Over­com­ing the tough­est com­mon coach­ing chal­lenges

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

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

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