Mastering Coaching Skills Without the Right Mindset is Useless
Your clarity around your point of view is ultimately what is most important
A couple of months ago, I delivered a two-day training workshop to 18 middle managers on the topic of “engaging career conversations with your team”. The current situation at that company was that their employees resigned unexpectedly. So, retaining talent was quite challenging for this fast-growing company.
The HR Department wanted their managers to be more committed to their employees’ growth and to be “equipped” with “coaching skills”’ to create trust and support.
Meanwhile, a career conversation is a discussion between an employee and his or her manager that supports the employee in developing career goals and an action plan for achieving these goals.
First, what is the difference between a performance review and a career conversation?
A performance review focuses on past achievements: it is an assessment of how employees have performed or not. I don’t know if you enjoy performance reviews but most often it is not the most inspiring conversation you’ve ever had in your life.
Meanwhile, a career conversation is a discussion between an employee and his or her manager that supports the employee in developing career goals and an action plan for achieving these goals. This conversation will not always result in a specific decision or plan right away but will set the stage for an employee to later clarify goals and set plans.
So, this means you need to learn about active listening, asking open questions and the steps required to have a career conversation. But if your mindset is “this employee is unmotivated”, “this employee is too ambitious” or “this employee is not good at presenting”, then this will get you nowhere!
And here are the reasons why
First, I want to highlight the main outcome of the questionnaire completed by the managers before that workshop:
- Managers who had a poor interest in their employees’ career development assessed their employees ‘commitment and motivation low; and
- Managers who had a high interest in their employees’ career development assessed their employees ‘commitment and motivation high.
Remember that you wear lenses and these lenses come from your education, your values, your experiences.
It means that your own interest has a huge impact on how your employees will contribute and engage in their work. It is the concept of Reciprocity.
So, as a manager, what can you do about it?
First, you can develop more self-awareness about your point of view.
Remember that you wear lenses and these lenses come from your education, your values, your experiences. They are not universal quantifiers but subjective. They are not the reality but the reality you perceive and project outwards.
For example, if an employee comes late every morning, you can think “This employee is not committed to his or her job”. How real is it?
We all have a point of view about how people should work, how people should act at work as well as how people should think about performance and success. How we have lived our lives and how we continue to live our lives influences how we lead, manage and coach because we are managing from our own point of view.
Your clarity around your point of view is ultimately what is most important. If I have a point of view that people want to make the job as best as they can, so every time I interact with a person, I will have this attitude.
If I have a point of view that people just do the minimum possible, I will have this result. Think about people who believe that success is absolutely achievable and other people who think they’re never going to get ahead. Our point of view influences so much of what happens in our lives. So first, we have to recognise that we all have a unique point of view.
In a forthcoming article, I will discuss a powerful tool you can use to gain self-awareness, the way you think of your employees and how it influences your emotional state, followed by your behaviour and your results.
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Headline and other images courtesy Marie-Laure Dancer
#coaching #mindset #awareness #behaviour #career #performancereview