Episode 18: How do we create a coaching culture inside our organization?

Lee headshot 11_2016.png

How do we create a Coaching Culture inside our organization? Culture can be loosely defined as the "connecting rod" that makes things happen. In other words it's, "the way we do things around here." It has a direct impact on a company's ability to deliver on its mission over the longer term. What is a coaching culture? A coaching culture is one that allows people to: take responsibility for their own actions, to take risks and contribute their own creative ideas, treats mistakes and set-backs as valuable learning experiences, people speak up, challenge and express conflicting views, offer constructive and motivating feedback, feel appreciated and know that their contributions matter, raises motivation and performance to achieve better results and forms highly cohesive teams. If we accept that coaching cultures are desirable, what should we do implement one? Please join Jeff Smith and Lee Hubert for the answers to these important questions.


Lee Hubert is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker with Voltage Leadership in Roanoke, Virginia. He brings energy and enthusiasm to grow leaders at all levels, help managers reduce conflict and build teams that produce results.

Lee has served in various human resources and leadership development roles at Fortune 500 companies including: MCI, Wisconsin Energy, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Wake Forest University Hospital, and the Hospital Corporation of America. As a public speaker, he has presented leadership development topics at management retreats and strategic planning sessions throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern USA.

Lee brings over 20 years’ experience in Management Training, Employee Engagement, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Employee Relations and Conflict Resolution to bear for clients of Voltage Leadership.

A native of Syracuse New York, Lee holds an MBA in HR Management from Upper Iowa University Fayette.

Transcript [Download here]: 

Jeff: Welcome and thanks for being here this week. We’re so glad you joined us again this week. We have gotten snow.

Lee: Yeah.

Jeff: A little different. We’ve had this beautiful sunny weather on Tuesdays and all that. Today is kind of an overcast day, but we got about six inches of snow. So we are two days into the kids not going to school, so they just left to go see a movie.

Lee: It’ll be in the 60s here by Friday.

Jeff: I know 60s in like two days. So we’re very excited about that. Again this Jeff Smith and you’re listening to Illuminating Leadership, glad you could be with us. Lee Huber us here with us, Lee say hi.

Lee: Good morning, afternoon depending what time zone you’re in.

Jeff: Well yeah we got all the time zones covered.

Lee: Cool.

Jeff: Yeah in fact a nice old shout out to Jose Lopez in the United Arab Emirates and he’s an emergency room physician for Cleveland Clinic, sent me a nice note and a couple of questions that’ll work into the day. So Jose thanks for listen to the show. And then I was at JMU this past weekend, well not JMU but in Dallas at the JMU National Championship so.

Lee: Okay get the important stuff out of the way, just right up front.

Jeff: That’s right. The Dukes won the national championships. So for those who’ve been listening all fall, the show started September 13th and basically we went through the season 14 in one and won the national championships so congratulations, thank you Lee. And for some of my friends from JMU that like to listen to the shows, thanks for listening to the show.

And congratulations to the Clemson Tigers for winning the national championship last night. So heck of a game last night. So for those on the East Coast we’re all bleary eyed from the game last night. But let me tell you just real quick.

Lee: Wait, wait. What about my Parkers?

Jeff: Oh yes well your Parkers…

Lee: The important part, did you see the Hail Mary at the end of the first half?

Jeff: I did see the Hail Mary that’s a…

Lee: Well they ought to name the Hail Aaron.

Jeff: There you go. Well the Parkers won and there weren’t very good football games this weekend in the Boroughs but this upcoming weekend probably they will be.

Lee: Please continue.

Jeff: There you go. Well thanks again for being with us. And here’s some ways to connect with us both during the show and during the week. You can always call us at 1-866-472-5788, you can email us either during show or during the week at jeff@voltageleadership.com. Our website is www.voltageleaderhip.com. You can like us on Facebook @Voltage Leadership.

You can connect with me @Jeff Smith Voltage Leadership Consulting or Lee Hubert Voltage Leadership Consulting and then you can follow me on @VoltageLeaders on Twitter. So love to connect with you in any way possible. In the meantime today we’re going to be talking about a coaching culture. So obviously lots of coaching and we’re joking a lot about the football coaching and things like that, that’s really not what we mean here.

