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Coach or Don't Train!

The Leader is 70% of the Impact on the Direct Report's Performance after Training!


One critical activity within the FLTM is to require the leader-of-the-participant to monitor the performance of the participant after the learning event. She/he should:

  1. Look for how often and how effective the new knowledge/skills/attitudes are observed.
  2. Recognize/reward if it is being done as expected--or coach if not.

There are hundreds of different tasks an employee performs every day, but only a limited number of factors drive that performance. And of all the factors, just one, the Leader over that direct report, makes up 70% of that impact. And of the 15 performance management tasks, coaching is one of the most important tasks a Leader performs--both after training and every day.

Studies rank 'receiving feedback from their leaders' as the number one request of employees. Studies also rank 'giving feedback' towards the bottom of what leaders like to do or do at all. This is because leaders usually see giving feedback as something negative and that causes conflict. However, giving feedback is not negative if given using an effective coaching model.

Without an effective coaching model for the leader-of-the participant, most coaching does not succeed and can be a waste of time--or do not occur at all because the leader anticipates it will be a wasted effort--or doesn't know a positive way to provide feedback. Here is a simple coaching model that incorporates best practices from best-in-class coaching experts. Of course there are more details that can be learned within each step such as focus on the performance and not the person, but this will go a long way in enabling you to start coaching today.

Best Practice Coaching Model

Each day as you observe performance needing improvement, as soon as you can (and in private when appropriate):

  1. Convey your positive intent.
  2. Describe specifically what you have observed.
  3. State the impact of the behavior or action.
  4. Ask the other person to respond.
  5. Focus the discussion on solutions.

For example: “Josef, I want to help you improve your performance. I’ve observed you haven’t addressed your employee’s missed deadlines. This results in lower metrics and demotivates the good and high performers. Why do you think you haven’t been addressing this and what are you planning to do to start doing that?”

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