Involving stakeholders in a leader’s development journey is proven to accelerate change and also shape perceptions. However, very few leaders are actually comfortable engaging their stakeholders in the journey.
“I have an under-performer on my team! She is on her way out, but we need to give her one last chance; and I’m supposed to coach her and see if she can turnaround. Problem is, I don’t know where to start..”
Dilip* (name and context changed to maintain confidentiality) is one of a group of high potentials being groomed for more senior roles. And he is worried – that his inability to turnaround a poor performer might reflect poorly on his own abilities as a leader.
Managers who think they are good at coaching their team, usually turn out to be ineffective coaches
HBR recently reported the results of a study by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. The study included 3761 leaders who were asked to rate themselves on their coaching skills; Subsequently, their team members were asked to rate them. The study threw up some interesting results:
An ex colleague recently called to explore signing me up as a coach. Harry ( let’s call him that) had been a peer and we enjoyed a fairly cordial relationship when we were working together. His career had grown quite fast, and every success was well earned. We fell out of touch about 5 years ago, so it was a bit of a surprise when he sent me a message a few weeks ago, asking whether we could catch up briefly to discuss a potential coaching engagement. This post is not about exploratory sessions, nor about the specific issues he felt he wanted help on, so I will spare you the details.