Boston Centerless - Precision Matters Magazine Precision Matters Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 14

COACHING HOW TO COACH LIKE A LEADER … EVEN (ESPECIALLY) Michael Bungay Stanier Author of The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, WHEN YOU’RE A Michael Bungay Stanier is the Senior Partner and Founder of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. It is best known for its coaching programs, which give busy managers SKEPTIC practical tools to coach in 10 minutes or less. BY: MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER, SENIOR PARTNER AND FOUNDER , BOX OF CRAYONS YOU KNOW who you are. You’ve been hearing about coaching (or mentoring, its first cousin once removed) for years now and thought, “Yeah, yeah … that’s for those HR / ‘people people’ types, not me. I’ve got a real job to do.” Or perhaps you’ve figured out how to do pseudo-coaching. You don’t tell people what to do directly, just cunningly ask, “Have you thought of …?” (Which is not so much a question as it is advice with a question mark at the end.) Or perhaps you’re just too busy. You’re certain coaching and mentoring takes too much time, and as much as you’d like to sit down for a nice chat with everyone, you’re already overcommitted and overwhelmed. There’s no room for anything extra. There’s Good Reason to Be Skeptical … As our world has become more complex and more millennial-y, coaching’s importance to successful teams and organizations has only grown. I’m certain that if you work in an organization of any size greater than one, you’ve been encouraged to coach those you manage and lead. But what’s good in theory is proving difficult to put into practice. A 2006 report from leadership development firm BlessingWhite suggests that 73 percent of managers have had some form of coaching training. However, it seems it wasn’t very good coaching training. Only 23 percent of people being coached thought the coaching had a significant impact on their performance or job satisfaction. Ten percent even suggested that the coaching they were getting was having a negative effect. (Those must have been miserable meetings.) No wonder there are skeptics. And skepticism is okay. … Just Don’t Be Cynical The word cynic comes from the Greek word kynikos, meaning dog-like. In other words, they’re going to cock a leg on it, no matter what. Cynics have written the whole thing off, regardless of the evidence. Skeptics, on the other hand, are pretty sure it’s not worth it … but are willing to be convinced otherwise. So skeptics, let me tell you why you should consider being more coach-like. 1. You help those you lead Dan Pink laid it out beautifully in his book Drive, which shows that what really motivates people is not so much money and status but autonomy, mastery and purpose. There’s no faster and cleaner intervention than asking a good question — the essence of being more coach-like — to drive autonomy (they answer it, not you), mastery (questions create aha! moments; advice does not) and, to a lesser extent, purpose (if the question helps make the connection to the why of it). If you want those you lead to be more engaged and to 14