One of the most common reasons that coaching initiatives fail, is that people can’t see how it relates to them and their responsibilities.
Start with Why
To quote Simon Sinek, in fact.
If you can’t articulate the reason why you want to embed a coaching approach in your area, it’s going to be a challenge for others to be drawn into your vision. If those around you can’t see how a coaching approach is going to impact and improve things, they’ll be less likely to engage with it. And if the outcomes that you hope adopting a coaching approach will achieve are not clearly defined, you risk missing the mark.
All of this can be overcome by becoming crystal clear on why you want a coaching approach. What is it that you want to achieve?
So whether you are adopting a coaching approach because you want to improve the engagement and wellbeing of your people, or you want to improve the performance of your contact centre, or because you are implementing changes or new technology and want to use coaching as a way to help embed those changes, whatever your reason for implementing it, be super clear on the ‘Why’
Having a compelling reason to do something, one that people can relate to, respond to and act upon is crucial to stand a chance of getting people on board. You’ll no doubt have heard of talk of the golden thread, the thread that runs from top to bottom, from your vision through your values, through your purpose, through your strategy right the way on to your objectives, operations, processes etc. If you’re wanting to embed a coaching approach it has to link to your purpose. Your why. It’s not good enough to do it because everyone else is doing it, because it’s the thing that people are getting awards for, because it’s flavour of the month with the board. Have a compelling reason why. And have a consistent reason why.
People are much more likely to be on board with the idea if they can see the link back to purpose. The organisation’s purpose, the team or function’s purpose and most importantly, their role’s purpose. Being consistent in how this is described, by all leaders involved and having commonality through each of those levels, in my experience, always helps with the ‘Why should I bother’ questions.
And if your why is derived from moving away from something (as opposed to moving towards something else) then be clear in your why about the problem that you are trying to solve. What’s the issue that having a coaching approach will help with? People not taking ownership for their own development? Team Leaders not improving the collective performance of their teams? Low morale and engagement across the centre? And then paint the picture of what the new way of being will be like (what you are moving towards).
When you have your ‘Why?’, everything else you do should link back to this. When you’re deciding whether to go with option a or option b, use your Why as a test point. How effective would each option be, in delivering your Why? When you’re asking for budget, people’s time, development, link it back to your Why. And if you refine it as you go, that’s ok too, just be sure to keep everyone up to speed.
This is the second in a short series of blogs on the why, what and how of a coaching approach. Read last week’s introduction on the website.
Next week : The importance of ‘What?’ in a coaching approach.