Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for March, 2011

Sharing an article . . . about the “HOW Factor”

OK, I’m cheating a little, but since I had this article published in our local paper’s business section this week, and I’m away on a vacation, I thought I’d share it in lieu of a blog entry. Hope you find it helpful.

If Employees Succeed, You Will Too—by Donna Rawady, published in the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY on 3/22/11:

In addition to communicating clear organizational goals and performance expectations, effective leaders need to assess whether their management team and/or their employees know how to do what’s asked of them.

Employees may be very willing to embrace a change and help make it happen. A manager may be eager to lead his or her team toward a stated goal. However, if these individuals don’t have the knowledge and/or acumen to contribute to the implementation of the new or shifted strategy, they will not be equipped to perform.

In addition, if your employees are not made accountable through measurable outcomes, and well-coached through the process, the risk for failure increases.

If you find yourself frustrated because you’ve repeatedly stated a goal to an individual, or a team, yet they’re not delivering, perhaps they want to deliver, but they don’t know how to go about it. And, unfortunately, employees are not always forthright about what they fear may be perceived as something they should already know.

Effective questioning, listening, support, training and/or coaching may transform struggling employees into engaged and action-oriented contributors.

If you’re an executive-level professional and you’ve found yourself stumped about how to execute a current or future business initiative, remember that effective leaders don’t necessarily have all the answers. A leader’s primary responsibility is to engage others and orchestrate success.

You may want to consider looking within your team, or externally, if necessary, for others who may be innately equipped to collaborate with you to carry out the initiatives you struggle with.

Set up mutual accountability and commitment, support your team in any way that you can, and lead the charge. If your employees and your business partners succeed, so will you.

Are you coachable?

I was invited by a prospect recently to meet with him to explore the possibility of our working together. This gentleman made it clear in his communications with me, that he was seeking a coach because he wanted to tap every resource to help him best create a motivating environment for his team as he leads them through an upcoming organizational change. He explained that he was interviewing a few coaches with the hopes of choosing one that he felt was the best match for him. (Smart move on his part, by the way.)

Halfway through our meeting he asked me how someone knows if he or she is coachable. More specifically, he was wondering if he should be concerned about the possibility of not being coachable. My answer is what prompted me to write this entry.

Any individual who takes the initiative to personally seek out help to increase his effectiveness as a leader, or a business strategist, is most likely highly coachable. If that same individual is willing to partner with his coach, to focus and do the hard work that true development calls for, he is indeed coachable.

Among other things, coachability is about a personal willingness to step up to the mirror in order to get the most accurate reflection of our strengths and our development opportunities. It’s understanding how to best leverage our strengths, and fine-tune our skills and approaches to best meet our professional demands, and best serve the people we manage and/or lead.

So what do you think—Are you coachable?