How did it turn out? ‘The Coach’ questioned.
Slav slouched on the couch, depressed. “It’s not going to happen! ”
Coach: What went wrong?
Slav: The group is not receptive to new ideas. I attempted to apply what I had learned in the training, but my team was resistant to change. They say it’s not going to work.
Coach: They could be correct.
Slav: So, what exactly are you saying? You were the one who urged me to bring in change, you were the one who enrolled me in the training, and now you’re saying the change isn’t right!?
Coach: I suggested that the adjustments you’re seeking to enforce might not be the best.
Slav: But that’s what was taught to us in the training.
Coach: But the trainer does not work in your team.
That comment slammed at Slav like a ton of bricks. After a few moments of silence, he inquired, “So, what shall I do?”
Coach: Meet with your team, identify the problem statements, determine the root cause, and then brainstorm viable remedies with your team. Implementation will take place later. Get a buy-in from the people who will implement it first. Things will fall into place if you instill confidence in them.
Slav: I get what you’re saying. But the trainer taught me several concepts, which I tried to incorporate in my team.
Coach: He provided you with a framework and a set of best practices. It’s your game, and you get to set the rules. What is most suited for your project and deliverables is up to you and your team to decide. Remember that we are limited by technology, skills, people, quantity of resources, timeframes, SLAs, industry practices, regulatory frameworks, logistics, and many other factors. Every problem is distinct, and each problem requires a distinct solution. So, regard it as such.
Slav: I get what you’re saying. But there’s one more thing I’d want to ask.
Coach: Feel free to ask.
Slav: It’s difficult for me to convince my teammates at times and get them to understand the issue.
Coach: There are a variety of coaching approaches you may use for this issue, but my favorites are – Mirroring and Asking Powerful Questions. Remember, as a coach, your job isn’t to provide solutions; instead, you’re here to provide guidance, stimulate the team’s thinking, and eliminate their blind spots – solutions will surface on their own.
Slav: All right, I’ll do it.
Coach: Best of luck!
After a month, a cheerful Slav knocked on the coach’s door.
Coach: It appears that you have finally achieved success.
Slav: Yes! The team recognized the issue and proceeded to investigate it. Then they came up with several solutions, and we opted on the best one that everyone agreed to. Things are moving gradually and are falling into place. Within the next two months, I’m confident that we’ll see improvements in every department of my team. This successful POC will serve as my peach to the CEO for the deployment of these best practices throughout the organization. Or, at the very least, they can use the same strategy to devise their own solutions.
Coach: Congratulations. Looks like you’ve finally got the point of “change” – a key ingredient for success.
Slav: You get the credit. I would still be fighting with my problems if it hadn’t been for you. Your suggestions worked like magic.
Coach: No, I didn’t give you a solution; instead, I asked you powerful questions, pointed out your blind spots, and stimulated your thinking. Like what you did with your group. And that is exactly what a coach should do, and this is only the beginning – “Coaching is a journey with milestones with no end point.”
Coach: Always keep the following in mind • Coaching is more performance-driven, with the goal of improving a professional’s on-the-job performance; • The ultimate goal of a coach is to be accepted as a FGP (Friend, guide, philosopher)
A good coach understands that “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence” – Confucius (551 – 479 BC)