To coach, or not to coach? that is the question.
I wrote this after a recent conversation with a sales manager who couldn´t find time to coach sales people in his organisation. That is despite the fact that sales were down on this time last year and the threat of cutting back on employees was in the air. In truth he told me that, nothing had been said about cutbacks but when things are down, some people seem to dwell on the negatives and look for reasons as to why things can´t be done. The flip side is that when things are going well, we look for a way to improve them even more. Things very rarely improve by themselves, but we don´t have to look too far to find a solution.
Do you have time to coach?
If you answered no to that question. Think again.
It´s all too easy to justify a reason for not coaching. With the complexities of business and the seemingly never-ending administration, reports, meetings and hiring new starts, how am I supposed to find the time to conduct quality coaching sessions? Add to that the cutbacks in personnel and the constant pressure to achieve targets, it´s little wonder that some managers view coaching as a burden that takes them away from the operation.
The problem with looking at coaching from the above blinkered, tunnel vision approach is that things are not likely to change any time soon. Well, change for the better at any rate. In these situations, it´s imperative to remove ourselves from this situation. Mentally certainly and physically if need be. The chances of things moving forward in the right direction are slim to none if we keep the same working and thinking patterns. Never underestimate the power of focused coaching.
Remove yourself from the situation, try to look at things from a different perspective and consider these questions:
Could coaching actually be time saved and not time wasted?
Could an hour coaching, save a week of firefighting?
Success and achievements don´t happen by themselves. They require a tremendous amount of focused preparation, determination, discipline and orchestrated execution. This focus should be amplified even more so when time is a limited resource. Yes it´s true that right now managers in organizations across the world are feeling the pressure of having to increase business on limited resources. However, it´s also true that managers hold the key to recovery in their hands. This key unlocks hidden potential in employees and opens up doors to new opportunities for growth. When time is at a premium and personnel and financial resources are at a low, coaching is the key to unlocking this growth.
There is every chance that you are sitting and nodding in agreement at what you have just read. That said, there is also every chance that you followed those nods of agreement with, “The problem is, how do I find the time to do it?” The answer to that question lies in, “Why you should find time to coach?” If we can find the answer to that question, and in all honesty, it should be an easy question to answer, we can find the answer to, “How?”.
Why Find Reasons to Coach?
If you can resonate with any of these “whys” then we are off to a great start.
- Less time dealing with trivial matters
- More time focused on productive tasks
- Less time dealing with negatives
- More time focused on motivation
- Less time dealing with conflicts
- More time focused on team building
- Less time worrying about decreasing results
- More time spent on focused on achieving targets
- What are the consequences of continuing along the same path?
Make a list of all the reasons as to why you should make a concerted effort to find the time to conduct positive, structured coaching sessions. List as many reasons as you can. When you have finished, leave it and walk away from your list. Return some time later and write down the reasons that came into your head while you were away from your list. It´s important that you have this short time gap between writing your list of reasons. With a completed list of reasons, we can now identify priority areas for coaching.
Go ahead and get started on your list
How do You Find the Time to Coach?
Sorry, no spoilers here. Well not for the moment anyway. We are going to look at how you can find time for coaching shortly.
Now that you have your completed list of essential reasons to find time to provide coaching, it´s time to make your “how?” list. It´s important to leave no stone unturned here. Include even those tasks and duties where you think it´s impossible to reduce time spent.
Your mission is to find one hour in your weekly schedule to some form of coaching with one of your team.
Go ahead and get started on your list
By now you should have two lists with:
- The reasons why you should coach
- How to find the time to coach
The Next Step
The next step is making a decision about what you are going to put aside to make sure that you find one hour in your weekly schedule to provide some form of coaching. You may have to reorganize and re prioritize your schedule to find time, but this is time well spent on this exercise.
Remember, you are only looking for one hour a week.
Are you familiar with the saying, “If you lose an hour in the morning, you will be looking for it all day?”
The wonderful thing about finding this one hour a week is that it is likely to manifest into more hours of coaching time, as employees develop new skills and address problems themselves. The benefits of finding that first hour of coaching, far outweigh compounding negatives of continuing without coaching. Without a doubt, it will save you hours of time that you would have been otherwise spending on mundane routine tasks.
Do think you still don´t have time to coach?
To coach or not to coach? It´s no longer a question
If you have any questions regarding finding time to coach, drop me an email to: