Coaching managers: a workable model outlined where both coach and manager are aligned in intention to reach the goal and where the manager motivates himself.
In today’s world coaching of managers cannot be ignored. Management coaches became as needed as top sport coaches in national sport clubs. On the market, many companies do provide coaching services with some workable methodology, but the personality of the coach plays a big role in this. The model described here is one which can be learned by anyone who likes to coach managers successfully and with results. It includes conviction as the most important element. This conviction then is communicated via the correct emotion and some specialized techniques are used to get a measurable end-result.
1. Determine a clear goal and purpose to achieve the goal of the manager.
What does the manager want to achieve on the long run and what are the underlying reasons behind this? This questions seem too simple at first glance…. But most coaching per my observation fails at that exact point. A clear agreement on the purpose of the goals brings the energy to both the manager and the coach. It is like an automatic motivating and energy creating mechanism. And the coach will see it physically in front of his eyes.
Lets take an example of a coaching session with a manager.
The manager when asked for his goal, says : “We want to be the biggest builder on the market in 5 years”. Great…. Naturally one has to detail this , which market, what exact product, when? How big? Etc. In that way both the manager and the coach have a clear picture of the goal the manager wants to achieve and the coach wants to help achieve. In this process one can even make a clear picture with a camera or a clear video of the goals one wants to achieve to make it more real for both the manager and the coach.
2. Look at the underlying personal reason, the personal purpose of the manager.
Why does the manager personally want this? Answers like: because my boss wants this, or because we have to have it, or because then I will be liked by my colleagues” can pop up. The coach then looks for a personal reason of the manager which is a positive reason for most parties involved. This process can take quite some time. The end result of it is that the Manager feels the energy coming back. For instance the manager says: “I always loved our buildings and I really want the market to see those buildings all over the place”. The coach will see that the manager now really knows why and that he is ready to start getting it.
3. Look at your own intention and find an agreement between the manager and you.
Ones the goals, purposes of the manager are well known and established, it is now the turn to the coach to look in himself whether he personally and honestly really agrees with this goal and purpose and whether he really loves the manager enough to bring him though all kinds of situations. I want to stress the importance here of this step. In my career when I honestly did not want this goal of the manager, I refused to continue coaching the manager. And when I honestly wanted to help the manager it was easy and brought success. The coach also has to have affinity for the manager and somehow love him like he/she was his own child. Aligned conviction of both manager and coach is the most important determinant of the success in coaching managers.
4. Establish agreement on detailed ideal scenes.
Detailing the goal is mostly forgotten in coaching. Let us take an example of a company where 3 managers have the same goal, but all three see the details differently. The telephone rings. A CEO of a big company has conflicts between his top managers…. His marketing manager, his financial director and his manager in charge of the stock do not agree on the correct amount of stock in the crisis situation … We analyse the situation and we see that the marketing manager wants as much stock as possible in this crisis so as to be able to respond fast to the market. The financial manager on the other hand wants zero stock because every stock is money lost in a crisis situation. The person in-charge of the stock wants standardized boxes with standardized labels so as to quickly unload and upload the boxes. Three people working in the same company, all very motivated and intelligent and really wanting the same goal. …. three different ways to see the ideal stock. The reason is not that they have counter intentions or that they are stupid. The reason is that they do not have an agreed upon ideal scene concerning the stock. Taking into account that there are many functions in any organisation, the potential to have different views on how it should be ideally is imminent. This creates in most companies chaos and is one of the main reasons management cannot be done correctly.
5. Establish agreement on how to measure the actual scenes
Once the ideal scenes have been determined and agreed upon, comes now how the coach and the manager are going to measure the actual, the real scene on results, so as to be able to see what are the positive points (plus-points) and the negative points (outpoints) and what to do in each situation arising.
This measurement has to be done over time in graphical form. An actual scene either improves towards the ideal or worsens. Things do not stay equal. They are in continuous movement, better or worse than wanted.
I also want to stress the importance of the coach to be able to coach in a positive factual way and not as a fascist coach (believing people get better with punishment and hardships) or a relationship coach (working only with feelings, rumours, personal relations of any kind) or a corrupted coach (working with bribes).
A good coach works only with 2 elements: does the manager improve towards the ideal scene or not based on factual measurement and the positive intention of the manager.
A great coach is like a loving mother, when her kid improves, betters, she finds out the positive thing the kid is doing and awards or acknowledges the kid for it. When the kid does something bad she also looks for the positive intention behind the negative result.
People are basically good and one has to look at the positive intention in any resulting situation and work with this intention to help people to improve themselves. Punishment as well as sympathetic reasonableness are not part of the vocabulary of the management coach. Empathy and pushing the positive intention are part of his vocabulary.
6. Coach the manager with a plan based on factual measures.
Once the measurements have been established the coach can now measure over time (per minute, per day, per week, per month, ..) the improvement or worsening of the managers situation. This is done in graphical form with on the one hand the results and on the other hand the time. The time period used will depend upon how fast a situation can affect the manager heavily and how flexible he is to change a course of direction.
Both the coach and the manager will base their plan for the next period on the movement of statistic in graphical form. When a situation improves – following the English Soccer League’s adagio “never change a winning team” the coach will not change anything as a first step. When a situation worsens slightly, the coach will gently push the manager to improve his situation fast and when a situation worsens the coach will as a first step not change anything.
7. Coach the manager with the correct emotions.
Emotions and motivation comes from the same Latin word “movere”: which means to move.
When a coach talks about motivation, he means to help a person to move, motivate himself.
History has proven that slavery, punishment, pain, fear, manipulation, drugs, hypnosis do not have a long lasting and wanted positive impact upon people to get motivated, but do certainly create unpredictable reactions of people.
Motivating someone is only possible by inviting someone to motivate himself. Inviting someone to motivate himself towards a certain goal or purpose is done via the usage of an exact emotional carrier wave. People express emotions and those change in seconds. A great coach uses the correct emotional carrier wave to bring about understanding in the person of the manager. The point is that the coach uses a correct emotion so as to not create reaction but motivation in the person of the manager.
8. Use correct communication with acknowledgement in management coaching
An acknowledgement is a word, symbol or sentence expressing to the other person that he/she is understood. An agreement expresses also that the person agrees. Those are 2 different things.
In some countries from the East, people do not dare to acknowledge anymore because agreement and acknowledgement have been mixed and they think when acknowledging the other person will take it as agreement. One can – without agreeing – acknowledging a person and thus positively and correctly controlling a communication without creating negative reactions.
Let us take an example. The manager has to do something as a task given by the coach. He has some human reactions in a negative angry emotion. The coach at that moment has to know how to acknowledge the person in the correct emotion so as the human reaction to disappear as well as the objection. A management coach who does not know this will personally react and will not get a smooth accomplishment of the targets given nor the plan elaborated.
A great coach loves people, loves to help people, understands people, finds the good in people and uses exact steps to help people to motivate themselves towards growth and prosperity.
Success to all readers who want to become management coaches.
Special acknowledgement is made to Mr. L. Ron Hubbard and his writings on targets and goals, ethics and conditions and on communications.
drs Marc J. De Turck
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