Here’s the deal. As a manager wanting to do more coaching, you’ve got a big challenge.
For years, you’ve been trained, encouraged, nurtured and rewarded to give advice. You’re a font of knowledge, a walking resource, the person to turn to when there’s a question to be answered.
Which is not a bad thing. Because there’s a place for giving on-the-job advice as a manager. Sadly, it’s a much smaller place than the advice-giving mansion in which you currently hang out.
Here’s one way to think about things, which I first heard from David Rock, a leader in embedding internal coaching capacity within organizations:
Think of all the times you get advice on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. Notice how much of that advice isn’t much good, or not quite right – polite words for “kind of sucks.” And then notice that, of the advice you do take, how much of it is not as useful as you’d hoped it turns out to be.
Well – that’s how employees feel about your advice as their manager as well.
Your coaching action
Spend the next week paying attention to how much advice you give (and you get). Notice the rush you’re in to come up with a soution.
See if you can hold back the advice just a bit. Ask three good questions before you give your next piece of advice. See what difference those questions make.
To learn more coaching strategies from Michael Bungay Stanier, check out his recent web seminar on How to Do More Great Work.
- Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work by David Rock. Rock’s first book on coaching and with interesting things to say about neuroscience and coaching.
- The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters by Peter Block. Block is a hero to me, really brilliant at helping people assume responsibility for their own lives at work.