We’re going to be talking about what does it mean to have a coaching culture in your organization, how do you go about doing it, what are some of the best practices that we see? Lee will be back on the show next week as well. So just to preview it, we’ll be talking a lot about time management, best practices, resetting your calendar.

And some ideas that we have to help you achieve your 2017 goals. But one of the things that we hear a lot about is the need to be able to grow and develop our talent, and to be able to get the best out of people in the workplace. So Lee when I ask you what coaching culture means to you- let’s try again-team culture.

Lee: That’s easy for you to say.

Jeff: Yeah exactly that reiteration was a little tough today.

Lee: Shift happens.

Jeff: That’s right. So when I say coaching culture, Lee what does that mean to you?

Lee: Coaching culture. First of all it means a national championship up in Harrisonburg. A coaching culture is an excellent question, it’s a culture that allows people to take some risks.

Jeff: Okay.

Lee: It allows them to take some responsibility for their own actions. Think about it this way, you come through a time where a lot of people are afraid to speak up. And we see this all the time with your practice and my practice. And you get to the point where you think, okay some of your best thinking is left behind. And there’s economic loss that takes place.

A coaching culture is one that is the opposite of that. It allows a safe environment for people to speak up. They can express conflicting point of views. You don’t have to agree with everybody all the time. So you don’t have this culture of yes all the time right. I’m going to use an old saying. This is what really happens when you do not have coaching culture.

Jeff: Yeah see you gave me a hard time.

Lee: There are many different ways to say it. Let’s call it a CC, the saying is this; are you stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime?

Jeff: What does that mean?

Lee: Well it means are you stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime? So here you are in management and you’re trying to get max productivity, everybody’s best, right want to be excellent, want to be great. Well if people are afraid to chime into my point, they’re going to tell you they’re going to give you a dime, they’re going to give you something, they’re going to pitch you something. Here’s an idea, here’s a deliverable. But you’re leaving the dollar on the table.

Jeff: Okay.

Lee: So are you stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. And I’ll give you lots of dimes but let’s pick up the dollars.

Jeff: Okay. So what type of culture coaching does this even mean right? So I’m just curious at the outset, let’s define our words right.

Lee: Okay.

Jeff: So we’ve hit culture a good bit in the show. But we said it’s probably not the coaching of sports teams. But, what type of coaching are we dealing with here?

Lee: We’ve got a number of different things. So let’s fill in the blanks under what kind of coaching. First a coaching culture, let’s draw on that just a smidgen more. People speak up and they offer constructive feedback, can you give feedback to somebody without them flipping out?

Even peer to peer reporting relationships model all that stuff. And under something about feeling appreciated and knowing that their contributions matter. Now for everybody this might sound like happy talk to Dr. Phil whatever, that’s not what we’re talking about.

Jeff: I was rolling my own eyes, because I’m like oh Lord I can hear listeners now like they’re going to talk about this again.

Lee: This is not some kind of nerdy coaching radio show thing where we’re going to go off on this Kumbaya thing. It really is about the way it impacts your business in the longer term. So I’m today sure we’re going to talk a little bit about engagement and retention. But think about it right; think about a person that has been open to you as your manager or mentor.

What were the dynamics with that individual right? So there’s something too about the leader; are they leading. So in addition to your point, what are the types of coaching that can be had in the workplace in this culture. At Voltage Leadership, we used an instrument called Disc, we use other assessments. And we use the words common language.

It creates a common language. So when I say Jeff is high I, you already knew that instinctively all you people listening. But if I say Jeff is high I or whatever you are, DCS, whatever the case is, you know that. Similar to coaching culture, it becomes the norm it becomes the positive norm. Then from that point it’s what type of coaching needs does the organization have?

Is it coaching for skill improvement? Is it coaching for performance? Is it coaching to get managers and leaders to deliver on the strategic intent of the upper management? There’s a number of different things and to your point we were talking about one of our clients who’s T3, Train the Trainer.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: Can you imagine how awesome that would be if leaders are prepared well to coach up their people for the right reasons and for the right deliverables? Unfortunately in the real world, looking back to the real world now, that doesn’t happen often times.

