Investing in an entire organization has a lot of overlap with gardening. The farmer has to look at a bare field both in present time and in future time. In present time, the field may not be as productive as it should be, but in time, they will soon be looking at a productive, lush area that allows them to continue making a living.
Sure, we don’t cultivate orchards in our spare time, but we are in the business of cultivating people. Unfortunately, leadership development is filled with questions around cultivating the best out of people in a meaningful way.
After all, at this point, you’ve covered the assessment process, the feedback loop, and supplementing with observing the team in the wild. Management consultants Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman discussed the upsides of management by walking around, but does that address the full requirement of making the staff truly feel that the organization is investing in their future at a high level? No – we must do more than just hover over leaders or otherwise fall into toxic micromanaging processes.
It’s time to explore the real reinvestment movement in terms of greater leadership development. This goes back to Chapter 9 of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development.
Coaching Is Investing and Reinvesting In Harmony
There is a certain harmony found in using coaching in order to accelerate and expand staff development at all levels. Coaching is for performance, for development, and for advancement. It is an active process for leadership development, both for new professionals coming into their own as well as seasoned leaders that are ready to break through their own personal ceilings and climb new heights.
Coaching is for everyone, but not everyone is for coaching. Getting buy-in, commitment, and a true desire for coaching can be a challenge. While some assume that resistance is only found in more senior professionals, the truth is that even new professionals can communicate nervousness around coaching. They feel that coaching is only to correct glaring, career-ending mistakes when that is far from the case.
It’s an investment that pays off long-term dividends, and it is something to be celebrated.
Build Highways, Not Dirt Roads
The principles of assessment, feedback, and empathy don’t go out the window simply because coaching is the subject of this month’s blog post. Indeed, we want to build highways in terms of staff development rather than dirt roads.
Think of the mental picture that each term brings up. The US Highway system dramatically changed the country’s economy, bringing access to areas that used to struggle for visibility. Therefore, highways can be seen as symbols of innovation, of progress, of the ability to move ideas back and forth with ease. This is important within the context of coaching because the person being coached should feel that they can bring their own ideas to the table. The more information exchanged the better outcome.
What Does it Take for Great Coaching?
Not everyone is ready for coaching, and not all coaches are ready for everyone either. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence to align oneself with coaching, as it does examine both your own opportunities for growth, as well as how the coached person is processing challenges.
There will always be conflicts within the workplace, and opportunities to practice smoother conflict resolution. Addressing productivity is possible within coaching, but only if the person is actually willing to act on what’s being said.
On the other hand, an ineffective coach may see problems that aren’t there, which is why it’s so important to have a well-rounded approach that incorporates assessments as well as all of the other resources. An organization has to have an ever-evolving toolbox in order to stay flexible, conscious, and competitive.
Dive Deeper Into Staff Investment (and More!) With Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development
Staff development is a multi-layered process with ongoing need for refinement, discovery, revisions, and feedback. Don’t go it alone; it’s covered in Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development.
Did you miss the deep dive on assessments? Check out the Strategic View of Hiring podcast episode, Exploring the World of Assessments.
Check out the book store and order a copy of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development today.
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