I got several emails after last week’s blog asking if I think coaching can work in all kinds of businesses. Maybe it only works in technology, consulting, and high growth businesses. Are there certain types of organizations where coaching fails?
I believe it isn’t a single problem, but several smaller ones that doomed their coaching programs to failure. I’m willing to bet changing a few minor things in their coaching programs could help them achieve their goals and more.
Coaching fails because people don’t understand how to coach. Many organizations buy coaching, but don’t invest time to help their managers understand how coaching is different than other training. Good coaching requires both people to be engaged in the coaching!
I believe many people can become good leaders and managers and still fail at coaching. Successful coaching requires a proven process, creativity, and a mindset that doesn’t always appeal to more controlling managers and leaders. Entrepreneurs beware!
Coaching fails because people don’t realize it is a skill that needs to be done on a regular basis if you hope to become a stronger coach. You can’t coach once a month and hope to be a successful coach. Most people need additional practice and support to become excellent at coaching. I try to get my executive clients to coach at least several times a month with their key people.
Once a coach begins to see the expected results, they’re hooked. Coaching is a less stressful, easier way of getting better results in less time.
Coaching fails because the people being coached have not been educated on to what to expect from their coaching experience. Many people perceive coaching as something that is done for poor performers or trouble makers. The reality is that most high performers love having a coach.
This single difference can transform how your people adopt a coaching mindset. Successful coaching programs educate people to the idea coaching can be used to help develop new skills and capabilities faster.
When I’m engaged to build a coaching program, I have my clients invest part of their time and budget into marketing their program to their team members. I help them create a leadership brand for their coaching program. We position the program for winners and people who want more out of their lives and careers We will talk about how we do it this in a future blog.
Coaching fails because coaches aren’t committed to a coaching process. It’s critical during a coaching program that you set success criteria for the program. Many leaders I talk with are unclear about what their coaching process looks like. It’s critical that you help your leaders embrace coaching with their own unique leadership capabilities.
The more time you invest in setting clear goals before engaging in coaching, the more successful the coaching will be. It’s critical that both the coach and the coached have agreed to these goals.
Coaching fails because the coach gets limited feedback on how they are doing with the people they coach. Successful coaching programs provide feedback to coaches on a regular basis. People must be comfortable providing feedback on a regular basis to their bosses without fear of retribution.
It’s critical that your new coaches get feedback on a regular basis if you want to help them become stronger coaches. They need to understand what is expected of them as coaches. This is part of the role you serve as coaching program leader.
Coaching fails because people are not rewarded for coaching. If you want coaching to be adopted in your organization, reward your people for coaching others. This doesn’t always mean financial rewards; many people are starving for recognition. The more you recognize and reward the behavior you want, the more your get the behavior.
Coaching fails because people aren’t always comfortable asking questions rather than giving people the answer. Entrepreneurs can be very controlling. They know how they want things done. They fail to understand that others can help them reach their goals in many ways.
Coaching requires leaders and managers to understand there may be better ways to get the results you want. This doesn’t always happen the first time someone tries something new. You must be willing to allow your team members to make mistakes.
Good coaching impacts both the coach and the coached. Good coaching programs understand this and build it into their programs.
Now that you have a better idea why coaching fails, next week we talk about why great coaching can elevate your organization to new levels of success. See you next week.