如何提高導師水平的9.5個重要方法 - 由侯婉琳提供

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 *The Hype Cycle is a branded graphical presentation developed and used by US Information Technology (IT) research and advisory firm Gartner. (See Wikipedia) 

*The Hype Cycle is a branded graphical presentation developed and used by US Information Technology (IT) research and advisory firm Gartner. (See Wikipedia) 

‘’the good coach” 吸引了其他志同道合的導師(無論全職/兼職/隨意),他們期望得益於超越目前的市場狀態。我們參加了小組討論。我們與同行,博客和tgc讀者聯繫,要求他們分享他們在市場上注意到的影響他們在該領域實踐的方式;我們非常感謝他們與我們分享的所有知識片段。這使我能夠思考並連接更廣泛的領域,並提供一些有效證據的參考資料,以支持2015年達成的9.5條提高輔導的重要途徑清單。

簡而言之,我們所進行的是單獨分享我們的專業實踐案例和我們個人發展的故事。只有這樣才能促成真正拓寬及深化我們對於如何通過提高個人潛能的輔導來給予個人關注的理解。我們所做的不僅僅是理論或模式,我們需要對自己更加自信,並分享輔導的真正益處。以下是為什麼這很重要的9.5個原因(有些甚至可以將這些視為輔導領域的戰略問題!)。


1.  教練作為一個領域將繼續增長。 當它被看作是一種手段而不是一種手段的結尾時,它會變得更加紮根。

輔導是人類進化的一部分; 它將繼續成長並逐漸成熟,充分發揮'充分利用每一個人'的潛力。 了解如何以及在哪裡最好地應用輔導並獲得最佳回報非常重要。 案例研究正在慢慢開始出現,並與更廣泛的社區在特定的實踐部分中分享,例如, 入職,過渡到高層職責,從長假返回,即產假和領導。 這是一個積極證據的例子:

與輔導干預相關的員工態度調查變化可能非常強大 - 葛蘭素史克憑藉其全球員工調查得出了令人信服的積極證據,通過比較接受過與未接受過培訓的員工團隊的領導影響[1].”

未來之路:我們需要鼓勵更多的案例研究進行分享和交流,這些案例研究記錄了輔導如何為“充分利用每個人”做出貢獻的益處和局限性。


2.  有必要同時增加導師的執行量並提高輔導效益的認識。

  • 導師是職務性職業的一部分;
  • 有些人會全職工作,包括培訓和監督,
  • 除了通常的技術角色之外,有些人會提供輔導,
  • 一些人將作為經理和/或領導者的角色之外或作為他們角色的組成部分提供輔導,
  • 而許多其他人將會在沒有意識到這是輔導的情況下進行輔助。

在主流輔導市場中,並且在目前導師的狹義定義中,它被認為是一個艱難和競爭的市場。似乎有更多合格的導師和更多的來自高級企業背景的導師的需求(以及可能的可用性)已經轉化為輔導。他們根據他們在特定環境和條件下如何通過他們的操作經驗所形成的教練證明他們有不同程度的積極影響,帶來了他們豐富的經驗和風格(更具指導性的方法)。

對專業團體和“合格”導師來說,這個問題日益突出,特別是在何時或者誰在界定誰是客戶和/或市場,以及他們在哪些方面真正進行輔導工作。目前的自我評估資格足以區分和決定誰適合職業導師的角色,誰應該被排除在外?可能不是。此外,來自各種項目(學術到培訓學校)的畢業生畢業後也在這個領域尋求工作,並且希望與其他有經驗的導師一起工作。

未來之路:我們需要關注培訓中的人才 - 管道是什麼?

2.5.  當你的目標市場沒有聽過輔導並從補救結束時開始不要感到驚訝! 

雖然許多人和組織都沒有聽說過輔導,但導師的想法正在從報導和在跨國公司工作或曾經工作過的人那里傳播出來,並在全國各地和世界各地設有辦事處(例如德國,印度,法國,香港,中國,美國)。

引入輔導技能和屬性的機會被視為日常管理和領導力日益重要的一部分。這導致對管理人員的輔導技能培訓的需求增加,這是領導力發展計劃正式學習過程的一部分。他們通常應該涉及'工作'項目,要么是個人認同他們自己,要么是一個'學習者'團隊工作和分享的項目,這不僅包括業務成果,還包括學習要點。這是一個增長的趨勢。

未來之路:輔導不是神聖的。在整個組織的各個層面(前線到首席執行官)都有很多機會參與提供指導。它知道輔導何時達到目的。


3.  聽市場。以領導組織發起人去評價輔導自身的利益 – 存有太多變數!

 公司,尤其是大型企業,是輔導的老練用戶,他們質疑自我任命的資格和認證的局限性。 用於培訓導師的勝任力模型在提供持續可靠的產出方面受到限制,這導致了四大會計師事務所之一普華永道[2], 以他們自己的方式開發“一套全球指導標準,將英國公司的做法作為世界其他地區的基準。” 德勤[3] 同上“將其他國家的成熟輔導文化與英國公司合併在一起,以推動德勤大學在歐洲,中東和非洲地區的一致性和最佳實踐”。 他們不再支持任何專業團體。 或者來自皇家護理學院的學習和OD經理報告說:“ILM提供了一種可能的替代途徑來進行認證,其規模要比EMCC要求更低,規模更合適[4] "

未來之路:贊助商正在開發和建立評估輔導在組織中如何發揮最佳作用的最佳實踐。他們有數據。我們需要關注,因為他們將在未來決定市場。

 

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4.部輔導,主要作為戰略風險管理的一部分應用於有效組織的興起。它需要時間,努力,謹慎的計劃和充足的資源。

