In yesterday’s Advisor, Dr. Robert P. Hewes shared his four steps to ensuring your staff is ready to receive coaching, elaborating in detail on the first two. Today, Hewes provides an in-depth look at the final two steps in the process.
Hewes is senior partner at Camden Consulting Group, a provider of integrated talent management solutions for organizational and leadership development.
- Align the Manager and HR.
The alignment of the manager and HR on the reasons for coaching is a powerful step. It requires more time, but alignment on the “why” of the coaching makes for a stronger case and helps to build a shared understanding. They should spend time discussing the situation and agree upon joint in-depth examples and goals.
Being aligned ensures that key messages are reinforced and that common examples are used. It helps a coachee to hear similar messages from two different sources. Not every coachee needs this, but it is a very good step to take.
TIP: The manager and HR should ask, “Are we united on the reasons for this coaching?” If not, close the gaps.
- Enlist the Coachee.
Talk with the coachee about having a coach with the express purpose of enlisting him or her. Another critical part of getting someone “ready to go” for coaching is to communicate with him or her about it as a way to build motivation and to have a shared understanding. This should always be discussed in person, not via e-mail. A common message is, “We want to invest in you and expand your capability, plus address issues that may be creeping up.”
TIP 1: Check for shared understanding; after you’ve talked with the coachee, ask him or her to describe why you want him or her to work with a coach. See if it matches your reasons; if not, continue your conversation.
TIP 2: Ask the candidate, “Are you ready to go?” If not, find out why, and close the gaps of understanding.
These four steps will get a coachee ready to go so he or she can have a strong start to his or her coaching engagement. This does not mean all questions are answered and all concerns are resolved, but these steps done well will give your candidate a firm foundation on the way to success.