Seven Ways Leaders Create Tipping Points
Employees who don’t feel the need to improve say, “Just tell me what you want.” But, passion for self-improvement drives the desire to be coached.
Those committed to growth want coaches, not bosses – especially young, aspiring leaders.
3 tips for coaching style leaders:
- Don’t get sucked into problems.
- Don’t feel responsible to find solutions.
- Create tipping points.
3 parts to coaching conversations:
- Problems or frustrations.
- Solutions or progress.
- Tipping points.
Problems: What’s wrong?
- Dig into their problem, never minimize it. “That seems serious.”
- Listen for frustration and explore it. Don’t fear it. “What’s frustrating about that?”
- When does this problem flare up?
- What do you see? Define problems in behavioral terms.
Solutions: What do you want?
When you ask a coachee what they want, they tell you what they don’t want.
“I want complaining to stop,” for example.
When you ask a coachee what they want, they tell you what they want from others.
“I want them to stop complaining,” for example.
Tipping points: What can you do?
- Define solutions in positive, not negative, terms. “I want a positive work environment,” is better than, “Stop complaining.”
- Define solutions in behavioral terms. “What behaviors create positive work environments?”
- Encourage responsibility. “What can you do to create a positive work environment?”
- What system or process might help?
- How can you reward positive behaviors?
- How can you not tolerate or marginalize negative behaviors?
- What’s the first thing you would like to try? When? How frequently?
Dealing with sticking points: It won’t work.
Coachees protest that problems are too big and solutions imperfect.
- Improve as you go, not before you try. Just try something simple, observable, and small.
- Trust the ripple effect. Small shifts produce powerful impact.
- Explore commitment. On a scale of one to ten, how committed are you to try this? Why didn’t you choose a lower number?
What does coaching style leadership look like to you?
What are the challenges of managers coaching their team members?
Very much thank you for the tips!
Thanks Dennis. Happy Holidays.
I feel like I’m not experienced enough in consistent coaching relationships to totally get this but I want to. Can you suggest a book or older blog of your for starting a coaching relationship and sustaining it?
Thanks James. You might try:
Coaching for Engagement by Bob Hancox
Managers as Mentors by Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith
Thanks! Added to my Amazon wish list.
The strategy for all bosses is to criticize their subordinates. If they praise them they think that their subjects would be lazy…
Thanks Thilophian. Leaders who focus on negatives grow negative and create negative environments.
It sounds absolutely true…
With apologies to Reinhold Niebuhr and the good folks at A.A.:
THE SERENITY PRAYER – FOR ANYONE, ESPECIALLY LEADERS::
Grant me the serenity to recognize destructive criticism, sarcastic feedback, and trivial complaints;
the patience to listen to meaningful, helpful feedback (including constructive criticism);
and the wisdom to know the difference, dismiss the first, and use the latter to work for the greater good.
I have seen numerous times that when you can create an environment where solutions are the focus and blame/complaining are minimized, solutions will typically come quickly and also get great buy-in and support. It takes hard work to move a predominantly negative environment towards a growth and solutions-oriented atmosphere, but it is well worth the effort.
An issue I’ve come across is you get someone who knows what they want, but what they want isn’t aligned with organisationaldemands.They want to understand, gain perpective and grow as professionals, but the organisation wants them to work harder and make more widgets…
Often, the people who are happy to make widgets won’t grow, and the people who want to grow, don’t want to make widgets.
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Dan, I agree with your emphasis on behavior: ““What can you do to create a positive work environment?””
P.S. I voted for you in the AMA survey! Good luck!
Encourage responsibility. That is a gem that bears repeating and expounding.