接受外部輔導並超越其範圍的更成熟的公司只是購買決定,尤其是在2008年金融危機之後,他們正在接受內部指導。培養內部輔導幹部的組織已經證明這是一種成本意識型解決方案,並且有助於保持更長時間從事橫向擴展角色的各種員工的才能和動力。對於建立一個內部輔導組有很多策略(見1),最受歡迎的導師通常是個人輔導課,作為他們'日常工作'的補充,並且經常在正常工作時間之外。

在目前的市場(見3)內部導師可以被視為對外部導師的威脅。但現實是,它提高了導師的概況標準和實踐,因為他們了解他們客戶的工作環境,他們可以策略性地找到試點教輔導干預的方法,並用自己的語言向組織展示其好處。實際上,內部指導可以在有限的條件和細微差別下擴大導師的實踐範圍。尋求多樣性的組織的需求,與選擇參與或指派給輔導員的個人匹配的適當水平的獨立性和專業性,很可能會推動內部和外部執行導師的平衡。

未來之路:部導師對輔導的發展有著驚人的貢獻。我們可以創建一個論壇(pow哇)來互相交換導師故事和實踐嗎?


5. 明確所得到的好處是因為輔導的結果影響組織的需求並不是一個簡單的過程。

利用投資回報率的會計績效衡量標準可能更多的是來自導師(主要是外部)的營銷誇張,這些導師正尋求迅速向贊助商證明自己的工作是正確的。正確執行投資回報率的局限性在於難以隔離導致輔導影響的因素,並且清楚說明這些因素的積極影響從行為變化中切實轉變的能力。

像任何顧問/自由職業者一樣,總是需要更多時間與讚助商建立關係和聲譽才能提供輔導本身。當這個機會出現時,並且反復地,贊助者明確地委派導師他們的輔導如何能夠在他們的策略中以個人關注,安慰劑或不安慰的方式使個人受益。建立內部導師職能報告[5],雖然“強大的輔導評估過程已經到位......沒有任何依靠評估數據來證明繼續投資輔導是合理的,因為存在所有公司內部信仰,投資內部輔導提供了極好的價值“。

未來之路:評估輔導的影響需要由領導組織發起人(而非購買者)以客戶的語言分享和驗證,以及他們如何將個人,團隊,職能和組織的積極方面聯繫起來,因為他們通常知道如何影響(行為)的連鎖反應與績效有關。問題更多;如何分享這些故事,以何種方式展示和證明個人導師實踐的有效性?

6.缺乏共識建立什麼是輔導

輔導既不是一個法律規定的,也不是受控於專業的受控術語;因此任何導師實際上在市場上所做的事情都會持續混淆。例如,專業服務部門的導師任務已經被用於替代領導者,他們被用來傾斜幫助那些留下和/或晉升來應對肩上的所有負擔和壓力的“不快樂/高潛力”少數人, '高潛力輔導/中層管理輔導/領導力輔導/ C套導師'來交付成果。因此,隨著管理人員進入一個更高級別的職位,通常是多個職位的合併,並成為學習與發展組合的可接受部分,越來越多人認為輔導可以發展為潛在的發展潛力在大型組織中有高級管理人員的讚助。

 未來之路:在如何達到全人類潛力以及在何種條件下存在矛盾。讓我們澄清一下輔導的目的是什麼,以及可以期待什麼結果,讓公眾和客知道他們可以信任輔導專業人員。從那裡開始,也許我們就可以開始為輔導建立一個定義。

7.缺乏知識體以展示和評估輔導的條件和影響

自2007年在都柏林舉行的國際輔導研究論壇以來,[6] 與Lew斯特恩

“[從所提出的100個課題中]從2008年到2012年,共有超過100項研究共發表在80多種期刊上,在同行評審的期刊中,五年內基本上只有100項研究與發展有關關於輔導,關於結果的討論略多於40,關於組織的輔導不多於30,關於輔導與其他輔助實踐以及它們之間的差異,大約有20篇文章"。

知識來源於像輔導這樣的新領域?從導師本身。實踐者如何在市場中創造和維持自己的經驗,以及他們如何為輔導創造條件是研究人員首先要進行調查(也許甚至使用參與觀察作為一種方法),然後更多地了解工具的拼裝(輔導培訓)正在適用於各種情況和背景。也許作為輔導,並且通過我們的職業生涯,我們太習慣於專家的觀點,他們擁有所有的答案,並且對自己的信心較低。顯然,在自信和過度自信之間(大師般)需要做出明智的平衡,並真正考慮並理解我們如何在直覺上進行探索,並以更多細節和事實為基礎。

未來之路:了解輔導的前因後果並不是一門完美的科學。然而,它不應該阻止我們更多地應用這些方法來更多地了解我們如何做我們所做的事情,同時不斷提高我們的自我意識。


8.  了解如何招募導師

贏得組織合同通常需要獨立執行導師與許多不同的協會合作 - 指導顧問到管理顧問(小型,中型和大型)。甚至還不清楚與獨角獸/自由職業者相比,為直接與中小企業,甚至跨國公司工作的獨立承包商提供了哪些機會。

這導致了一個重要的問題,為了保護該領域,正在使用與選擇過程(類似的資格,認證,評估中心,訪談)一起的什麼類型的輔導合同/協議?然而,越來越引人注意的是,尋求更多的集中控制使用外部導師,而不是直接選擇自己喜歡的個人導師(儘管這仍然發生在頂部)!