Jeff: Right. Yeah I so I think we’ll probably spend most of our time in the leaders as coaches part of this right. And I was with Dr. Mark Greenwald yesterday, we were doing an off-site for Green Clinic. We had 15 leaders and we spent a good bit of time around feedback, and the ability just to receive feedback right.

So I think one of the most important things in shaping this culture is that we have to have a culture where feedback is both accepted and then also sought out. So I think a large part of this is, have you primed your culture to be ready to give and receive feedback? So as a leader we often say, “Gosh man I got this open door”

Well that puts the point of emphasis on the employee to and give feedback. So one of the first things I’d say to kind of get out of the way is as we are building this coaching culture, is that you’ve got to be inviting as the leader, to go seek some feedback. Saying, “Hey is there something I can do a little better here?” I know I use this question in our one on ones.

It’s, “Hey, when I’m at my best, what am I doing for you Lee, what am I doing Jennifer? Is there maybe one thing, if I could just do one thing different, what would it be so that you can have a better job?” So for me that’s my invitation to say, “Hey I’m open to some feedback, is there something else?”

And then by you giving over time, you’re probably saying, “Well Jeff, I’m giving you feedback, is there something that I need to know?” But I think it’s the leader’s job to go first to create the culture of coaching can happen. What are your thoughts about that?

Lee: They have to be willing to go first and like you just said I mean to my point there’s a common language. So what’s your culture now? What does all that feel like now? I’m going to add on the thought about behind the manager’s one on one door.

Jeff: Okay.

Lee: So where does some of that feedback take place? Where is it appropriate it to take place? So a coach has this is going to go back to a little bit of the drama triangle we talked about in our earlier show. There are some people that rescue instead of coach.

There are some people that roll their eyes and go, “Okay this person instead of me taking the time and investing my managerial life into this person’s career, I’m just going to do it because it’s the short way and it’s the quick way.” That’s a different thing to what I’m talking about here. And what does it feel like to be coached well?

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: It feels really good. You think, okay you’re paying attention to me first of all, you’re taking the time, you’re creating a safe environment, and it has to be a safe environment for people to speak up. And when you do that, good things happen.

Jeff: Right. Are we you talking only like the type of coaching where everything is going fine, everything is good, or is there also coaching saying, “Okay you’re missing the mark.” Does all that get included in coaching or what’s your definition?

Lee: The answer is all the above. Yes so one of the things that I wanted to point out was I mentioned earlier feeling appreciated and recognizing contributions especially around feedback. You have the layered feedback, the balanced feedback as you call it. So I don’t want to have somebody come and tell me and remind me all the time of everything I’m doing wrong.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: One of the things that I hear as we drill down in cultures all our clients, healthcare, distribution, technology is on the frontline there just seems to be a lack of understanding or perception management really understands what I do day in and day out. So here you’re going to come by and brighten my day with your ray of sunshine and tell me something I didn’t do well. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Do you the clue as to what’s taking place here?”

Jeff: Right so for me I agree completely. I think this is balanced feedback, there should be-we’re probably pretty good at the negative often, but we’ll hit on that later on the show about how good are we doing with that. But it is about some more of the positive and making sure there’s time. If I had to say a couple of things on the frontend though it’s A) do you provide time?

Right, do you set some clear expectations of what are we trying to aim for, what are we trying to hit? Do you provide time within sort of the week to be able to find places to catch people doing things right, then give them some feedback on things that they could improve on? So there is an element of within the culture it’s is it valued around here? I’m working with one organization right now where I obviously just say it’s really not. It’s just task after task after.

Lee: Yes, yes.

Jeff: Right and they achieve a lot of tasks, but they also have a lot of people burned out, pretty frustrated, and I always say that probably six to eight of them kind of whisper on the side, “Hey if you know of anything Jeff I’d be grateful.” Obviously I’ve got to watch that.

Lee: Sure.

