Building leadership skills coaching for change and results
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BUILDING LEADERSHIP SKILLS: COACHING FOR CHANGE AND RESULTS . Fall 2009 An Infopeople Program Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP 619-445-4735. This Workshop Is Brought to You By the Infopeople Project.

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Building leadership skills coaching for change and results


Fall 2009

An Infopeople Program

Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP


This workshop is brought to you by the infopeople project
This Workshop Is Brought to You By the Infopeople Project

Infopeople is a federally-funded grant project supported by the California State Library. It provides a wide variety of training to California libraries. Infopeople workshops are offered around the state and are open registration on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a complete list of workshops, and for other information about the project, go to the Infopeople website at

Our agenda
Our Agenda

  • The business case for coaching library employees.

  • Coaching processes and delivery modes.

  • Targeted coaching for selected employees.

  • Running coaching meetings.

  • Teaching realistic and effective tools.

  • Coaching the Big Four.

  • Safe and effective role play practice.

Your success tools
Your Success Tools

  • Start thinking about current or potential coaching candidates at your facility.

  • Stretch your comfort zone around the presenting issues: meeting with employees, addressing behavioral, performance, or career issues.

  • Take what you need from the materials, the presenter, and your colleagues in the room.

  • Come back to the learning materials in one week.

Why coaching

Why Coaching?

What it is and what it isn’t.

Coaching a k a s new names
Coaching A/K/A’s: New Names

  • Support

  • Guidance

  • Mentoring

  • Direction

  • Help

  • Advice

  • Career planning meetings

  • Assisted discovery

Initial discussion points
Initial Discussion Points

  • Labels vs. behaviors.

  • How not to get stuck with excuses or rationalizations.

  • Addressing confidentiality concerns.

  • Writing after-action reports and recaps.

  • Using praise, recognition, rewards, and support.

Building leadership skills coaching for change and results

Misconceptions On Coaching

The “Narcissistic Supervisor / Rescuer.”

The employee as needy or incompetent.

The supervisor “fixes” the employee.

The supervisor as a cheerleader.

The myth of the “all-purpose coach.”

Giving advice as a “life coach.”

We coach employees to

Improve the:





Limit the:

Relationship Problems

Authority Problems

Transition Problems

Service Problems

We Coach Employees To:

Conflict at work is expensive, time-consuming, and hard on everyone.

Coaching best addresses the big four

Coaching Best Addresses “The Big Four”

Work performance

Violations of policies & procedures



How do we demonstrate success?

Compliance, improvement, and positive changes in attitude, service interactions, responsibility, and accountability.

Coaching goals
Coaching Goals

Job Knowledge



Follows policies and rules; demonstrates positive behaviors

Actual performance versus desired / expected performance

Building leadership skills coaching for change and results

34 % of employees responding to a national survey cited “limited recognition” as the most common reason for leaving their jobs.

Can we use coaching as a “recognition” tool?

Robert Half Int’l. 1995

Crucial conversations by patterson grenny et al 2002 mcgraw hill
Crucial Conversationsby Patterson, Grenny et al. (2002, McGraw-Hill)

  • Opinions vary.

  • Stakes are high.

  • Emotions run strong.

These can give us permission to coach.

Best boss worst boss group exercise 1
Best Boss – Worst BossGroup Exercise #1

  • Think back to the best boss you ever worked for:

  • What character traits, skills, habits, or supervisory techniques did he or she possess?

  • Think back to the worst boss you ever had.

  • What made him / her so bad?

Coaching events business impact
Coaching Events: Business Impact

  • Pre-discipline intervention for the Big Four.

  • On-the spot / M.B.W.A.

  • To identify skill gaps or training needs.

  • For career planning and advice; mentoring.

  • To provide referrals for off-the-job problems.

  • As part of conflict resolution; to stop problems.

  • As a reward and to help improve morale.

Why don t we coach the supervisor s paradox
Why Don’t We Coach?:The Supervisor’s Paradox

  • Fear of conflict.

  • Fear of confronting poor performance.

  • No formal training.

  • No knowledge of or access to resources.