未來之路:了解指導合同的各種方式和方法可能會為所有相關方(也可以適當承保)提供最佳實踐指導方針。


 9.  輔導監督需要朝著適應性轉向專注於專業發展,其中個人發展是導師發展的基本組成部分。也許CPPD更適合鼓勵健身實踐。

像導師一樣,輔導監督缺乏任何正式的定義,大多數培訓計劃/學術課程將框架與其他治療背景相適應,專注於培養個人的精神(包括情緒)健康。從學術界借鑒來看,主管通常是一個個人(講師/教授),他是一個特定學科(單一/跨學科)的專家,其角色是指導和製定學生進行研究的標準,然後將其結果呈現給最好的優勢。然後,我們作為導師需要問的問題是:對於那些導師應該如何處理的健康人員來說,什麼類型的監督是必須的,至少應該適合專業練習?

雖然監督正在確定這應該是什麼;一個更實際和有用的方法是利用“持續個人和專業發展”(CPPD),其中一小部分同齡人[7],[8] (最少3至5人)聚在一起並使用輔導創造一個學習環境的方法,在那裡他們可以談論導師的挑戰,對於初學者來說:

Learning conditions for cppd1.jpg
  • 從構建練習到輔導中出現的獨特挑戰,並找到替代(並且很可能是試用和測試)的方式來管理它
  • 分享個人發展故事,幫助他們推動整體實踐,
  • 試用新方法/技術並了解其優勢和局限性,
  • 在適當的情況下,比較一個人的實踐和方法並向他人學習,
  • 討論道德問題和困境,
  • 挑戰定義並理解輔導真正的界限是什麼。                                                                                                                                                     未來之路:為一小群同行創造一個持續個人和專業發展的學習環境,並與更廣泛的社區分享一些主題和故事以從中學習。 通過這種方式,我們正在共同致力於實踐知識領域並為其作出貢獻。

正如開始時所說的那樣,我們每個人都需要分別分享我們的專業實踐和個人發展故事的案例研究。 只有通過這些重要的貢獻,我們才能真正拓寬和深化我們對於如何通過提高個人潛能的輔導來給予個人關注的理解。 我們如何不斷創造參與?

 

Acknowledgements:
*I'd like to thank the following practitioners around the world for sharing their thoughts, experiences and opinions with me. Martina Weinberger, Aubrey Rebello, Laurent Terseur, Eamon O'Brien, Lynne Hindmarch, Nicholas Wai, Jeremy Ridge, Sue Young, Doug Montgomery to name just a few.  Any mistakes in this blog are all mine.

References (incl. the good coach blogs)
[1] Doug Montgomery's blog
[2] Ridler & Co (2014) Case Study: The Development of Internal coaching in the Big Four Accounting Firms, p 17
[3] ditto
[4] Internal Coaching Group (2015) What is the role of APECS in supporting and promoting Best Practice in Internal Coaching APECS 4th Annual Symposium www.apecssymposium.org
[5] Ridler & Co (2014) Case Study: The Development of Internal coaching in the Big Four Accounting Firms (pg 14)
[6] Lew Stern Interview: Research on Professional Coaching (http://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/wp-app/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Lew-Stern-Inteview.pdf)
[7] O'Brien, E., Montgomery, D., and Thackray, Y (2015) Contracting to avoid gossiping APECS 4th Annual Symposium. www.apecssymposium.org
[8] Young, S and Thackray, Y (2015) How do APECS members realise the value of CPPD: The Quality Proposition that keeps APECS at the Leading Edge. APECS 4th Annual Symposium. www.apecssymposium.org

*Calculations for Ratio of coaching to active working population

World Employment Social Outlook Trends 2015 (International Labour Organization)

  • Working Population: ~3000 million
  • Unemployment: ~200million
  • Active Working Population: 2800 million

Target coaching population: 1540 million (~55% excl. Low skilled occupations and non routine manual jobs)

Ratio: 1:15,400 or 0.00006% engaged in coaching. 

How Coaching is becoming an essential basis for much bigger scale interventions by Sue Young

UPDATED 26 July 2016

Post-Brexit, the themes in this blog are just as, if not more relevant, for people carrying out coaching who take it as an approach to Life, part of something bigger. I include in this the role and intrinsic value of a ‘coaching approach’ in organisations, as a way of operating.


I was inspired at the time of writing (Dec 2015)  by the positive role ‘coaching behaviours’ played in the achievement of reaching the Paris Climate Change agreement - e.g. off-line conversations where individuals were actively encouraged to fully express their concerns and were genuinely listened to. The traditionally power-disadvantaged countries were effectively led in getting their collective act together and getting their Voice heard. The result of all the hard work was achieving a real consensus. See the story of how final agreement at the Conference was reached on https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/paris-climate-deal-cop-diplomacy-developing-united-nations

I am struck now by the contrast of the negative style of communication  in the very recent Brexit campaign, resulting in fear, closed minds, defensiveness and lack of demonstrated respect for other perspectives. The negative impact on the aftermath has been a sense of polarisation, disorientation, and massive uncertainty across the entire UK population, leading to an unprecedented post-war political crisis.

A salutory reminder of the role of core coaching attributes of respect, empathy and openness, leading to the real listening that is essential to achieving consensus.

The volatile global environment we live in today requires both motivation and readiness to take on more flexible, attentive and more individualised ways of working and learning together. Organisations are already picking up on this and this article shares a number of ways this is already happening in organisations.

I describe this action as taking ‘a coaching approach’ in reality, and share 'headline' examples from my work:

  • Coaching behaviours are becoming central in some organisations to the process of strategy development, where there is a need to engage and gain contribution and leadership from a wider range of people at all levels to the process of strategic thinking and planning, both inside and outside the organisation.
  • Successful outcomes require use of a high degree coaching skills e.g. good questioning and deeper levels of listening.
  • It’s an on-going personal and organisational learning process – and this is a definite trend in the wider environment that is only going to grow in its importance!
  • Finally, making constructive use of differences to achieve a bigger goal, rather than seek to divide off the differences towards achieving smaller goals.