Jeff: That confidentiality so I’m not going to go there. But what I’d say is that it’s really a shame because they’re not getting it’s your dollar for a dime thing. If they were investing the dollar in the right conversation and then stayed engaged instead of getting task after task done they would have a much more engaged workforce.

Lee: Let me add onto that; they’re collecting dimes they are stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. I get it everybody is after the productivity go, go, go, rock the house. Alright wonderful. But to your point if people are going to get frustrated and they’re wondering- it’s a Scott Eblin thing, are they overwhelmed underappreciated, overworked overwhelmed?

Jeff: Right.

Lee: So there’s something to that. So the coaching culture as we get ready to segue into the next show I think is one of integrity and transparency.

Jeff: I like those words.

Lee: And you used the equation sometimes, our potential equals our productivity.

Jeff: Performance minus Interference.

Lee: Performance minus Interference. And I’ll use the word and distractions.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: So part of the culture’s role in my mind and instill, installing a coaching culture is to remove some of that distraction.

Jeff: Okay good. So yeah we’re getting ready to come up against break here. So far we’ve kind of outlined coaching culture. As we pick up on the other side what we’ll start to go into is, what are some of the models, what are some of the best practices that we’re seeing within cultures? So thanks for being with us so far today and we’ll talk to you in two minutes.

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Now back to Voltcast illuminating Leadership.

Jeff: Welcome back. So glad you could be with us today, I am here with Lee Hubert. And Lee and I are talking about how do you create a coaching culture? And our first part of the show really just sort of defined coaching, culture, and some of the best practices. So we’re going to continue that conversation.

One tool that I really like to use and I’ll ask Lee if he’s got a tool or approach that he likes, is something called IGrow. And what that is, it’s an acronym. So the ‘I’ really stands for the intent. What is the intent of the conversation we’re going to have? Is this to coach you up? Is this to give you an evaluation? Is this appreciation?

Lee: Performance review.

Jeff: Performance review any of those things. So let’s just clear on our intent before we start. So the G is for goal. What goal are you trying to hit? You might be my last coaching call right before, one of her goals this past year had been getting her MBA.

So she’s just finished that goal. So all of our coaching sessions revolved around how’s that progressing, how do you work full-time, still get to your goal, be a mom, all those kinds of things. So goal, reality. What’s the reality of the situation? So in her case it was hey I’m trying to school full-time I got to keep a full-time job too.

So I can’t do both. So part-time school, slowed it down maybe made it more like a three, four year process instead of a two year process. So reality is what’s the situation? What are my possibilities, but what is the situation that I have to live with?

Lee: Reality check.

Jeff: Major. And then we studied options.so did she want to go online? Did she want to go live? Did she want to be at public school, private school, what type of Masters did she want? Let’s research options. And then finally, what’s next? We couldn’t necessarily do all that in one step, so when we first started the what’s next was let’s research our options.

Let’s take a step. So she would come back in two weeks and say, “This is who I researched, this is what seems like the natural next step. So when you’re coaching someone you could go back to the start IGrow, start ahead of time, prepare and saying, “Okay I have someone coming in that I’m going to have a conversation with.

What’s my intent of the conversation? What’s the goal that we’ve been working towards? What the current reality? What are we seeing? Okay given that current reality and how close are we to our desired outcome, our goal, what are the options? What should we explore next? And then what’s the baby steps to close the gap between reality and the goal?

So that’s called IGrow. So I really even today I’ve been coaching full time since about 2000/2001, I always have sort running. Even occasionally I write it on the side of my paper. So don’t feel bad if you’re going into a session and you write it down, just to have it there, absolutely good tip.

Lee: Wait, I do that all that time.

Jeff: Yeah.

Lee: Let me add on to the gap between the goal and reality.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: For these other initials before it’s an acronym AOB it stands for actions, ownership and behavior. So a subset. To your point if I’ve identified a goal and is it based on reality, what are the realities surrounding it? Subset that and go, “Okay what actions need to be taken now?” And we used the words baby steps.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: A lot of times when people set goals too aggressively, that’s the reason they don’t succeed is they burnout, they pin out, they just don’t get there. But you have to chunk it down and take baby steps. So what actions need to be taken? And then depending on who’s involved, is it a team, is it an individual, who owns it?

