Coaching – why won’t you listen?

Why don’t people listen to coaching that will improve performance?

Dave Packard of Hewlett-Packard had it right when he said, “Think first of the other fellow.” What works for one person may not work for another. Your job is to figure out the other fellow.

Complaining, criticizing, castigation, censorship, condemning, chewing out, and crabbing don’t work; and when this is done in front of co-workers, it builds resentment, not capability.

Effective coaches utilize what works to motivate people and encourage improved behaviors and performance. This is different for every individual and one size will not work, period. So, what to do?

Motivators include praise, money, promotion, progressive assignments and time-off. Others are motivated by professional pride, competition, jealousy, obstinacy, or personal drive. There are thousands of “methods” and numerous books on the subject, but it comes down to spending the time to understand the individual and using this acquired knowledge to help the person grow.

Let’s break coaching down into 7 essential elements:

1. Know thyself: what you can do and just can’t do (yes it’s difficult to change).
2. Know thy subject: what s/he is motivated by and what s/he isn’t.
3. Know thy options: what options do you have; formal, informal, and over-the-top.
4. Be consistent and tenacious: timing and making it constructive and continuous – being coach and critic simultaneously.
5. Use others to improve the benefits: using peers and teamwork.
6. Celebrate success, whatever the size: ‘nuff said.
7. Follow-up: remember that it’s hard to change, your follow-up will be the difference, trust me.

Each item will be detailed in coming dialogs…


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