  • Top management apathy or resistance - until something happens.

  • Inverse reward system.

Answering the wii fm coaching question for employees
Answering the “WII-FM?” Coaching Question For Employees

  • It lets employees know where they stand with you.

  • It tells them what, specifically, they need to improve.

  • It helps them set their own personal, professional, and educational goals.

  • It shows them what they need to do to promote or move into other positions.

  • It rewards them for their efforts and accomplishments.

The self fulfilling prediction
The Self-Fulfilling Prediction

  • Does what you think about your employees, positively or negatively, have any effect on their motivation or performance?

  • Expectations are a powerful thing. How you expect people to work is generally how they actually work.

Open ended questioning two person exercise 2

Open-Ended Questioning Two-Person Exercise #2

Supervisor: “Do you like your job?”

Employee: “Yeah, it’s okay.”

Ask more open-ended questions to get the employee to tell you more. Build “conversational momentum” and find a subject the employee wants to discuss.

Finding coaching candidates
Finding Coaching Candidates

  • Review past performance evaluations.

  • Speak with bosses and peer supervisors.

  • Offer coaching services via e-mail and staff meeting announcements.

  • Meet proactively with at-risk employees.

  • Meet proactively with employees who are on the fast track.

The coaching process
The Coaching Process

  • Most often driven by events . . .

  • Initial “Go / No Go” meeting.

  • One, four, or eight hourly sessions.

  • “Homework” – assigned readings, books or articles, exercises, use of tools.

  • Post-session feedback to HR or your boss.

  • Session notes, final written report, regular follow-ups.

Building leadership skills coaching for change and results

Coaching Delivery Modes

On the spot: “corridor coaching”

On or off-site - Face to Face

By Phone

By E-mail

Giving homework and using a Reading Program

Using as many self-discovery questions as possible, i.e., “What do you think?”

Self discovery sample questions
Self-Discovery Sample Questions

  • “What tools would you use in a patron service situation?”

  • “What techniques would you use to create better rapport with your co-workers?”

  • “How do you plan to organize your ideas for a pending meeting with your boss?”

  • “Who has an approach, a tool, or a technique you’d like to use in the future?”

Targeted coaching
Targeted Coaching

  • Executive / Strategic Coaching: senior leaders, strategic issues, the top team. Goal = Direction

  • Career Development Coaching: leadership, career guidance. Goal = Personal Skills

  • Performance Improvement Coaching: knowledge enhancement, training. Goal = Job Skills

  • Corrective Coaching: career “rescue,” skills deficit, compliance issues. Goal = Compliance

  • Special-Problems Coaching: special skills, special issues, high-threat situations. Goal = Peace

Executive strategic coaching
Executive / Strategic Coaching

  • What direction does the coachee want to take his or her team, department, or facility?

  • Short or long term planning help.

  • Budgets and financial planning.

  • Employee retention through staffing, hiring, and promoting.

  • Personal time and stress management tools.

Career development coaching
Career Development Coaching

  • Formal education – return to school

  • Professional certifications

  • Exposure to training programs

  • Informal education – books, articles, web sites

  • Groups or associations to join

  • Creating mentor relationships

Performance improvement coaching
Performance Improvement Coaching

  • Use of time studies to track work hours.

  • Exposure to situations requiring more responsibility.

  • Pinpointing unproductive activities.

  • Teaching time management tools and habits.

  • Prioritizing tasks based on importance and urgency.

Corrective coaching
Corrective Coaching

  • Uses range from pre-discipline to post-discipline.

  • “Career rescue” issues.

  • Probationary period may be looming.

  • An attempt to address behavior within the Big Three and/or that affects patrons and staff in negative ways.

  • Issues that impact the coachee’s long term future with the organization.

Personal accountability meetings pam s
Personal Accountability Meetings (PAM’s)

  • Otherwise known as having a “cards on the table meeting.”

  • Useful for employees who use sarcasm, negative opinions, idea killing, or bad body language.

  • Try explaining your expectations and asking the employee for his or her help.