I’m working with a client in Lynchburg now that we do this to great effect. We got into a real robust discussion about what actions we need to take and who really owns it. And then I asked in the team mode, in the coaching mode, what are the behaviors that are going to support that from happening?

And there’s the accountability step. So remember AOB. I’ll also add onto that and think of taking Jeff’s IGrow and then AOB subset behind the manager’s closed door. You made the point earlier, did you take the time to communicate with me?

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: If you’ve ever walked into somebody’s door and you have that experience where you’re just not getting heard. When we do exiting reviews, that’s one of the biggest reasons people say they leave, “I felt I didn’t have a voice.”

Jeff: Right.

Lee: Well you had a voice just nobody was paying any attention to you.

Jeff: Yeah sure. Well I think let’s continue that. so real practical when we’re in coaching, so again this isn’t complex coaching like executive coaching, this is maybe a 10 minute conversation, or a five conversation with somebody from your team that they’ve got something on their mind. Please turn away from the computer. Maybe come out from behind the desk, it depends on what your office or your space is. Put away your electronics for a moment and look eye to eye to that person.

Lee: Absolutely yes.

Jeff: Let them feel like you’re fully there, try to take a deep breath and connect. So often what’s happening is you’re still on that last conversation that last email things like that. Even before the show today, I told Lee we were kind of doing our prep I’m like, “Lee let me just finish this last email because I’m only about quarter listening to you, and three quarter showing why JMU is better Clemson.”

Lee: Yes.

Jeff: No but until I could really finish that, I’m like, “Lee give me one minute,” and then I put it away and we were able to fully connect. So when you are coaching, get practical. Now look, and not all coaching has to happen sort of formal behind a desk in your office all that.

Lee: Sure.

Jeff: Lots of the best coaching happens we work a lot with laboratorians so we call that on the bench. You pull up next to somebody in the lab or in a call center and you can have a five minute conversation. Do you want to talk career advice and career planning then? Probably not. But being able say, “Hey I notice what you’re doing I really appreciate that you did X or Y.”

Or, “Hey I notice what you’re doing and you’re a little off track, here’s one way to improve it.” That’s fine, you don’t want to embarrass people in team meeting. If it’s a big time performance improvement, you want to do that behind a closed door.

Lee: Sure.

Jeff: But this is just a fine tuning. Don’t wait for the perfect time. Go have the conversation. Prep for it, think about it for a minute and go have the conversation instead of trying to make it perfect and wait two weeks until you have a one on one, go have the conversation and get feedback now.

Lee: Well what’s interesting is the connection part of that, it’s making the pre-call. Before you were trying to something formal. Think of it this way, all you managers out there, when you get to the end of the year you’re doing your evaluations, yeah you have touch plans okay. But here’s one of the things we’ve learned in coaching land over the years.

If you do these things installing coaching culture and really own it and let it germinate, when you get to the year end and you do formal performance reviews, they’re almost an afterthought. Now I can all the heads going, “Really, ours are not an afterthought.”

Jeff: Right.

Lee: But if I’m not on the receiving end of that performance review, first of all, there’s a connections that’s been made. And then secondarily because of the report that’s been build, it’s about a onetime transaction. I need to get into your airspace, you’re an authority figure if I report to you. So first of all I want to know, how am I doing, is there any feedback at all?

We’re dealing with some organizations right now where no feedback is the accepted norm. No news is good news.

Jeff: Right.

Lee: And even when we onboard people sometimes they might be there for a couple of months; two or three months, 90, 100 days, 180 days, I don’t hear much.

Jeff: Right. That’s the norm unfortunately in a lot of organizations sure.

Lee: It is the norm and it’s scary actually. So you think, “Okay must be doing something okay.” But how would you know?

Jeff: Well and to Lee’s point here, folks want know right. So part of a coaching culture is this should be ongoing. This isn’t a one-time event, this is consistently giving feedback. Feedback is good right. Feedback the real work we’re trying to do is get better at something.

We’re trying to make ourselves better and make the organization better. Sometimes it’s going to be that we did great and we’re going to get some recognition. Sometimes it’s going to be, “Hey, good try you missed the mark let’s change this a little bit,” right. Go ahead.

