Coaching Poor Attitude
Apologies for the lack of our BLOG last week; we experienced a technical problem
Coaching may be defined as on-the-job training for improved performance/productivity. Effective coaching addresses the attitude, beliefs, expectations, talents and skills of the performer, which can be uncomfortable for both parties when a coach is not adequately trained.
3-essential reasons why many coaches avoid engaging:
Personality Awareness – failing to accommodate someone’s primary personality often leads to antagonism and conflict, especially when dealing with someone with a negative attitude. Some people respond better to the What and the How, so why distract them the Who and the Why. Other’s response better to the Who and the Why, so don’t distract them with the What and the How. Of course, everyone needs to explore the What, the Who, the Why and the How of most situations, but the order of doing so is essential to all mutually favourable outcomes. Think of it this way, if between 60-90% of those you meet do not share your personality traits, how do you think they will respond to you?
Attitude – goes hand-in-hand with beliefs and expectations, and all are open to misinterpretation. It can be demanding for a coach to know when someone is crossing the line of integrity. It can be even harder to describe someone’s poor attitude is depleting their personal productivity, or that they are having a negative impact on those around them.
Engaging - when a coach engages with someone about their poor performance, it is personal. Personal productivity reflects who someone is striving to become. When a coach proffers well-intentioned guidance, in a manner that is favourably received, pushing someone into a stress response is unlikely. But, preparing for possible pushback is an essential skill of an effective coach.
Questioning – discovers where someone is right now, and where they want to be. It helps the person identify all possible solutions to close any performance gap, and agree which is the best solution(s) to pursue. In short, coaches require a toolbox of soft-fact questions that help their incumbent navigate their own way out their current predicament. If it's their idea, they won't argue with it!
How do you coach someone who is feeling dispirited?
All highly effective coaches understand the power of recognising and adjusting to each of the four Primary Personalities (PP), defusing predictable stress responses. They also take into account their own PP to ensure they are not exacerbating the other person’s negative attitude. Most importantly, these coaches think about and are prepared to discuss possible root-causes of a negative attitude.
The Person - Some people you coach may have a naturally competitive outlook. Others, a submissive outlook. Negative influences on either can include personal health, domestic problems, or failing to secure their personal reward system (motivation).
Oher People - The person you are coaching may be responding to a conflict with a co-worker, a customer, or supplier - often personality centred. Many people can feel excluded by colleagues or underappreciated by their leaders. When people don’t feel they are valued as part of something important, they can become disagreeable, tense, or sceptical.
The Job ~ Consider the possibility that the job-role itself is creating excessive stress, which triggers negative emotions that manifest in the behaviour of a team member. Completing job-descriptions reveal what is actually expected of them.
Helping someone with a poor self-image.
Keep in mind that any of the three categories above could be creating poor self-image, or that it may be the result of a combination of all three. Regardless of the root-cause, a good coach pays close attention to his people when attempting to help them discover solutions to their poor outlook; what is disrupting the work that needs to be done, the workplace culture, or the team’s performance?
Here are some soft-questions to help someone find their own solutions.
Be Patient – avoid an abrupt or off-hand manner. Be sensitive to the individual when you explain what you’ve witnessed. Use evocative words that don’t attack the person’s motivations. For example, you might say, “I‘ve noticed when you arrive at work you tend to isolate yourself, and can sometimes be a bit short with people when they come to you for help.”
Saying something like, “Why are you always rude with your co-workers? I think you have a big chip on your shoulder that you need to fix” is likely to provoke a win/lose or lose/lose response.
Seek to Understand - asking soft-questions and genuinely listening to the answers helps people feel they’re being understood. They are less likely to reject, deflect, or offer excuses. Be sure to acknowledge how they feel. For example, you might say, “When you’re fighting traffic for two-hours every day, I can see why it would make you feel a bit down.”
Sometimes, people have a legitimate blind spot and may not realize how noticeable their poor behaviour has become. Good coaches have the courage to acknowledge that everyone is human, and may become frustrated from time-to-time.
Observations - ask how their negative emotions or attitudes are adversely affecting their performance, their team, or their home life. To do this, help them see the bigger picture, and to understand what greater success feels like. This moment is a test of their emotional maturity and their ability to look at their behaviour from another’s perspective. Give them time to reflect, and consider the point you are trying to make.
Civility - respect is another essential part of effective coaching. For example, you can reaffirm the need to consider others. Ask what they think about personal management of irritations, or disruptions. Point out that when things in life seem difficult, they can talk it through with you, or another mentor, or a counselor. The bottom line is that self-awareness is a legitimate job requirement for which everyone must take responsibility.
Coaching - correcting a team member’s poor attitude requires a defined outcome. Engage the person you are working with by agreeing simple but specific tasks or goals. Ask them to outline their plan to help themselves.
Close the Conversation - by summing up important points. For example, you could say, “Thanks for your ideas and being open with me.” You might add a few additional benefits of making the proposed changes they have suggested. Finally, set a time to review progress, explore other options if their plan isn’t working, and celebrate success when it is.
If you follow this process and balance your approach by not shying away nor coming on too strong, others will appreciate your interpersonal skills that help them manage their attitude and emotions to achieve greater reward, and get more satisfaction from their work.
The alternative, is that they will leave you for a competitor.
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple Is Hard!