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The Coach Approach for Leaders and Managers

People-Whispering Tip:

Last month, I took some time to reassess what the heart of my business really is.  I discovered that the core always comes back to teaching leaders at all levels of an organization how to influence through “A Coach Approach.” Companies have been talking about this for many years now and for those of us in organizational learning and development, it seems as if it would be old news.  That said, business cycles inevitably cause priorities to shift and the events of the past few years have focused many companies on survival never mind growth and development. 

Fortunately, the tides are turning and it is time to get back to focusing on attracting and retaining the best talent.  This also involves developing the talent that is inherent in the people already with an organization which is often grossly underutilized and underappreciated.

I just read some sobering results from a study conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company, stating that almost half of all organizations around the world saw a significant drop in employee engagement levels at the end of the June 2010 quarter – the largest decline Hewitt has observed since it began conducting employee engagement research 15 years ago. 

This highlights the growing tension between employers – many of whom are struggling to stabilize their financial situation – and employees, who are showing fatigue in response to a lengthy period of stress, uncertainty, and confusion brought about by the recession and their companies’ actions. 

Hewitt’s research also suggests a clear link between employee engagement levels and financial performance.  Organizations with high levels of employee engagement outperform the total stock market even in volatile economic conditions.  For example, even in 2009, total shareholder return for “engaged” companies was 19 percent higher than the average shareholder return. 

And even in those companies with “high engagement” (defined as having 65% or more of employees report being engaged), there is room for improvement and the corresponding increase in prosperity for all.  65% still leaves a third of many companies with “checked out” employees. 

Imagine if a third of a manufacturing plant were closed down or if a third of your bank was not working (okay it does feel like that already at most branches!).  Imagine the lack of efficiency and profit not to mention the lack of joy and fulfillment in the workplace for those who remain there.  Many of my individual coaching clients have been reporting this malaise to me and I empathize.

What is the solution?  Again and again, employees who are coached to performance rather than managed to performance are shown to have a greater commitment to and are more invested in the outcomes of their work and the achievement of the organization’s goals.  That sounds like the essence of employee engagement to me.

Further, coaching promotes the creativity, breakthrough performance, and resilience needed in today’s environments where people are having to “do more with less.”

In Corporate Coach U’s The Coaching Clinic that we now offer, coaching is taught as a professional discipline and skill set to enhance performance, action, creativity, momentum, and transformation.  Our model of coaching literally incorporates hundreds of specialized skills, principles, concepts, practices, and nuggets of wisdom.

We will be offering public seminars soon and would be happy to bring The Coaching Clinic into your organization to assist you in transforming your culture from wherever it is now to one with engaged, passionate, committed, productive and fulfilled employees.  Stay tuned for our upcoming Webinar, “Creating a Culture of Engagement with the Coach Approach.”

A “Coach Approach” is the mindset and heartset of the 21st century leader.  And, as you will learn in the workshop and subsequent coaching, yes, it still is appropriate to “tell” in some instances.  The wisdom lies in knowing when to tell and when not to – the right tool for the right job so to speak.

For more on this topic, I encourage you to read my award-winning article, “Leading with Love.”  I will also be starting a blog on this topic soon in addition to the People-Whispering blog. Stay tuned and for practical tools and application on how to apply these ideas to your organization, feel free to call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.



DiSC Assessment Application:

A New Kind of 360 is Now Available!Many companies are still looking for creative, budget-friendly ways to continue leadership development and training until things stabilize further.To meet such a need, our 363 for Leadership combines the best of 360 degree feedback with the simplicity and power of DiSC, plus 3 strategies for improving leadership effectiveness.  The result is a 360 experience that is more productive and satisfying not to mention actionable and positively-oriented for the feedback participant.

1)  363 for Leadership is meant for anyone who wants to use 360 degree feedback for leadership development, whether they are an emerging high-potential leader or an experienced executive.  From now until November 15, 2010, you can receive a FREE “Everything DiSC for Leaders” personalized feedback report for one leader, per company – FOR FREE!

In addition to the free profile with a retail value of a very cost-effectively priced $155, you will receive a FREE Coaching Supplement Report to create an action plan for development.

TO REQUEST A SAMPLE REPORT AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN THIS FREE OFFER, send your name, company name, approximate number of supervisors/managers, your title, phone number, city/state to Laura@lauraadavis.com.  The relevant information will be sent to you electronically.


Schedule a DiSC Strategy Session with me.  During this 45 minute complimentary discussion, we’ll discuss your business objectives and challenges, talk about your organization’s leadership capabilities, and see if the Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders is a fit for your organization.

For more about this powerful tool and how it can work for you, please visit www.363forLeaders.com.

Take advantage of this great offer as soon as you can!

2)  Everything DiSC Management Profile will also be included in our Coaching Clinic in order to assist participants in seeing where they have natural gifts and strengths as a manager and where they might be “getting in their own way.”

The ED Management Profile helps managers understand themselves better as leaders and managers.

Coaching provides not only a context for feedback, but also a process to support changed behavior.  The best workplace coaches are those who:

  • understand and develop their own coaching style, rather than following a cookie-cutter approach.
  • know how to flex their style to connect with and more effectively coach others, and
  • can use the coaching process and concepts effectively through understanding and skill development.


The Management Profile helps them know how to develop actionable strategies to do just that.


Transformational Coaching Tip:

Two of the keys to effective coaching are listening and questioning. Effective coaches want to learn to ask questions rather than only telling or giving advice.  As a leader, your questions can help team members think through what they can achieve, determine what their goals are, and assess what knowledge and skills they need to develop to achieve them.

Then an effective “manager as coach” can ask questions to get them to explore the options available as well as the likely outcomes for each option.Suppose you have a team member who is hesitant to take on the leadership of a project team. This is a scenario many leaders can relate to as a developmental issue.Here are some “Coach Approach” questions you might ask:

  1. If you were taking responsibility for this initiative, what would you see as being the most important priorities for you as the team/project leader?
  2. Think about leaders you have worked with in the past.  What are the things they did that worked really well for you? 
  3. Are there any leaders with whom you’ve worked that did or said things that really didn’t work for you that you would not want to do yourself?
  4. What support do you need from me in order to feel more comfortable taking on a new role within the team?

While these are simple, “starter” questions, the purpose of asking these questions is to draw on the coachee’s experience of working for different leaders to say, “What have you seen that works and what have you experienced that doesn’t work regardless of style?”  Most things that work are universal leadership principles and practices that can work for anyone in any situation.

This is one way to empower people by getting them to start thinking about what they need to do without having to tell them what to do.  Coming back to the theme we started with in this Ezine, employees who are allowed to think for themselves within guidelines are more committed, more engaged, and often more brilliant than those of us who think we may know more.  As a coach, I am continually inspired by the wisdom that lies within us all.  All of us need a fresh eye and to live in the question a bit more than we may find comfortable.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com for ways to operationalize any of these best practices into your workplace for powerful, effective results.

All my best!

Laura A. Daviswww.lauraadavis.com

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