We believe nearly every employee wants to provide genuine value in their work, even the most difficult or lazy employees. We also believe most employees believe they are providing the best they can, even when it doesn’t look that way to management.
What gets in the way of providing that desired value can be quite complex – an unhealthy self-image, poor management, a mismatch between the individual’s talents and job requirements, a complicated personal life, and a plethora of other factors.
Connecting this inherent desire to contribute value to an individual’s job performance requires a positive approach to developing employees in such a way that employees take ownership of the process. Giving employees ownership in their own development changes it from something that is “done to” them into something they seek. We call this Positive Coaching.
The Finer Points of Coaching
Consider the role of an athletic coach. In children’s leagues, coaches correct poor habits and teach new skills. Whether the children they coach have natural talent or not becomes clear as those skills are applied to the game. As talented children progress through middle school, high school, and college, coaches spend less and less time teaching new skills and more time refining those skills and providing strategic opportunities for the players to succeed with them.
But even the greatest professional athlete needs a coach. In fact, top professional athletes regularly pay big dollars to surround themselves with the most competent coaches they can find, and they frequently credit those coaches for their celebrity.
Three observations from the above analysis are important when it comes to employees:
- Coaching involves teaching, correcting, and strategically channeling skills.
- The best performers want to be coached and developed.
- Even the very best performers will never outgrow their need to be coached
Are you a positive coach?