Coaching may range from a person using their experience to directly influence the thinking and skills of the individual to another who uses a more enabling technique affording increased independence to the individual.
There are those in between looking for an equal input from both parties thus generating a creative link.
Problems may arise from personal issues which will need a sympathetic ear from the coach.
The coach may have to allow suitable time to see any improvement.
Personal issues can cover a wide range of events from not liking a colleague to the death of a close family member.
When it involves a great deal of emotional turmoil it can be very debilitating for the individual with resultant loss of motivation.
On occasion you will have explored all of your checklist and come to the conclusion that you can’t find any reason for poor performance other than the person does not want to perform well.
Could the person do it if she or she wanted to?
This is a difficult one to answer.
If you feel that the person would do it if threatened with death then the person does have the ability to do it.
So, are there any other restrictions?
They may have reached a limit of their own capabilities.
Do they have a temporary problem that may disappear?
Has the person lost their voice, suffering from temporary hearing loss due to infection perhaps, back ache etc.
Do they have a permanent characteristic that will make it impossible to do that particular task?
You must consider the possibility that no one can do the task.
This should be extremely rare as a task should have been assessed as possible before being assigned.
If you have exhausted all of the reasons for poor performance and you conclude that the person can do the job
then you will need to arrange a personal talk to discuss additional options.
This should be a stepwise procedure.
The final answer might have to be to move or replace the person.
Everyone has a problem they wish to solve. Every problem has the same basic elements.
This may be called a goal or a target. It’s what we want to achieve.
Before you can get to the end and reach your target or objective you will always have hurdles or obstacles to overcome.
It is how you tackle these that will determine whether you reach your goal.
Typically, hurdles fall into three categories:
Before you can overcome any hurdle you must assess what you intend to do and then take action.
The above simple problem view is not just applicable to projects.
It applies to every day life.
It applies to film scripts and plays in the theatre.
If there were no hurdles in a play it would be all over within the first act.
This very simple view of all problems can provide a quick and easy inroad into helping people to reach their targets.
Firstly, explain that all problems can be condensed to the above three steps.
Then clarify the required objective, target or goal.
Then think about all of the hurdles that are in you way.
Then decide on the actions necessary to overcome them and implement them.
Some of the hurdles won’t necessarily happen if you put appropriate plans in place. These will constitute your contingencies.
It is not up to the leader to know all of the answers, make all of the decisions and provide all of the direction.
Even this simple system encourages a more enabling approach.
If you provide all the solutions team motivation will drop.
When you have a problem stick to the facts.
Try not to make major decisions alone and too quickly.
By examining the facts and not assumptions you can then derive properly considered implications.
From these implications you can then decide on the proper way forwards.
Coaching is about trying to teach someone how to carry out a particular task correctly.
This can be done by encouraging the individual to do the task with minimal intervention.
Another way, is to stand up and do it your self, as the coach, and let the person watch.
Then the person has a go and gradually increases in proficiency.
This may not be the best way but is suitable on occasion.
All behaviours will benefit from feedback. It is needed whether the behaviour is good or bad.
The more immediate the feedback the better. The use of graphical feedback is even better (see Feedback – part 1).
Good coaching improves the overall status of the organisation, improves motivation and reduces the turnover of personnel.