Friday, May 4, 2012

Enhancing The Coaching Skills Of Leaders

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. " Albert Einstein

Leaders are generally incompetent when it comes to coaching and developing talent.

Here ae few findings from some recent studies and surveys that may (or may not) surprise you:

1. In her 2006 doctoral research on the impact of 360 degree feedback on leadership, Nancy Rehbine found a high level of disappointment and opportunity to involve the leader as internal coach.  Her survey results suggested that:

  • 62% of the respondents reported being dissatisfied or highly dissatisfied with the amount of time their manager spent helping with a development plan
  • More than 65% expressed strong interest in utilizing an online follow-up tool to measure progress toward behavior change

2. In the Blessing White 2009 study trageting 2,000 leaders and HR professional exploring the role of leaders as coaches (The Coaching Conundrum 2009: Building a coaching culture that drives organizational success.  Blessing White Inc. Global Executive Summary) they found:

  • 84% of managers are expected to coach talent but only 52% actually do (only 39% in Europe)
  • Only 24% of all leaders are rewarded or recognized for coaching and developing talent
  • 85% of all managers and employees see value in leaders as coaches but 32% of managers reported it takes too much time and interferes with their job

3. The 2011 DDI Global Leadership Forecast of 12,423 leaders and 1,897 HR professional representing 74 countries found:

  • 68 percent of organizations use managers as coaches (63% rate it as effective) and 27% use external coaches often (37% rate it as effective)
  • 43 percent of leaders were rated as ineffective in this particular skill area
  • The most critical skills required from leaders included driving change (48%), Identifying and coaching talent (36%), Fostering innovation/creativity (35%), Coaching and developing talent (32%) and executing strategy (32%).  When asked to rate the ineffectiveness of leaders in these areas, the ranges were from 40% to 50% on each (43 percent were rated ineffective in coaching talent).

Ways to Improve Leaders as Coaches

What seems clear is that leaders today might not be that competent at developing and coaching talent.  One reason could be that leaders really lack passion for the role but are attracted to it by the latest mobile phone, title, decision making control and compensation.  Here are a few things that could be considered to help enhance the effectiveness of leaders as coaches today:

  1. Select for those with interpersonal skills and social competence that can be good performance coaches with their direct reports.
  2. Train and develop the skills to become better performance coaches.  Coaching skills and the micro-skills that underlie them are capable of being taught and developed further with deliberate practice.
  3. Help leaders recognize how generational differences play a role in learning and engagement.  T0days iPad generation prefer blended learning and coaching as the primary way to learn and grow within organizations.
  4. Recognize leaders who develop high potential talent.  You get what you recognize (and reward) so share what great leaders are doing internally as a performance coach to serve as a model to others in the organization.
  5. Use employee engagement surveys to evaluate leaders who retain high potential talent.  Measure the leaders who are able to retain talent and explore the "line of sight" between your bad leaders with turnover, customer complaints, grievances and productivity.
  6. Reward (through compensation) those who hold onto high potential talent and make it part of the performance management system.  Make performance coaching part of the performance review process and make salary increases and bonuses part of the leadership role.

I'm off to try to practice my leadership skills with my willful guide dog puppy in training Rocco on his journey to become a guide for someone who is blind–I will let you know in about 8 months if my coaching is effective….Be well….

Thanks to Ken Nowack / Result Envisia Learning / Envisia Learning


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