Recent studies on the effectiveness of coaching are pretty consistent in telling us that recipients perceive some benefit, but it’s limited, and managers continue to struggle with the process. The same studies also note that these findings are neither unexpected nor surprising when compared to other management interactions.
Coaching itself is not the problem – I doubt that I have ever heard anyone describe it as a bad idea. In fact it’s a very good idea that simply needs better execution.
How to do that? We need better training solutions to equip managers with widely diverse personalities handle their coaching interactions in a more personally comfortable manner and adapt their coaching strategies to accommodate the differences in the people they are coaching. In a world of vast individual differences, whether you are the coach or the person being coached, one size doesn’t fill all!
Traditional training methods don’t seem to prepare coaches very well. When you consider the results of all the millions of dollars that have been poured into classroom training in general and more specifically into coaching training, doing more of the same is not the answer. People can learn a process – what they should be doing and why, and the steps to follow in a classroom session – but the group training environment is not suitable for teaching managers how to leverage their own personalities and talents to make coaching more comfortable or successful, or how to map out a workable strategy with each unique personality they will encounter.
Here’s an analogy: an automotive technician knows the fundamentals of making different engine repairs, yet still consults a computerized instructional manual for the specifics of making those repairs on each type of engine. The repair process remains essentially the same, but it’s the small and individual differences they need to take into account and understand.
With a similar objective we developed our Coach iPhone ™ app to enable managers to personalize their coaching interactions to accommodate their own traits and styles as well as the traits and styles of those they coach. The app is not intended to replace methodology training and it’s certainly not a “how to” for coaching. Rather, the app layers on top of training to produce a context-specific strategy and the tactics that will be most likely to succeed in each coaching situation.
How does Coach work? It’s really very simple. The manager completes the OMS Questionnaire on the iPhone and instantly can view a comprehensive report describing the manager’s behavioral style, how that style relates to the process of coaching, and how the manager can reasonably stretch to improve personal coaching effectiveness. The app also has a quick but accurate tool the manager can use to identify the style of each person he or she is planning to coach. Once the recipient’s style is created, an interaction report is generated on the phone that includes a description of the person’s style along with a coaching strategy report specific to the styles of the manager and the recipient. The manager can review the reports just before entering a coaching dialogue. What makes the app particularly effective is that the manager’s behaviors are reinforced during the interaction, thus moving from the intellectual appreciation to become an embedded personal experience.
Try it. You’ll see. Try our companion apps as well, Interact for improving management effectiveness and SuperSell for improving selling and influencing success.