First posted 17th Dec 2015

I have just been watching the final speeches from the Paris Climate Change Conference and was struck by the scale of the Task and achievement. 195 countries and their representatives, the national interests, the translators, negotiators coming to an agreement, and there was a strong sense of strong personal and individual connections having been made.


Where Coaching involves special and careful use of essential behaviours:    I was also struck by the different style and attention to personal relationships conventionally untypical of such large scale international conferences. For example,

  • A real sense of handling and working with individual differences and attention been given to ensure that the voices of the traditionally weakest were heard.
  •  An explicit recognition that the nature of circumstances and challenges involved are very diverse.
  • There was clear demonstrated respect, empathy and trust amongst the players at the end.

The urgent non-negotiable imperative of climate change and increasing demand from democratic nations populations, is driving use of behaviours (most of which are taking place in individual conversations in ‘safer’ space behind the scenes) that we very much associate with coaching – mutual respect, active listening, helping others articulate their perspective and rapport building between individuals with different interests and perspectives.

Seeing the scope for these special behaviours:    I see strong parallels between such large scale world events and trends I see in use of a ‘coaching approach’ in organisations. This goes way beyond the traditional coaching format of confidential one to one sessions which may be contracted for in a particular contexts, e.g. Executive, Sport, Health e.t.c.

Coaching behaviours can be a natural choice:    They have always been there as part of the interaction mix of people in a society context. The Diplomat, the local 'wise' woman or man, who is regarded as source of wise counsel, the local priest or vicar as a source of confidential 'space'. The difference today is the explicit attention to this form of interaction as an organisational behaviour, operating not only with individuals, but teams and, increasingly, as a key part of some organisational cultures.

Getting these quality behaviours into organisations is still a challenge:   Coaching has been increasing hugely in popularity in recent years - see the good coach and Yvonne Thackray's recent market trends review. Coaching skills and a coaching 'mindset’ are becoming increasingly regarded as an important part of leadership and management. The awareness is there, but the readiness, by individuals and organisations to make the adjustments required is still a major issue occupying the growing number of organisations seeking to integrate more of a coaching approach as part of their culture.

Examples of how they are beginning to become a fundamental part of wider organisation interventions:  So what is driving this wider attention to the subject of coaching, and use of such behaviours? Wide reference is made in writing and research to the impact of such factors as the pace of change, greater global connectivity, increased uncertainty and volatility. There is a greater requirement for managers to quickly learn, and to be able to do this collaboratively with a wider and more inter-dependent, complex range of stakeholders. All of this at a relentless pace. As a coaching practitioner and facilitator I hear about and work first hand with how this plays out in organisations on the ground.

So what are these still elusive coaching 'qualities' that all of these example interventions illustrate and represent as a direction in the future for coaching? There is a multitude of definitions of coaching (see How we can define coaching - 'Define It For Yourself' by Jeremy Ridge.) All of these focus in on the nature and qualities of the coaching process.

I would see the following as underpinning wider themes that define an organisational- wide 'coaching approach' moving into the future:

  • Recognising it is a continuous learning, not a simple formula approach: the recognition that there are no 'quick fix' solutions; an iterative evolving approach is required as on-going learning, both individually and collectively is going to be crucial to organisational and business success.
  • Attention to creating a learning environment: where the design and testing out of new approaches is seen as critical and individuals are actively encouraged to experiment; there is no failure but what matters is the learning we're taking forward from this experience. That is seen as the only thing that truly matters
  • Actively seeking to engage individuals, in a manner appropriate to each individual’s needs, and gaining the value of their knowledge and experience, as core to any change initiative or programme. Leaders and managers abilities to do this well is regarded and assessed as a major performance measure.
  • The ability, motivation and courage to put wider organisational priorities before a narrow more self-interested priority. Coaching capabilities and values of staying open, genuinely respecting and valuing differences, building rapport and good questioning and active listening are the skills underpinning this fundamental orientation.
  • Use of feedback e.g. 360, team reviews, and as a way of working is widely used
  • Learning is regarded as synonymous with change
  • Coaching support is available in a range of formats suited to the range of context requirements. This is regarded as an integral part of Organisational Development, Learning and business strategy, and needs to be tailored to the circumstances, stage of development and resulting needs of the organisation.

We should recognise where and how this is happening – spontaneously. In writing this, it's emerging in a way that could sound idealistic. I contend that all these elements are presently in place in different mixes in different places. There is currently a clear direction present for those with eyes to see it, if they raise their outlook to a bigger picture perspective. It requires those of us involved in coaching, in all its different manifestations, to see what we are already doing is part of something bigger.

For example, I am reminded of the ‘mindset’ power embedded in Steve Jobs comment to John Sculley. At the time Jobs was trying to entice Sculley to leave his high profile comfortably successful role in Pepsi to join Apple, then a small fringe player in the computing world

"Do you want to sell sugared water all your life, or do you want to change the world?"

We can all in coaching choose to have our own personal vision of how we see the future of coaching and take this into our practice whether we be leaders, managers, independent coaches, organisational coaches, or even just do coaching as part of what we do.

Achieving the potential coaching has to offer happens in millions of events and interactions already. Bringing these individual voices together into professional and organisational communities in a way that raises the dialogue to this bigger picture perspective will massively add to the speed of embracing all that a coaching approach is capable of achieving. I see ‘the good coach'  ( mentioned above ) as potentially one of these communities, representing what experienced coach practitioners can bring to the table to build these differences into a bigger whole. 