  • Don’t argue or get overly-frustrated; tell the employee what he or she needs to do to comply.

Corrective coaching tools
Corrective Coaching Tools

  • Consulting with HR and / or your boss.

  • Use of the “paid day off.”

  • Short and long term Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)

  • More goals, more often; more meetings; more often.

  • Teaching responsibility and accountability, by understanding consequence behaviors.

Special problems coaching
Special Problems Coaching

  • It’s not therapy; it’s a careful and ethical conversation which respects boundaries.

  • EAP education and referral.

  • Paid or unpaid time off (consult with HR)

  • Liaison with city / county / private agencies who can help.

  • Transition to a new job or career.

Anger management help
Anger Management Help

  • Anger is a secondary emotion.

  • There can be severe consequences to anger problems, both personally and professionally.

  • It’s not our job to “coach” anger away; it’s our job to know when it impacts the business, and to make the right referrals.

  • Teach 4X4 Breathing and “The Pause.”

Frontstage behavior versus backstage behavior

Frontstage Behavior Versus Backstage Behavior

Pay attention to what you see or hear and then try to determine what is really going on.

One issue one meeting
One Issue – One Meeting

  • For employees with many issues, concerns, or problem areas, it can feel like you need to solve everything, all at once.

  • Remember, small turns by a tugboat can move an aircraft carrier and a little sun melts an iceberg.

  • Try to solve one presenting issue per meeting.

Ground rules for coaching meetings
Ground Rules for Coaching Meetings

  • A goal for each session.

  • Respect for each other’s time.

  • No physical or electronic interruptions.

  • As-discussed confidentiality.

  • Completed ‘homework” or readings.

  • Preparation for the next session.

Building rapport
Building Rapport

  • Keep the coachee in his / her comfort zone.

  • Use self-directed humor.

  • Use analogies, stories, metaphorical language.

  • Fill silence or allow silence.

  • Overcome the coachee’s sense of frustration, fear, anxiety, apathy, or burnout.

Improve your listening skills
Improve Your Listening Skills

  • Use as many open-ended questions as you can.

  • Look for ways to build “conversational momentum.”

  • Seek to “open the gates of self-interest.”

  • Limit your use of yes / no questions, except when you want agreement or closure.

  • Be comfortable with uncomfortable silences.

The l e a p s model
The L.E.A.P.S. Model

  • Listen actively

  • Empathize

  • Ask questions

  • Paraphrase

  • Seek solutions

Verbal Judo Institute ™

The coachee s list of seven choices
The Coachee’s List of Seven Choices

  • 1. Leave the situation or the person.

  • 2. Live with the situation or the person.

  • 3. Change the situation or the person.

  • 4. Change your perception of the situation or the person.

  • 5. Change your behaviors around the situation or the person.

  • 6. Change both your perceptions and your behaviors.

  • 7. Pretend you’ve changed.

Using the list of seven choices two person exercise 3

Using the List of Seven ChoicesTwo-Person Exercise #3

Supervisor: Ask the employee, “What bugs you about your job?”

Use The List of Seven Choices to convince him or her that there are one or more solutions to the issue.

Tools for focusing

Tools for Focusing

Think about how you might use the following three tools to assist your efforts during a coaching meeting . . .

The keep stop start tool
The Keep / Stop / Start Tool

  • “What do I or we need to KEEP doing, because it’s working?”

  • “What do I or we need to STOP doing, because it’s not working?”

  • “What do I or we need to START doing, because it will work better?”

Using keep stop start group exercise 4

Using Keep / Stop / StartGroup Exercise #4

Using the Keep / Stop / Start approach with the index cards provided, develop a collection of responses to the issues, problems, or opportunities you’d like to solve at your facility.

Teaching the p i n tool
Teaching the P.I.N. Tool

  • “What’s POSITIVEabout the idea, proposal, policy, or plan?”

  • “What’s INTERESTING about the idea, proposal, policy, or plan?”

  • “Finally, what’s NEGATIVE about the idea, proposal, policy, or plan?”

