Executive coaching is one tool in
performance appraisal, compensation, and
promotion that reinforces positive
Most leaders preach teamwork, but often
excuse themselves from its practice—and fail
to hold people accountable for living this
value. This invites cynicism, undermines
credibility, and saps vitality. Employees
rate their manager’s ability to "effectively
deal with people who undermine teamwork"
dead last among 92 elements of effective
fear confronting people about poor teamwork,
but people highly value honest feedback.
Use 360-degree feedback to align corporate
values and individual behavior. Such
feedback allows you to practice consultative
conditions prevail, behavioral coaching may
be a waste of time:
The person you’re
coaching is not making a sincere effort
The person has been
written off by the company.
The person lacks
intelligence or skills to do the job.
The organization has
the wrong mission. Coaching is a "how to
get there" process, not a "where to go"
I recommend eight steps:
attributes for the manager you are
coaching. Once you determine the
behavioral characteristics of a
successful manager in a given position,
ask that manager if he or she agrees
that these are the right behaviors.
Securing agreement will boost
Determine who can
provide meaningful feedback. Key
stakeholders may include direct reports,
peers, customers, suppliers, or members
of the management team. Strive for a mix
that does not stack the deck for or
against the manager.
Assessment is often best handled in an
anonymous survey, compiled into a
summary report and given directly to the
Talk with managers about the results of
the feedback—discuss key strengths and
areas of improvement.
Develop an action
plan. The most helpful—and
appreciated—outcome of any assessment is
specific advice. Develop "alternatives
to consider" rather than mandates. Focus
on key behaviors and develop action
steps to improve each.
Have the manager
respond to stakeholders. The manager
should talk with the review team and
collect suggestions on how to improve in
on-going follow-up process. Within
months, survey the original review team,
asking whether the manager has become
more or less effective.
Review results and
start again. If the manager takes
the process seriously, stakeholders
invariably report improvement. Build on
that success by repeating the process
quarterly for one year.
Moving Beyond the
Managers who want to
improve, talk to people about ways to
improve, solicit feedback, and develop a
rigorous follow-up plan, will almost always
By becoming an effective
coach, you become a more credible leader and
an active agent of change. By measuring
others on the behaviors and attributes you
say you value, you cement the bonds of
leadership. And by having others follow
through on their progress toward goals, you
help create a more responsive, positive, and
cohesive organization. LE
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