To connect with Sue Young

The Innova Partnership

E-mail:  sueyoung@mac.com

M:  +44 07802 817727

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/sueiyoung

When training is better done using a Coaching Approach: A practical example of how to use a coaching approach when people still call it training by R. Ramamurthy Krishna (Guest)

    Potential Genesis HR Services LLP

Potential Genesis HR Services LLP

I would like to take the opportunity to consider the fit between training and coaching in organizations, and how this fits into my practice:

  • Is training different from coaching?
  • Is coaching just a way of doing training?
     
  • What are the differences between coaching and training?
  • Can coaching be used as an approach to training?

I would like to look in some detail at one project I undertook recently, as I believe it illustrates some of these issues very clearly.

1. Some of the differences along the training versus coaching continuum

There are many combinations as well as variations as to how some sort of learning/behaviour change programme can be constructed and delivered. It may be over simplifying to use the ‘PowerPoint presentation’ as the typical feature of one end of the training approach – where training is an expert lead activity, and the learning is directed by the expert.

You know when you’re on expert led training when the majority of the time is spent when:

  • communication is one way
  • the trainer creates themselves as ‘the expert‘ on the subject at hand
  • the expert presents instructions about what has to be learned
  • the learning takes place using the expert language about what is involved
  • the expert is also the judge about whether something has been learned

A coaching approach, however, can be very different because:

  • communication is open to all
  • the participants themselves bring with them important expertise
  • the expert has to be a facilitator or coach in order for the individuals in the group to be able to take the lead in the agenda
  • the participants’ own terms are more in evidence in the discussion
  • the participants are the important judges of the outcomes.

2. An example of an approach to using a Coaching Approach in Training

I shall talk through a recent project that helps to illustrate some of these differences. It is a project that helps to show this ‘coaching approach’ albeit done under the general heading of training.

We were asked to carry out a ‘training’ programme:

The project began with the central client administration contracting with me a training programme to be delivered to a group of staff. However, I was confident that the client would give me a wide scope in how I went about the project. I had worked for them before, and the results I have achieved to date have given them confidence in my approach. However, they are still more comfortable using terms such as ‘training‘– with all its implications!

How the training task was defined for us:

This is a project for a group of about 20 people – all in a particular function for a global organization, all working in the same function but in different units of the organization locally. The head of the department had requested me to intervene and see how this group could work better together - because they work separately in their units, but they also need to work together for the department.

The words ‘work better together’ are quite open, without suggesting what the detail needed to be about.

Similarly, the task was set as an event where I and a colleague, and twenty participants, all arrived at a central location and its training rooms for a two day programme.

Expectations about the way the programme would work at the beginning:

The participants, as usual, were clearly expecting some PowerPoint style presentation to start the programme. The people who had announced that this programme would take place, with bold enthusiasm, had also said something about neuroscience, et cetera.

The parties present were expecting some images of the brain, and that I was going to talk a lot about the brain, etc., etc. This was their expectation, and what they were expecting to encounter.

To counter this expectation, I started the discussion by basically saying that I had nothing to offer them, and that they should decide what is was that they wanted to take back with them.

Very ambiguous; a very ambiguous opening.

Reality clashes with expectations:

They were just not thinking what to do and what to ask. One of them asked, “Please tell me what is there in the menu card.” (A typical detailed programme outline)

And so I explained to them that the menu card was slight huge, and just gave them a few examples of what was possible in the menu card, and over and above the menu card. Instead we were looking to talk about what they knew, and I said, “We are going to work on the collective ideas from across the regions, and the collectivism of the group.

At that point, I actually posed them a question, “Guys, you all have about 20 years experience plus, and are you saying that you’ve reached this point knowing nothing, right?” I continued by asking, “What is it that I can teach you? There is nothing new that I can add. I would prefer to pick up on what you already know and then put it into a frame that we can work on, and give you an insight which would add more value to them, and value to you.

And that was the point/moment they opened up and when they then started talking about what they wanted to learn. They then landed up talking about communication. They talked about the aspects of communication that they didn’t like, such as being belittled, the lack of respect, and the lack of confidentiality, and how people formed a coalition, etc., etc.

As they were talking I just noted down their words and added them to the flip chart. Then I asked them how they would like the next two days to go? They said that they wanted to look at some ideas for working on all of these things. They wanted to have some fun and bring in some crazy ideas.

They wanted to have fun, and they wanted to learn as well.

And so, we wrote the word “fun” on the whiteboard.

We agreed that, “The next two days, will be fun.” But also at the end of the programme, they needed to define an acronym for F.U.N. There would be a lot of learning, but what they would take back with them was F.U.N. but with a very different meaning. We said, “Let’s start by looking at what that acronym might be.

They talked about “freedom unlimited,” and moved on to talk about, “friendship united,” etc., etc. We picked up on them all and we collectively confirmed that, “This is to be the theme for the next two days, right?

I reiterated to them that, this would indeed be what they were going to be working on. The theme being “fun” and that we were going to each bring our own knowledge, and all of us would put it together and convert it into a lot of fun-based learning.

They responded by saying, “Okay. That’s interesting.”

And then I said, “There will be a lot of questions that we will form—we will go through a process of dialoguing. I will ask some questions and you in turn will ask me questions back; that’s how we’ll exchange ideas. And we’ll continually keep records of what we learn, and then move at the end of day two towards fun.

The entire group in the room was already bubbling with excitement. The group was geared up because they felt very respected. They felt a tremendous amount of autonomy and that there was a real conversation going on. And they knew that this was going to be more than just a fruitless exercise—we had our written agenda. I, as well as them, were just clearer on how we were going to work together which had really come about through our contracting stage. For the remaining time there would be learning. What was learned would then be converted back into a piece of knowledge, and then given back to them.


