. I know you’ve been wanting to have more influence into the planning process. If there is one thing I would recommend, it would be to acknowledge that you hear your peers’ recommendations. Ask them a question or two before trying to convince them yours is a better idea.”
Exercise #2: Would You Want to Work for You?
One of the most powerful tools I find helpful in any leadership role is to picture myself in the shoes of the person experiencing my interactions. For example, if you manage a team, ask yourself, “Would I want to work for me?” Why? Why not?
Think about this from many angles:
Would I want to be in a 1:1 meeting with me?
Would I want to sit in a team or cross-functional meeting I organize and run?
Would I feel comfortable coming to me with questions or advice?
Would I feel that career development is important?
These questions can help leaders think about their reputations in the organization — as developers of people, strategic thinkers, or those who foster innovation.
So, this week, try some new exercises! Think about a strong performer you can help out and reflect on how you can think about your own blind spots and get on the path to uncover them.
Our Coaches are happy to help with exercises like these on many topics. Let us know how we can help your core leaders get even better.