The Downside of not Coaching your People
If managers don’t delegate to others, there are all sorts of negative implications. Their own time management will forever be a problem as they continue to do everything themselves. The stress that comes with that workload is onerous. Quality too can suffer, performance and efficiencies will be at risk and it may even spill over to impact badly on customer experience and sales. Growth is likely to be slow.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, they are possibly demotivating their own people and putting a cap on their personal development. The psychology of why managers neglect to delegate is a study in itself. But today I want to focus on one main reason. It may be that they haven’t prioritised it.
Sometimes it’s because they don’t believe or trust that others can do it as well as they can. And perhaps they can’t. But there is one sure way of addressing that, and that is to give them a break and to coach them.
Why should the learner bother with this new task and possibly have more work to do, or maybe even risk failure? What is the best structure that will ensure that the learning is paced and absorbed?
1. Set the context. Start by sitting down with the learner and explaining where this activity fits in to the big picture. For example, why is it so important to set this restaurant table to a high standard?
2. Incentivise the learner. Explain to the coachee how they personally will benefit from learning this new task. It may be career progression or just less stress. Build them up and encourage them. Collaborate with them for maximum engagement.
3. Break the task into bite-size chunks. The pace of learning is obviously slower than if you were to do it under normal conditions. If you expect the learner to grasp the whole task in one go, they won’t and will possibly feel a failure. Teach one chunk at a time and check the learning before you move on to the next chunk.
4. You do it first, then get the learner to do it. Complete the full task first at normal speed to show the end result. Then do each bite-size chunk at a slower pace. Let the coachee then try that chunk with your guidance.
5. Give feedback and encouragement throughout the process. It’s natural that the coachee will make mistakes even in this controlled environment. To build their confidence, let them know how they’re doing and positively encourage them.
6. Reward and motivate at the end. When you have finished the coaching activity, congratulate the learner and send them away feeling good about themselves and with a reminder of the benefits.
The Last Word
To coach another person is a hugely rewarding experience for both parties. Developing your team is a good leadership trait. It shows a positive culture and it also a retention tool. It’s win/win for you, the learner and the business.
To take this a stage further, it’d be worth your while making a list of all of the key tasks required for the effective running of your department or business. Build a matrix of learning opportunities and decide who needs coaching, when and why. You might also get the input of your team and ask them to nominate their own learning needs.
© Copyright. Alan O’Neill. All rights reserved. 2019