4. Working through the real agenda…

They talked about communication and various aspects of communication. They mentioned what they liked, or didn’t like such as being belittled, their dislike for being powered down, the need for transparency and the need for trust etc.

Then we asked them to start talking about examples of how that would work.

It was at this point that we said, “Let’s hold on for a minute. You guys all know each other.”

They responded by saying, “Yes, we know of each other. But some of us do not know each other.”

I said, “Okay. Now that such issues are coming out, it’s important for those people who do not know each other well to pair up and sit together for the next two days and start dialoguing with us. Therefore, an informal team will now take place.

We moved them together, and asked them to continue on with their dialogue. As they pressed on with their dialogue, they were talking with each other and were raising those aspects of communications that they didn’t like. It caused them to feel slightly humiliated and to feel that they’re not a part of the team etc.

We captured what they wanted to focus on with regard to communication. It was not planned, but it just so happened that my colleague wrote all their negatives with a red whiteboard marker, and everything that they wanted to take back, he wrote in green.

My colleague said, “Can you look at this now and see the dangers in red and the positives might be those written in green?

I then expanded on my colleague’s sharing, “Look at what has been captured through listening to your dialogues. Some are written in red, and the other things that you seem to need to learn are in green. What does that tell you?

They walked around and said, “Red looks like danger and green looks something that we want to learn.”

And so, we introduced the concept of red and green. “Okay. For the next two days, we are not bothered about whether it is threat or reward. We don’t want to use any terminology. For your understanding, we’ll use the red system and the green system. We’ll continue to develop with red and green; red and green because that came from you.

Now, everyone there understood the concept of threat and reward very clearly, and they took that with them.

Introducing emails!

We then exposed them to a small activity. We asked them to look at the communication which they we’re having: to look at the e-mail they read, and the conversations that they were currently having. How many of them were loaded with red, and how many of them were loaded with green? They were very clear that many of the communications, especially those via e-mail, were loaded with red.

We then asked them to reflect on this, “What each of you rated as red, can you also understand that it is not red on the e-mail? It is only red internally to you, just spoiling the hell you’re in, creating your own internal emotions to raise. And if you want, I can talk very, very basics about how the brain works etc. But that is not what I’m interested in. And if you want, we can throw in all the types of brain parts and tell you how they work. But it’s more the realization that it is affecting our health which is more important. And that is what we are to be selfish about.

This began to make a lot of sense to them, and the more questions I asked the more examples started to come from them.


5. Checking how our coaching approach to training worked:

We asked them at one point in time to simply write on a sticky note how they felt the workshop was going. And they responded with, “Really nice,” and more of them wrote, “Very interactive.” One person even wrote that, “We know we have nothing to give, but we’re picking up from your knowledge, and we are building on it highly-interactively.

The trust level from facilitating that point of view, and the level of acceptance from them that we can learn something here was shared by another participant, “I don’t need to feel threatened that there’s going to be a new training-based concept that was set up as part of the expectation. This was extremely hard for us, though it was not stated, and that was the unstated part, which really gave us that power to continue doing.

They were really very surprised that there wasn’t any PowerPoint available, and that I was not following a typical training structure, but instead building on the things that were coming from the floor as they came up and putting them into the frame, which was extremely well-received.

We also followed through on the outputs in various ways as a way of ensuring that this session started to change the way the organization worked. We continued to get similarly positive comments as well as very highly motivated and confident feedback about how they were doing things differently, and were much better as a result.


6. Conclusions

  1. It is interesting to see how in an international organization there is a balance between processes that are generally common in organizations, as well as emphasis on the processes that can have an important local focus.

    The emphasis here was on respect and self-esteem. They became strong
    themes, and support, when investigating what was going on with regard to communication among the group.
     
  2. The real challenge is the confidence and skill the leader can bring to ‘letting go’ and knowing how to stimulate other participants into sharing and building appropriate leadership.

    It is still more difficult to consider what this involves – which is why this exercise can be so useful.
     
  3. Even if I used some of the coaching language such as the basis that neuroscience brings which I believe is very powerful, even neuroscience doesn’t tell us exactly what to do with the immediate people in the room, from moment to moment.

    There are also plenty of other models around in coaching. But again, I still feel that we were working and choosing behaviours that make a difference, and which are still so ‘intuitive‘ that we need to work hard to start to express exactly how they work.

To connect with Krishna:

R Ramamurthy Krishna who brings thirty (30) years of multi industry, multinational culture experience. A Global Professional in Human Resources, A Professional Certified Coach from International Coach federation. He is the only Indian to be admitted to Association of Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision, United Kingdom.

Krishna bring a rare flavour of neuroscience to leadership having been certified by Neuroleadership institute, Australia. An active blogger, author and speaker. He is also one of the few persons in Chennai to run his own Executive Coaching School.

He held senior leadership position in Human resources in Multi National Organisation and presently engages himself as Practicing Cognitive Transformationsist and Perspective Partner with Potential Genesis HR Services LLP.

You can reach him at rrk@potentialgenesis.com /+919840720188.
Also visit www.potentialgenesis.com

Raising the profile for how Coaching can add value: Doing more with typical coaching issues: a “Difficult Boss” by Sue Young

I would like to continue sharing my experience of very typical Coaching issues: ‘Managing a difficult Boss‘.  I have selected this particular issue because 9 out of 10 times this is the way the matter is initially raised.

How might this be addressed through Coaching? In my approach I share how I see Coaching moving towards having a wider impact than just on the immediate individual Client.

