We’ve talked a lot about coaching for performance at The HR Capitalist (here, here and here for starters) and riffed about how employees will try to derail the process with sidetracks. Although the tools I pitch are relatively simple and flexible to most situations, managers have to think on their feet to deploy them effectively.
Are you uncoachable? Know anyone who is? (Does Ron Artest come to mind?) Seth Godin had a take late last week that was related to "the sidetrack". From Seth’s blog:
"In fluid marketing and organization environments, where the world changes rapidly, coachability is a key factor in evolving and succeeding. Not because all advice is good advice. In fact, most advice is lousy advice. No, the reason coachability is so crucial is that without it, you don’t have the emotional maturity to consider whether the advice is good or not. You reject the process out of hand, and end up stuck.
Symptoms of uncoachability:
- Challenging the credentials of the coach
- Announcing that you’re being unfairly singled out
- Pointing out, angrily, that the last few times, the coach was wrong
- Identifying others who have succeeded without ever being coached
- Resisting a path merely because it was one identified by a coach"
Some of Seth’s breakout points are related to the sidetracks I pitch (sidetracks like "what about you?" and "what about them?" seem to be very present in his breakout examples). What I like most about his notes relates to the employees you have who are truly unaccessible through coaching. Important to keep in mind as you coach team members – professional maturity in this area doesn’t concede that all coaching must be accepted and immediately result in measurable change.
What professional maturity means is that you (or anyone else being coached) listen to all coaching and consider it. For those of us committed to coaching, it also means that 7 out of 10 sessions may fail, or at least not result in measurable change. It’s the cumulative effect that matters most.
Keep plugging away using the Coaching tool and you’ll ultimately get results. Be prepared for the sidetracks along the way and most of all, have thick skin. You’ll need it…..
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.