Practicing with the p i n tool group exercise 5

Practicing with the P.I.N. Tool Group Exercise #5

Use the P.I.N. Tool with your group members on a topic provided by your course leader.

Using the three c s tool
Using the Three C’s Tool

  • COMMUNICATE – Let them tell you their issue, without being judgmental. Listen carefully, without interrupting.

  • CLARIFY – Use paraphrasing questions to make certain you understand their concerns. Ask for their solutions or suggest your own.

  • COMMIT– Get their promise for a commitment to action. When will they start doing what you’ve both now agreed upon?

Building leadership skills coaching for change and results

Coaching Meeting Steps

Plan for the meeting. (time, place, any handouts)

Open the meeting. (build rapport, discuss the purpose)

Describe any problem areas. (being specific)

Help the employee generate solutions. (ownership)

Discuss the solutions. (fine tune the choices)

Describe employee’s strengths. (reward successes)

Discuss a development plan. (next session)

Close the meeting. (with thanks and a recap)

Coaching meeting scripts
Coaching Meeting Scripts

  • Spend time preparing a written plan.

  • Be descriptive: “What I’m seeing you do …” versus “What I want to see you do. . .”

  • Define performance improvements in behavior-based terms, not label-based terms.

  • Get permission to document during the meeting.

  • Spend time recapping after the meeting.

Avoid saying the wrong 10
Avoid Saying the Wrong 10

  • Commanding “What you ought to do is . . .”

  • Sounding Parental “When I was in your position . . .”

  • Minimizing “It’s not that bad . . .”

  • Interrogating “Why did you do that . . . ?”

  • Projecting “People in your position should . . .”

  • Psychoanalyzing “It sounds like you’re in denial.”

  • Generalizing “Everybody knows you should . . .”

  • Moralizing “The ethical thing to do is . . .”

  • Sidestepping “Let’s talk about something else.”

  • Sarcasm “You didn’t mess up nearly as much as usual.”

Don t allow the big four
Don’t Allow The Big Four

  • Minimize “I was only 15 minutes late.”

  • Deny “I was on time; you didn’t see me.”

  • Rationalize “There was a lot of traffic.“

  • Blame “Somebody must have altered my time card.”

Potential reactions to coaching
Potential Reactions to Coaching

  • Tears?

  • Anger and constant disagreement?

  • Arguing each point?

  • Overly-agreeable?

  • Insubordinate?

  • Appreciative and cooperative?

Coaching the big four

Coaching the Big Four:

The Rising Star, The Problem Child, The Plow Horse, and The Smart Slacker

Coaching candidates
Coaching Candidates


Potential Contribution



Real Contribution

© 2005 Dr. Steve Albrecht

Coaching the big four1
Coaching the Big Four

  • Smart Slackers – Confront their behavior, attitude, or performance. Remind them of their “legacy employee” status. Ask for their help.

  • Problem Children – Use your progressive discipline process. Ask them to make a stay/go choice.

  • Plow Horses – Encourage them to use option-thinking to problem-solve. Reward progress.

  • Shining Stars – Give them challenges but watch for job burnout. Create a career path.

Skill building through coaching practice

Skill-Building Through Coaching Practice

Final Practice Exercise #7

The coaching contract
The Coaching Contract

  • Based on specific behaviors, not labels.

  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • Deadline-driven, results-oriented, reward-focused.

  • The employee owns the solutions.

  • Recognizing shared fates and shared responsibilities.

Influencing the hidden tool
Influencing: The Hidden Tool

  • Your ability to persuade your people to do their work, not just by telling, but by selling.

  • Leadership is about building trust. It’s how you use your knowledge, experience, and intelligence to gently or boldly convince others to follow your directions.

  • It’s known as “walking the talk.”

The tools of influence
The Tools of Influence

  • Leading from the front and the rear. (Getting your hands dirty, from time to time.)

  • Never lying.

  • Modeling consistency, reliability, and the humane treatment of all.

  • Keeping your people informed.

  • Standing up for your people when it’s the right thing to do.

Building leadership skills coaching for change and results

The Coaching Dynamic

“A Spectrum of Influence”



Assisted Discovery