 

  • In Part 1, I start with a typical case – that also was part of a ‘peer coaching’ process - Managing a difficult boss. This is a difficult issue to raise, let alone discuss, but when a peer coaching community context starts to support its importance it becomes less of a ‘personal’ issue and something that is possibly a wider issue for the organisation.
  • In Part 2, I refer to some current research into this important, and widespread issue, and how coaching can potentially add value to this issue
  • In Part 3, I then give some practical examples of how I have experienced both 1-2-1 and peer coaching groups can help people progress such a typical workplace issue  of “managing a difficult boss”

1. A recent Case Example:

Building confidence to raising the issue:  It was the third meeting of this particular Peer Coaching Group that I was working with. An individual, eventually felt enough confidence in the group to disclose an issue with their Boss. They said they had explored and tested a number of approaches and been through some considerable personal stress as a result. They were resigned to biding their time until the end of the financial year, then seriously setting about finding themselves a new job.

As a senior manager this person protected their team as much as possible from this Boss’s negative impact. The Boss was a dominating presence and did not pay individuals any personal attention or listen to them. Two of the team were now on long term sick leave as a direct result of the pressures and stress caused by this boss’s behaviour and constant undermining interference.

Attempts to manage the Boss: This client was a highly experienced and capable manager, with a good track record in leading teams to achieve good results. They had particular strengths in managing a high performing team with a naturally collaborative leadership style. Their boss turned out to be highly controlling in style and treated the client like a helpless incapable child. When the client confronted the boss about this behaviour, the boss modified their tone but nothing substantially changed. For example, there were major longer term strategic issues, some of which my client would normally have expected to be leading on. The boss just ignored all their comments and suggestions. They were left in the dark, and certainly not involved.

The Group identified with the issues: The group began to explore with the client the possibilities around escalating the issue upwards, informally to start with. Simply discussing options it became increasingly evident that the overall culture was very negative, and more so the next level up. This was endorsed by somebody else in the group, who knew this part of the organisation very well.

Managing the Big Issue with the Big Question:   How much effort should this client continue to invest in trying to resolve the immediate situation with their boss, having reported testing different constructive approaches without achieving sustainable shifts in their boss’s attitude and behaviour?  It may be time to take fundamental stock of their options:

  • Do they persevere; is there something fundamental missing in what they’re doing?
  • Or is it better to accept that the situation is what it is, you’ve reasonably done all you can to make progress, and maybe it’s time to cut losses and invest attention and energy into seeking to make a move?

As the client explored and recounted their situation, I made a verbal observation of how weary, weighed down, and lacking in energy they were coming across. On receiving this feedback it was like I’d pressed a release valve. They affirmed emphatically how completely drained they were feeling by the whole situation. They are a naturally enthusiastic and positive Team Leader, always seeking out fresh thinking and different approaches to problem solving, always drawing attention to opportunities, and the controlling climate being set by their boss was not allowing the ‘space’ for their preferred leadership approach.

This reminded me of other situations I had encountered in my 1-2-1 coaching practice. Individuals stuck in this kind of situation over a longer period of time feel progressively undermined and lose their self-confidence - it can be very personally eroding - this self-doubt and lack of personal motivation can perpetuate a vicious downward cycle, without some external support and validation.


2. What can current Research offer to inform Coaching about the impact of line managers?

  • According to CIPD research (2014) about 65% of employees say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their line manager. Well, what follows is that just over a third, or 1 in 3 people feel some level of dissatisfaction with their line manager [1]. 
  • The CIPD research report goes on to report “employee views on line manager behaviours ( % of employees who say their line manager ‘always’ or ‘usually’  displays these behaviours)”, from a list of 15 behaviours. The highest rated were ‘commited to organisation’ at 70%, ‘treats me fairly’ at 69%, then ‘supportive if I have a problem’ at 65%. Lowest rated were ‘coaches me’ at 29%, ‘discusses training and development needs’ at 35%, then ‘gives feedback on performance’ at 44% [2]. 
  • Research from Great Place to Work Institute (2014) shows that 62% of employees do not think their Line Manager shows sufficient interest in them as people. Two thirds do not think they get sufficient appreciation for what they do, and 70% do not plan to stay with their employer for a long period of time [3].
  • According to the 2015 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study a third of the UK workforce is likely to leave their current employer within the next 2 years due to their poor relationship with their Line Manager [4].

So what is missing? What are managers doing or not doing to build engagement, performance, job and satisfaction?   And how can Coaching make its contribution to this?

Great Place to Work’s research shows that a great deal of what Coaching is about is in their recommended approach. They refer to this as ‘trust’ – which is the outcome of the right kinds of behaviour that actively build empowerment and engagement.

They identified a number of key behaviours that actively build trust and effective working relationships [5] 

  • providing appropriate resources so that employees can do their jobs properly;
  • allowing people to get on with their jobs without constantly looking over their shoulders;
  • involving employees in decisions that act them and giving them a voice in the business;
  • being honest and ethical in what they do;
  • treating everyone fairly with no favouritism;
  •  treating people as individuals;
  • keeping promises or commitments;
  • actions matching their words;
  • recognising achievements; and
  • supporting employees, particularly at difficult times in their lives.

Additional research, both from my own experience (see my earlier blog ‘Helping Middle Managers Step into their True Organisational Leadership Role - November 2015 )  and distilled from the above broader research sources, shows Line Manager behaviours that have a particular negative impact 

  • Micro-management
  • Absence of direction setting, and engagement in contributing to the longer term direction
  • Absence - their priorities and attention are elsewhere
  • Lack of demonstrated interest in me and what I can contribute
  • Directly undermining behaviours that lead to
    o   Loss of direction,
    o   Loss of self belief and
    o   Eventual drain of self confidence, even in the most capable people.

