While 45% of managers believe coaching is "very important," only 21% believe coaching is directly tied to performance management.
We couldn’t be more disappointed for the 79% who don’t have the experience of coaching being tied to performance management. What is the point of coaching if not performance management? Why manage someone’s performance if not for results?
If coaching isn’t tied to results, it’s not coaching. It could be a number of other things, but it’s definitely not coaching. What else could it be? Well let’s see. Therapy. Friendship. Mentorship. Camaraderie. Training. Motivation. Inspiration. All of those things are also very important, but they are not inherently tied to results. Coaching is.
Just like coaching in sports, coaching for executives and in business should only ever be tied to results. Here are some features of effective coaching you should expect from coaches to or within your organization.
If you want any kind of result, you have to know what it is. We call these goals, we’re sure you’ve heard of them. Coaching without goals is just mentorship. Mentors are not expected to help you reach specific goals, which is why being a mentor isn’t a paid position. Mentors help guide you in the direction you have established for yourself, and they may advise you on whether that direction is good for you. But a coach helps you set specific goals for your organization, and helps you to identify how every part or person fits into accomplishing that goal. On an individual level, coaches help you identify goals that move the whole forward. Coaching gives you something to stretch for, both as a company and as individuals and teams. Equally as important, it gives you a way to measure your progress.
Your entire team needs to know what they are measured against. Your sales team, for example. Is it the number of new accounts, the number of serviced accounts, the percentage of revenue growth per account, the number of sales calls, etc.? Is it different for every person? Your team also needs to have access to real-time data about metrics that tie back to your overall goals. Coaching without metrics is just motivation. A coach will also help you and the organization decide on which metrics are best suited to get the results you are committed to. You get what you are measuring, this is a critical piece of creating a performance based team and company.
Every accomplishment can be celebrated, even if it’s not tied to what is getting measured, all on the merit of it feeling or looking good. Celebrating everything is motivation but it’s not coaching. Celebrating what you ask to be held accountable for is coaching. Coaching holds you accountable to those measurements and dives into any reasons why the metrics aren’t met. Next, coaching gives you action steps to meet those metrics.
Coaches help you and your teams identify action steps that support movement toward your goals. Every person has a role to play in reaching the goals you’ve identified, so everything they do day to day can be tied back to reaching them. No one on your team has time to be doing things that don’t attributes to achieving success as you’ve collectively identified it. Coaching without action steps is more like therapy. It’s a lot of good questions with no solutions. It’s someone to listen. But if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, your company is likely full of people listening but not taking effective action. Get them a coach who can listen AND motivate them through seeing real results that come out of real actions.
Managers and employees are often told they need to change the mindset of their employees or teams to accomplish their organizational goals. Unfortunately there is very little training on how to accomplish this in organizations. Coaching is the most effective way to help people shift their mindset, help remove perceived barriers to success and help people move beyond these blocks. Coupled with powerful metrics and the right set of actions people will achieve breakthrough results through coaching.
Therapy also assists in having people shift their perception, as does mentoring, however it usually takes longer periods of time to accomplish this. Coaching cuts to the heart of the matter and deals with issues that are getting in the way in real time.
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT THROUGH COACHING
If you’re not seeing a change in performance directly tied to coaching, then you are likely not seeing a change in results directly tied to coaching. It’s either because your coach hasn’t put the first four elements in place or they are simply not an effective coach for your organization. If you take a look at the coaching you’re currently getting and it doesn’t include these elements, it may be time to rethink your coach. And if you don’t have a coach, and any of these elements are missing for you, it may be time to consider coaching within your organization.