So many leaders watch as their direct reports stumble through a presentation, struggle with writing a report or simple miss their quotas. Any leader who allows this to go on is a coward in my estimation. As a leader it is YOUR job to deal with the uncomfortable, challenge the status quo and never back down to a problem.
Sure it is hard to give feedback, especially negative feedback, but no one will get better without a successful coaching session. This coaching session should give your direct reports the confidence to grow and change – if it doesn’t then it is useless rhetoric. Unfortunately, too many leaders don’t set the stage properly, don’t directly address the issue and fail to follow up accordingly to see how the employee is improving. This is a WASTE OF TIME.
So here are some tips to being a successful coach:
- Let the employee know that you want to meet with them to go over how they handled a situation (as an example). Let them know that you want to help them improve their communication style in order to be more effective and that is what you will discuss in the meeting with them tomorrow (as an example)
- During the meeting make sure they are taking notes and you should take notes as well. What is working, what isn’t and what the follow up will be
- Make sure you run this meeting in a comfortable place – not where anyone else can hear what you are talking about
- Show how you will support their development in this area
- Ask what they need from you to be better at this role
- Make sure you use SMART Feedback® - Sensitive, Meaningful, Accurate, Reinforcing and Timely feedback rules
All in all, it is a leader’s job to improve performance with everyone on their team. If you are not helping your team get better than you are contributing to their failure! Don’t be a coward and back away from feedback. Be a champion and create success on your team!