© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights Reserved. Photo by iStock
Leading change in an organization is about changing behaviors of both teams and individuals. At first leaders see a move from good to great. In reality it is about supporting your team to see reason and impact relationships. To succeed you need to coach both your team and individuals frequently.
Large change come in many small steps
Change is hard and expect leading change to be a demanding task. Even if everybody want change, expect nobody wanting to change. Even if you have great reasons for the change, and have laid out an attractive path, your team need support.
Your team need support to start the change journey. Set goals for yourself as a leader that force you to make small visible changes straight out of the gate. Raise the bar weekly or monthly and talk about small achievements. When you as a leader test new things you encourage your team to act. Initial focus on small steps and activities create a sense of shift.
Your changes and the changes done early by team members signal to the whole team your journey has started. In the early stages you have varying commitment and contribution levels across the team. Your task is to support all team members to raise their game.
Coaching can help you to increase the capabilities of each member in your team. When you dedicate time to team members you get multiple benefits. You understand how each team member has responded to the change agenda. You see who is leading and who is lagging in making individual contributions.
Your team is likely divided between members who see individual coaching as both positive and negative. Positive when a person see coaching as a way to change their own behavior to contribute to the team change. Negative when a person expect team to change without personal changes.
The outcome of coaching is dependent on a mutual commitment. You as a leader need to invest significant time with each individual. All individuals need to be on board on the positive value of coaching. With the aspiration to accelerate the change in the team through small contributions from all team members.
Focus on cause and impact without judgements
A fundamental principle of coaching is to stay away from judgements. Your role as a coach is to stick to facts for all behaviors you see in your team. Facts where you look for causes and their associated impact.
You want to support your team in delivering predictable impacts. If we do A, the result become X. If we do B, the result become Y. Team members with a clear view on the results delivered with different actions can deliver with high predictability.
It is very easy to fall in the trap of judging right from wrong, or better from worse. But all judgments are more coupled to subjective views on desired outcomes than an objective perspective. Your primary mission is to increase predictability of outcomes from actions taken by members in your team.
We all take coaching differently
Be prepared to tailor your coaching approach to each individual. Some members in your team will resist to take coaching, so start with others first. Some want and need weekly coaching, for others a bi-weekly schedule work better.
Based on team members previous experience of coaching results will differ. You might need to advance your coaching capabilities before you add value to all team members.
Don’t make coaching and obligation. It is OK to perform without taking coaching. Further it is OK to perform and change in the target direction without coaching. But be firm on the expectations you have on performance and change. And offer your team members flexibility on when to start and how frequent to coach.
Questions for you and your team
- What is your team members’ receptiveness to individual coaching – Insights on who are Positive, Neutral or Negative guide your initial efforts.
- What is the optimal coaching cadence for each team members – expect it to vary and be flexible initially.
- What are the behaviors you want to change as a team – focus on similar areas to maximize impact of change across the team.
- What are individual coaching insights the whole team can benefit from – expect issues and progress to vary but look for patterns in applicability.
- How do you as a leader need to develop your coaching skills to add value to all – your continuous change is key to drive continuous change in your team.
- Who do you have as a role model when coaching your team – Sports coaches are great example of coaches driving change for a team by being specific to individuals.
- The weekly coaching conversations [BOOK] – by Brian Souza
- The productivity project [BOOK] – by Chris Bailey
- Shorter, more frequent coaching conversations are better [BLOGPOST] – by Keith Webb
- Why you should transfer from annual performance reviews to frequent coaching [BLOGPOST] – by Jay Artale
- Driving organizational change with internal coaching programs [WHITEPAPER] – by David Rock, Results Coaching Systems