At extremes this can become dominating, bullying behaviour. My recent case, for example, includes elements of all of these.

What this wider research tells me is:
 @@Coaching needs to be more assertive about the expertise it brings to organisations.@@

The stats repeatedly tell us as coaches to consider that, if one third of line managers are poorly regarded by their reports, surely the probability is that approximately one in three of our clients may hold similar ‘blindspots’, or have acquired some bad habits.

So, we need to be wary of taking things literally as presented by our clients, and open up the conversation to explore how they may be contributing to the difficult situation. Otherwise we are at risk of colluding, and not helping our clients to explore and think differently at a deeper level.

We also have to take into account that it is only comparatively recently that line managers’ handling of their people has come under such detailed scrutiny. The traditional route to success has been, and is still in many organisations, simple Task achievement, never mind the people.

So, Coaching represents a bigger organisational (and social) trend to seek to engage people more and enable them be more self-directing. Both of these are essential in an increasingly complex, competitive and inter-dependent world. Also, the skills of coaching have a great deal to bring as part of the range of leadership behaviours brought by Line Managers


3.      So what in practice, are the kinds of approach that can be taken to manage a difficult boss?

Contracting is central to all forms of Coaching engagement. And whether in one to one, and/or Peer Coaching support, reaching connected people – such as a difficult boss may involve careful consideration. There are many ways that the principles involved in Coaching can be introduced in contexts beyond  a straight forward 1-2-1 contract.

In a peer coaching group, particular added value comes from sharing with and hearing different perspectives from peers. In a peer coaching group people are from different parts of the organisation, so they are sufficiently separate to feel more inclined to personally disclose, as there are fewer organisational and political issues leading to potential conflict of interests. The role of the group Coach / Facilitator is to hold the ‘space’, mainly making interventions and observations in the spirit of helping the group participants recognise and work more explicitly with the process and creating the conditions to help the group maximise the individual and collective learning experience. In my experience it can extend with 1-2-1s, where individuals can more freely explore deeper personal questions and dilemmas.

In coaching conversations, both peer groups and 1-2-1s, my clients have found the following approaches to be particularly helpful in managing difficult relationships with their boss.

1. As independent leaders themselves, getting themselves in a ‘leadership mindset’ in relation to their boss, as opposed to a ‘victim’ or ‘blamer’ mindset. Your client can see themselves as coaching them!

2. Self affirmation work, particularly if the relationship has been personally undermining over a longer period: help your Client re-connect to their achievements, strengths, values and overall sense of direction.

3. Clients opening up to want to understand where their Managers are really coming from – this requires your client to step back and get out of a defensive mindset. It may not be a one hit / one meeting approach but needs to be built progressively

4. Understand the bigger organisational strategic picture and direction – (relates closely to 3): initiate those inquiring conversations, with the aim of understanding more about how they see the priorities. This kind of bigger perspective may help your client better understand the true pressures their Line Manager is under

5. Understand their Line Manager’s personal style and motivation: What are their strengths and limitations? - building perspectives and strategies around these perspectives can often be part of coaching conversations

6. How is your client’s Line Manager seen by key Others - 360 instruments and the resulting data, increasingly used by organisations, can be very helpful to bring these wider perspectives, more difficult messages, and greater objectivity into coaching conversations.

7. Acknowledge and release any negative  emotional responses in a safe environment. This needs to be an explicit part of the contracting process. This release of feelings can help people move on to be in a more open and constructive problem-solving mode.

8. From your client’s assessment of the above they can arrange a feedback session with their Line Manager. This conversation needs to be discussed, and prepared, by both your Client and their Line Manager.

 

The following are examples of cue questions that both your Client and their Line Manager need to consider and be prepared to share their answers as part of their conversation.

1. Your Client’s

  • What are the top 2-3 things you most value about how your Line Manager works with you? 
  • What are 2 - 3 things they do you have occasional difficulty with?
  • What changes would you like to see in their approach / behaviour that would help you deliver more successful outcomes in your role?

Get your client to do this on themselves first, i.e. self evaluation

2. Your Line Manager’s perspectives

  • What are the top 2-3 things you think your Line Manager values about you?
  • What are 2 - 3 things they have occasional difficulty with you?
  • What changes do you see you could make in your approach / behaviour that would help your Line Manager?

This approach requires both parties to put themselves in the Other’s shoes. Also, by giving advanced notice, and transparency around the agenda, both can have time to reflect and evolve their thinking. Having to do this in the moment, when unpractised, can trigger surprise, defensiveness, and the conversation can easily and quickly go off the rails.

Many of my clients have successfully moved to a more productive and functional working relationship with their Line Managers as a result of using one or more of the above approaches.


In conclusion:          

All of this has implications for us as coaches. I’d like to hear others’ experiences of coaching people with a “difficult boss” issue

  1. So what is our role as coaches in helping our clients on the “difficult boss” issue? Is one of our roles to share this kind of ‘best practice’ perspective around line management from the wider field,  as part of our coaching process?
  2. How can we best be helping our clients evaluate themselves as Line Mangers?
  3. While being compassionate to our clients, how can we avoid collusion, particularly where a bad situation has got into one of entrenched positions?

 

Reference
[1] CIPD Employee Outlook survey, Autumn 2014
[2] CIPD Employee Outlook survey, Summer 2014
[3] http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/line-managers-roles-are-key-to-a-great-workplace/
[4] http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2015/02/20/one-in-five-line-managers-ineffective-according-to-employees.aspx
[5] Personnel Today article May 2015 http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/line-managers-roles-are-key-to-a-great-workplace