Instructions. Coaching includes teaching followers to both accept and apply the vision and values connotations of the work community into the work they do (Fairholm, 1991). In a leadership context, teaching or coaching focuses on helping followers to understand the vision and its values context, to accept as their own these values and the implications of the vision, and to apply the principles inherent in the vision as they perform their organizational work. The result is that the work community becomes more explicit and the order, productivity, and unity that emerge become a practical extension of a shared values context. If leaders do not teach their values and vision, other values and a different vision will guide the organization and work against the leaders’ purposes.
Respond to the following questions:
Do I understand my role as a coach in the work community?
Have I developed the skills to relay information and values in a way that adults can understand and adopt?
Do I take the time and the many opportunities I have to teach the vision and the values of the office?
Do I encourage teaching among my coworkers?
Develop an action plan to increase your skill as a coach-leader.
Instructions. Coaching for improved work performance includes getting agreement that a problem exists and on what the problem is, generating solutions, agreeing to a plan of action, implementing it, and following up after the solution has been implemented to ensure it worked.
Review the following statements that may help you improve your coaching skills:
Good coaching begins with separating the behavior from the person, and that, in turn, means identifying causes rather than the effects. Listening to the member’s point of view may be helpful in seeing the real issues.
Sometimes, performance problems exist because the individual worker thinks his or her performance is acceptable. Sometimes, although the worker may know that performance is lacking, the deficiency itself is considered acceptable. These perceptions often result from too little feedback.
One reason members don’t perform up to the inner leader’s expectations is that they don’t know what the expectations are and consequently don’t know that a problem exists.
Even when members know what is expected of them, they may not know what they are supposed to do or when to do it.
Outside factors can have a direct effect on a performance. Among these factors are equipment failure, late or incorrect reports or data, conflicting instructions, too many bosses, and lack of materials or supplies.
Unsatisfactory performance may occur because good performance is punished.
An example of negative consequence is the technician who has to complete another person’s work because he or she finished his or her own tasks early.
Similarly, the technician who has part of his or her work taken away is rewarded for not getting his or her own work accomplished.
Develop a coaching plan for your firm that considers these statements. Include in the plan as many work situations and coworkers as you can. In preparing this plan, consider issues like the following: (Of course, not all of these may apply to your situation today. Use those—and other issues— you see as pertinent to your current situation.)
Orientation and training of a new employee.
Teaching a new job skill.
Need to explain standards of the work unit.
Need to explain cultural norms and political realities of the organization.
Corrections to performance are required.
Goals or business conditions change.
New members are added to the work community.
Work-community members facing new work experiences.
A member who needs help setting priorities.
Follow up to a training session.
Members who display low or moderate performance.
A member wants to become a peak performer.
Formal or informal performance reviews.
A member needs preparation to meet his or her future career goals.
A member needs preparation for more challenging work assignment.
A member needs self-confidence developed.
Power or control battles are affecting the work community’s cohesiveness.
Consider sharing your plan with others in your firm.