04 Jan Difficult Discussions – Coaching Employees
Discussions between managers and team members can be tough, for both of you. However, to be a manager and coach of your team will will have them from time to time. If you can maximize that opportunity to grow your employee, both the employee and as a result the company, will benefit.
Discussions are often difficult due to performance or personality issues, but you don’t need to make them even harder on you as the manager. There are just a few ideas to keep in mind when faced with one. First, confirm such a talk is needed. Some manager swill take action when it is not needed, however most put the talk off longer than they should have done so. A key question to ask yourself is whether or not having the discussion can benefit the subordinate. If the answer is yes, you should proceed. Both your emotions and those of your subordinate may be tested, but once you’ve determined that coaching is needed, it is time to move forward.
After determining a talk is needed, give the person notice that you need to speak at some future time. Telling an underperforming employee on a Friday that you need to talk on Monday morning – will get the person to consider the reasons why, then what the person could have done differently to prevent the need for such a meeting. There have been times when the subordinate came into the meeting after so introspection realizing both what was done (or not done) and how to fix it himself or herself. Another advantage to that strategy is giving yourself a deadline to have the talk.
Next, you need to throughly prepare for the discussion. After determining that you need to have the discussion, the next step ius determining an objective and desired outcome. The information you share should be as objective as possible, focused on actions and behaviors, not personality or attitude without examples of behavior. Be sure to check your assumptions – be sure you are stating facts and not opinions. If providing negative feedback, be prepared for a level of emotion in the response. Afterall, no one wants to be told they are not doing well at work. Everyone’s self-image tends to be impacted by their perceived performance at work.
Also have some positive information to share. Mention something regarding the person and his/her performance which is positive. It needs to be true and be relevant. Reinforcing the value of the person to the team, the company and you is also of value. If the person was not a good employee overall, you most likely would not invest as much time in thgis discussion.
Have options or solutions for the problem or behavior. Just telling someone they are not doing something well is far less effective than following that up by showing them how they can be far more effective by making a few changes. Remember, you are their coach and manager, not merely there to tell them they are not performing well.
Before starting the talk, think of it as what it is, a discussion between two people with a common goal – having the subordinate performing at an acceptable level. It is not a debate or argument. Going into it thinking so will not end up with your desired result, unless you want the person to quit the job.
Choose words that are simple and clear, and speak slowly enough that the subordinate will be sure to absorb every word. He or she will most likely be more anxious than you are about the discussion. Practice your delivery of the message beforehand. One manager I know goes through his words at least 10 times. His theory is that by knowing what he wants to say that well, he can change some of the wording slightly if needed, during the discussion. Another key is to listen. At times of higher emotion, such as a difficult discussion, you will sometimes hear about thoughts, goals, or feelings which the person would never let out in normal cercumstances. Once when delivering such a talk to a subordinate with a personality conflict (and resulting behaviors) with the manager, the other person told the manager of her longtime dream to be a medical librarian. As a result, instead of giving her a written warning before firing her, he helped her attain the perfect job for her.
The discussion, like other meetings, should be closed with a POA moving forward. Each person needs to know the specific steps they are to take. The manager may need to schedule time to explain some aspect of the job in more detail or conduct some type of training. Even more importantly, the subordinate should have some type of follow-up to help improve performance.
Monitoring progress after the discussion is key to determine the effectiveness of the time invested in it, and next steps. Both of you need to follow-through with everything you’ve agreed to do. You, your team, your subordinate, and your company will benefit from it.
About ROI Business Coach:
After over two decades working for large multinational pharmaceutical companies, ROI Business Coach founder Bob Kademian considered opening his own small business. Since a boy of ten years old, he was always interested in what made one business very successful and another not as successful. His research revealed that the success of a small business was not guaranteed by the company producing a top quality product or service. Most companies that were either good or even great at what they did not survive five years. And even fewer lasted ten years.
Kademian soon realized that it was not only the quality of their work, but also how good a businessperson the owner was, that determined the level of success of small and mid-sized businesses. Very few businesses stayed about the same size, many would grow over time, and most failed.
From his research, Kademian decided that business coaching and consulting would be the best way to have maximal impact to help businesses become more successful, fill a pressing business need, and let more people enjoy the benefits of the products and services of each business. Today, Bob is a business consultant to entrepreneurs and corporations around New England, specifically southern and central CT (New Haven, Hartford, and Fairfield Counties).
In 2004 Mr. Kademian joined a large business coaching franchise and started the Milford, CT office. He helped a number of businesses become stronger, and their owners become stronger entrepreneurs. Clients ranged from having no business background, to MBA business owners.
After seven years of business consulting in the Milford, CT region, Kademian determined that he wanted to bring business coaching to the next level and left the franchise. But first, to honor a noncompete clause in his agreement with the franchise, instead marketing his coaching/ consulting services he launched ROI Marketing of New England, LLC, which helped businesses by providing marketing services.
Three years later, in 2014, the ROI Business Coach division of ROI Marketing of N.E., LLC was launched. ROI Business Coach, utilizes strategies gained from research over the past 25 years, combined with business, and business coaching & consulting experience. It integrates those strategies with others learned from both business school and the experience of being part of a company that grew 44 times to $15 billion in annual sales, during his 15 years at the company.
ROI Business Coach has developed improved versions of tools utilized by other business coaches including the following: ROI Business Mirror; ROI Goal Mirror; ROI Marketing Mirror; & ROI Business Return Mirror. The Milford, CT company also utilizes strategies from the best business minds in the World.
ROI Business Coach of Milford now also teams up with consultants who are experts in very specific niches of business management areas such as digital marketing for specific industries and team building for U.S. based World headquarters of international firms. Some are less niched, such as those specializing in face-to-face selling or telemarketing to businesses in certain industries.
In 2016, Bob Kademian was honored as Milford Regional Chamber Board of Directors Member of the Year. The article can be viewed here: http://patch.com/connecticut/milford/bob-kademian-honored-milford-chamber-director-year-0
ROI Business Coach takes pride in helping client business owners achieve the RESULTS they want in their businesses, while providing VALUE. If ROI Business Coach is not confident that they will provide value, they will not work with a potential client. That is because no sale is more important than your own values.