Overcoming the toughest common coaching challenges
Great managers strive to do right by their employees. This is often easier said than done, especially when coaching is involved. Coaching takes time, skill and careful planning. And certain people may be particularly challenging to coach. Think about the Eeyore on your team who is pessimistic at every turn, or the person who refuses your advice with a smile on his face. It’s not fair to you or to the employee to give up, so what do you do?
As with most interpersonal difficulties at work, the f irst step is to take a look at yourself. Susan David, founder of the Harvard/ McLean Institute of Coaching, says t hat t he problem often starts i n the manager’s head. “When a leader is coaching someone who they’ve identified as ‘challenging’ it means that manager has an attachment to an idea about that person,” she explains. Being “stuck” to those ideas leaves little “space for change, hope, or optimism”.
To overcome this mindset, you can do several things.
Assume change is possible. If you go i nto any coaching situation presuming that people are who they are, you’re setting yourself, and your coachee, up for failure. Ask yourself whether you have a preconception that is f undamentally undermining your mission. If so, try the next few steps.
Take an alternative view. If you f ind yourself thinking negative thoughts about the person you’re coaching, it ’s diff icult to show compassion or curiosity. Think about the other people he works with. Is there someone who doesn’t seem to share your view and