Friday, 5 December 2008

More Line Manager tips - feedback and coaching

If a line manager is not taking steps to develop the people that work for him then they aren't doing their job properly. Of course as a line manager there a hundred different priorities that need to be sorted out but how often is people development near the end of this list?

One of the key ways in which a line manager can do this is to provide some good quality feedback and little coaching now and then. It doesn't take a huge amount of effort (but it does require some) and the rewards can be very high for both the line manager and the individual.

First a question - what is the difference between feedback and coaching........?
  • Feedback is what happened and can be praise or for issues identification
  • Coaching is how to improve
As a line manager you need to deliver both and in sequence - feedback and then coaching.

There are lots of types of feedback that you need to provide to your people. 

Consider the following types of feedback:

Reinforcing: encouraging what they are doing right. If people know that they are doing the right thing then they will keep on doing it. If they aren't told it they may well assume that it must be wrong!

Correcting: adjusting what they are doing wrong (the opposite of reinforcing)

Confronting: probably the most difficult type of feedback and the one that many line managers avoid. Conflict is inevitable and there are likely to be performance issues.

Of course, what is most important here is how you provide the feedback. Many line managers often fire the feedback like a bullet from a gun.....and then wonder why it didn't go down very well.

Just take a moment to put yourself in their shoes - 

  • How might they be feeling?
  • What would be the best way to deliver the feedback?
  • Is this the right time to provide them with feedback?
  • How can I remove emotion from the situation by keeping things factual? 
In my next post I will give some further insights into the best way to provide feedback including some specific examples.

....and now with your coaching hat on some questions to ask yourself.

Do you genuinel believe that every member of  your team has untapped potential?
  • You, the person you are coaching and the operating context all affect the way a task is done. If you thought about all of the variable how might things work differently, rather than just following a process that you always use?
  • Everyone has their own way of learning. Do you coach the way you would want to be coached?
  • Your team member will have their own perspective - on their performance and on you. How is your coaching affected by what you believe your team member thinks of you?
  • You can't like everyone. What impact does liking or disliking a team member have on your relationship with them?
In my next post we will look at some of the key components in a bit more detail with some examples and advice on how to coach and provide feedback....

1 comment:

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