Throughout history, managers issued warnings to their employees on their poor performance. Bottom line, for a lot of managers, it was either shape up or ship out. Some franchisors of the past had the same mentality; document heavily and get underperformers out. As workplaces and franchising evolve, we realize there is a tool that -if incorporated- can change the mentality of an organization and the results that both, the team members and the franchise system, can achieve. Before diving into what the tool is, I want to ask you a few questions.
How does a Franchisor or business owner:
- Foster an environment for change?
- Have tough conversations and get your team excited about the process?
- Engage people in a confidential manner and make the experience a positive one?
- Take people off the defensive and make them proactive in their own paths forward?
- Get someone to fulfill the mission of your brand.
- Last and in the words of Brené Brown, a famous author, and social researcher, how does a leader “hold her or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes; and developing that potential”?
The answer to all of those questions is with the tool called Coaching.
What Business Coaching is NOT
We are here to shine a spotlight on coaching. But it’s important to start with what coaching is not.
Coaching is not a principal’s office style of conversation where you sit and chastise others for what they did wrong. Coaching is not telling others what they should know or what they got into trouble for. It’s not about giving answers, or instructions, or commands. Coaching is not the same as supervising, you are not overseeing a technical aspect rather you are focusing on honing an individual’s abilities, skills, and development.
What Business Coaching Is
Now that we’ve gotten out the way of what Coaching is NOT, it’s time to define what Coaching is. In business, a strategic coach is a champion for the success of their team members or franchisees. Coaching is an investment in the people. You as a coach are inquisitive in nature. You overcome challenges together with your team through open dialogue. It involves less telling and more active listening with the overall intention of helping others make discoveries, experience breakthroughs, expand their creativity, uncover opportunities and find solutions.
There are key characteristics that go into an effective business coach. There is also so much potential and ability to grow that lies within each and every one of us. Coaching is a key that enables others to unlock that potential inside themselves and the ones around them. When impactful coaching takes place, people transform. The mentalities that previously existed such as the defeatist mentality, the pessimist or cynical mentality, or the passive-aggressive mentality all begin to fade away. The past becomes less of an anchor to your dreams and ambitions and you start to become creators of your future.
The Coaching Model
There are many benefits of coaching in the workplace. The art and science of coaching is a skill that develops over time. You have probably already engaged in some form of coaching within your own organizations. The best way to grow that skill is practice. Coaching education will traditionally start with a framework to build off of as your coaching journey evolves. To get readers started on their own coaching journey we will share the Coach-Up® Model framework.
Everything starts with a Coaching BASE where you establish a foundation for coaching conversations to occur. You do this by checking in on your B.A.S.E – Body Language you are projecting, the Atmosphere or sentiment and emotions that exist during that time, Surroundings including location, distractions, or other people’s proximity. Last Emotional Intelligence where you look through a lens of empathy and ask yourself: What is the impact? How does this make them feel? What if I were in their shoes?
As a coach, you will traditionally transition between different roles. Here are some of these roles defined:
- Aide – where you are a facilitator, a coordinator, a sounding board, and an assistant to the process of development.
- Advisor – rooted in subject matter expertise and life experiences. You are sharing, educating, and advising in some capacity. This is a tricky role to play as the line between coach and supervisor is very fine.
- Advocate – you are a cheerleader, a sponsor, and a political guide.
Within these roles, you will converse in different conversational categories where such topics might include Position, People, Political and Professional Path. The conversational categories are fueled by various forms of questions which are the lifeblood of coaching. Questions hold power that are the spark to change, creativity, empowerment, and action. Questions enable thoughts, answers, and personal buy-in; which leads to self-prompted action that is believed in. When we are told something in life, we may accept it, sometimes with open arms, sometimes with much resistance. The power of asking lies within its ability to move past acceptance of what others are saying and what our present realities are to a place where one can take hold of their life, create change, and change our present reality.
This leads to goals.
Goals could include brand-wide Purpose, Portfolio goals (that tie into personal and brand-wide initiatives), Project goals, Process goals, and Performance related goals.
All these pieces of a coaching model are experienced in four traditional phases: Initiation; coaching conversation, action, and review.
The cycle then repeats as the team members or business owners accomplish goals, sets new ones, and even begin to coach their team members and thus carrying the beauty of coaching forward.
Why Should You Practice Coaching?
Within organizations and within the lives of small business owners coaching in the workplace helps leaders become better leaders. They are able to achieve more from the organization and from the people that make up the organization. People yearn to express themselves, engage and be genuinely involved in creating their future. Coaching enables others to be architects of their future all while supporting the greater community of the brand.