Applying a coaching habit in a multicultural environment is not straight forward. What is acceptable in one market, is totally out of bounds in another. Cultural differences, generation as also local standards differ from market to market. How we are educated and how we progress throughout our careers, impacts the way you as leader are challenged in coaching your team members to success. For me there are three key focus area’s I focus on identifying the coaching needs of each individual team member:
People (and cultures) differ. Thus applying a coaching style needs further understanding on their drivers, knowledge and capabilities. How they react, and how they think can only be identified by asking the right questions. In my early day’s as leader I knew upfront how to solve things, and often gave them the answer, without actually asking the right questions. As a result I created followers who were not able/willing to think for themselves. This is not how you can lead professionals. They need to find out for themselves, and by asking questions like “What is your real challenge here?” or What do you need to be successful?, requires them to think further. When I started applying this form of questioning, I got surprised by the creativity (some) of them showed. I also noticed quite quickly what the capabilities were of every individual team member, and where they needed further coaching
Processes are their to guide people and help optimise the way we deliver success and growth to the business. There are different ways to use processes. Personally, a process is a guideline for when you get stuck delivering whatever you need to deliver. However process can be stale,m outdated and irrelevant, when working in a dynamic and ever changing world we live in now. So where do I look at when coaching a team member?
It’s important to create an environment where team members can test and learn. Improve even when they not stick to processes. I try and motivate them to think and prioritise well. If the process takes too long, look at how you can do it quicker. I have worked with a lot of business leaders who defined processes to be able to measure the KPI’s which have been placed in their remit. I’m sorry. But that way of thinking and working is not something for today. Yes, KPI’s should be hit. We all want to have our bonuses and commissions. However the way you hit them is an open discussion. Always aim and stimulate your team members to find way’s to improve. Challenge them to come up with idea’s. And let them make mistakes so you and your team learn fast.
Your customers are not waiting for a stale process getting in the way of their satisfaction.
Patterns are personally more important than the process.. Patterns are linked to the behavior and skills of your team members. Patterns take time to identify, and making them part of the discussion, will help them with holding a mirror in front of them. Do not confront them, but ask them questions. Always keep the questions light. Furthermore when you identify a coaching topic, make sure that you relate that to the patterns you see. An individual incident, is not a pattern. A range of incidents could have relate to a specific challenge.
The People, Project and Pattern methodology is used by most leaders. It is not something new or enlightning. But soo many leaders fall back into emotional or KPI driven leadership. Which at the end of the day does not support creating a growth mindset and agility within your team.
If you have not adopted this methodology, bring it in to practice and use the outcomes of your analysis to coach your team members to success. The better they are in what they do, the less you need to do operationally which frees up time for the more strategical imperatives!
About the author: @Rahim Gulamali Strategic Customer Experience focussed Transformational Leader with outstanding track record across BPO, Strategic Change Management, Corporate Risk Management, Information technology, Technical and Financial Project Management. Proven track record in; designing, guiding, clarifying and completing (international) strategic programs; motivating teams and individuals to deliver; streaming and energizing existing business processes where People drive/own the success.