Anyone Can Coach

Posted under: From the Blog 29th of April, 2013

Frank conversations about performance are a fundamental building block of a performance culture.

It’s always easier for someone who comes in from the outside to see how well developed the language of performance is.  A basic question about “what are your KPIs?” and if they actually have some, “OK, how will their achievement be measured?”. Even nastier, “what were your KPIs last year and what was achieved?”

Efficient performance management hinges on accretion of trust of course. Some individuals are readier to extend trust because they are more effective at qualifying their trust based on return performance. This is key trait of those who get things done. These few people do this naturally but most don’t. There is gradient between abdication delegation and micro management, and the trick is finding an agreed style based on need. Hersey situational leadership* is my preferred model for this.

People can be taught and develop their own language of performance and use this to qualify the trust they extend to those whose efforts they depend on.

In my experience this is simple to change in most people, with sustained effort. People need an opportunity to rehearse safely, and to be rewarded for doing it.

Generally the process involves large carrot, small stick. Typical carrot is access to development and hence career progression, based on agreed performance measurement, e.g verified deliverable.

More about Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership says the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership theory states that instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they’re leading and the details of the task. Using this theory, leaders should be able to place more or less emphasis on the task, and more or less emphasis on the relationships with the people they’re leading, depending on what’s needed to get the job done successfully.

Rate your leadership style to each of the teams’ maturity you are currently managing/interacting in using this model to see how your style compares against the maturity of each of those teams.

You can also watch the video of  Dr Paul Hersey, where he describes

A situational leader is anybody anywhere who recognises that influencing behaviour is not an event but a process. The process entails assessing follow-up performance in relation to what a leader wants to accomplish and providing appropriate amounts of guidance and support. The situational leader is concerned about people, about results and bahaves in a manner where everybody wins.

(Reminds me of Chef Gusteau’s famous motto in ‘Ratatouille’, “Anyone can cook.”)


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