7 Chapters
Medium 9781567264807

Chapter 6: Improving Day-to-Day Performance

Kloster, Teresa Wedding Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.”

—RALPH MARSTEN, AUTHOR OF DAILY MOTIVATOR

You have learned the four fundamental Anytime Coaching practices—observing, inquiring, listening, and responding—which create powerful coaching conversations when used together. You have seen how the research in neuroscience validates the effectiveness of coaching behaviors. You have learned the value of being present, aware, and focused for each of the four practices, along with some simple techniques to help you cultivate mindfulness.

Now you have reached the point where these powerful coaching conversations begin to produce positive shifts in employees’ workplace performance. These day-to-day performance improvements lead to stronger organizational results over time.

When Anytime Coaching helps employees focus their attention and make choices that lead to performance improvements, learning and change create new patterns of thinking. “We know that it’s not hard to change your brain. You just need to put in enough effort to focus your attention in new ways…. When you change your attention you are facilitating ‘self-directed neuroplasticity.’ You are rewiring your own brain,”1 writes David Rock, founder of the Neuroleadership Institute. With such self-directed neuroplasticity, people create change, grow, and develop, and the new learning is deeply embedded. This explains why it is essential to their long-term development that employees make small but significant performance improvements on their own.

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Chapter 3: The Practice of Inquiring

Kloster, Teresa Wedding Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Judge others by their questions rather than by their answers.”

—VOLTAIRE, 18TH CENTURY FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT WRITER

The practice of inquiring provides tools, a structure, and discipline for asking powerful and insightful questions in your coaching. Anytime coaches recognize that these kinds of questions often lead to important conversations with employees; the practice of inquiring will encourage employees to communicate more openly with you. In fact, the practice of inquiring is at the very heart of Anytime Coaching. All the practices matter, but you cannot coach without inquiring.

PRINCIPLE

Anytime coaches recognize that questions are the doorway to meaningful conversations with employees.

Inquiring offers many benefits. Effective questions are essential tools that help those you coach think differently—more critically, creatively, and strategically. Good questions help others open up new mental pathways as they clarify problems and tasks, help make decisions, implement new solutions, and learn from performance gains. Improved employee performance is the ultimate aim of Anytime Coaching.

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Chapter 1: It All Begins with You

Kloster, Teresa Wedding Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

—MAHATMA GANDHI, INDIAN SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE LEADER

As a well-known saying goes, “No matter where you go, there you are.” Amusing and paradoxical as it may be, the saying is true. After all, it is you who shows up at work every day and you who returns home, listens to music, watches a movie, or goes out with friends. Learning more about yourself is a good starting point for your journey as an anytime coach. What you learn will add to, modify, or replace beliefs, knowledge, and skills you have now.

We first ask you to think deeply about the “self” you bring to Anytime Coaching. You will complete several informal self-assessments that focus on your beliefs about work and managing others, as well as your skills, knowledge, and preferences. Then we encourage you to reflect on what you have discovered. You might even want to retake the assessments once you have implemented some of the Anytime Coaching practices.1

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Chapter 7: Your Path to Becoming an Anytime Coach

Kloster, Teresa Wedding Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

—CHINESE PROVERB

Why become an anytime coach? Quite simply, because today’s workplace demands it. Every work-related conversation you have with your colleagues, your managers, or your employees is an opportunity to show interest in others’ views, clarify assignments, and create a work environment that promotes collegiality, mutual respect, and performance. Technological advances, challenges to work-life balance, the presence of multiple generations in the workplace, and a greater focus on results have all changed the workplace and work itself. These factors also exert pressure on managers and other leaders, influence what they say and how they say it, and necessitate changes in how they manage people.

The four practices of Anytime Coaching give managers ways to interact with others that lead to day-to-day performance improvements. Expert use of the practices also promotes healthy working relationships and creates a positive workplace for everyone.

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Chapter 5: The Practice of Responding

Kloster, Teresa Wedding Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so is he.”

—PUBILIUS SYRUS, 1ST CENTURY BC LATIN WRITER

Once you have mastered extreme listening skills, you are ready to move on to the next practice in the Anytime Coaching model, the practice of responding. When you respond to someone, you deliberately consider what words or questions will move the conversation forward, encourage learning, and create the desired results. As an anytime coach, you will want to learn how to redirect dead-end conversations as well as to expand your repertoire of productive conversation tools.

Partner to—and one outcome of—extreme listening skills is good responding skills. The best responses reflect careful consideration of others’ statements and an intention to move the conversation forward in a positive direction. Anytime Coaching conversations are like a fluid dance between two partners, listening and responding. Because Anytime Coaching conversations are purposeful and intentional, they require thoughtful and proactive responses as well as the deliberate avoidance of unhelpful comments and questions.

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