Lee: No I was going to say I would add, I’m going to use an example of a brilliant financial person, CFO, very high C on the Disc, for all you Disc fans out there you understand what we’re talking about, to my point with the common language. We talked to some of these folks and they felt disconnected.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: So that’s not what we’re talking about. So even though I really may not care how your weekend was sincerely on the inside of me, I’m sitting in the mommy or the daddy chair. I’m sitting in the leader chair and to get my team to be excellent, to be the best it can be I need to have that skill set on my hard drive.

Jeff: Yeah.

Lee: So I ask the question a lot of times. Take the technical skills, what is this person as a leader on their technical ability? Okay great that’s why you have them there. But then set that aside and talk about the people dimension, the leadership dimension, what are they on their 10 scale? Then smash those two numbers and tell me what you aggregate out.

Jeff: Good. I think that’s a point to sanction too. So the coaching can be around skill development; what would they need to do. I think that often that’s a comfort level for a lot of leaders especially technical leaders, is that’s a good place to start, “Hey here’s the skill set, here’s what I’m seeing, here’s how to get a little better at it, it’s a fantastic place to start.”

Next up comes competencies. So skill if skill development is sort of the what, this becomes the how. Sometimes I feel that’s where the manager feels a little shaky because they’re like, “Maybe I’m not so great at building relationships.” But that doesn’t mean you don’t notice it and you can’t be working towards it. That can be where maybe you use Human Resource, partner manager to get some ideas.

Lee: Have a coach like Voltage Leadership.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: People like us in our role how this played out with the example I’m using with this particular CFO, just the act of asking, because the people on the team weren’t accustomed to hearing it. So this person who wasn’t wired that way after coaching comes in and the coaching culture now, and says, “Hey how about those Clemson tigers?” And they’re going, “what?”

Jeff: Right.

Lee: This is out of character but it’s repetition after that. So people have to own that and they have to understand that this impacts your business in the longer-term. If you’re planning to be the short-term I’ll use the words command and control and more about that later, that’s one way to do it. But remember to my point, if you do it with a coaching culture in mind you’ll pick up dollars instead of picking up dimes.

Jeff: Yeah and the last one we’ll do sort of after break, but that last one too is what about their career, and what’s happening at home? Because a lot of them are like, “Oh my God I don’t want to venture into home and all that.” And we’re not asking you to be a psychiatrist, but they bring their challenges from the home as well. So sometimes you have to provide some space for that.

So again what we’re talking about today is coaching culture and how do we grow and develop it to help your organization be a successful as possible. It’s time for a two minute break so after the break we’ll continue this conversation. Look forward to talking to you.

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You’re listening to Voltcast Illuminating Leadership. To reach Jeff Smith or his guest today, please call 1-866-472-5788. Again that’s 1-866-472-5788. You may also send an email to jeff@voltageleadership.com.

Now back to Voltcast Illuminating Leadership.

Jeff: Welcome back. I’m here today with Lee Hubert from Voltage Leadership Consulting and we’re talking about coaching culture. And let me just give a sense for where we are on the show. Coaching culture is really about how do we have culture where folks can give and receive feedback that we can get our employees engaged where they’re able to grow and develop and able to reach their best.

It also means you the leader maybe have less work that you have to do because you have a team that wants to reach up and help you, and they’ll try and do their best work and they’re seeing you do your best work. So they feel empowered to do their best work, take things off your desk. So that’s what’s in it for you.

Certainly you can still use command-and-control, there will be times when that’s appropriate, maybe a quick decision. You we talked about emergency room department, when there’s an accident I don’t want everyone standing around hey what do you think the best approach is?

Lee: We deliberate over this yeah.

Jeff: Yeah let’s do it. What we’re trying to also give you though is expanding that set of tools to hey how do you serve some of the people you work with, how do you engage with employees. So one of the topics that we talked about is, this is one that makes the folks nervous. Again I was talking about coaching for skill development, I think you know how to do that.

I think that you get very specific, set some smart goals find some resources. When it comes to development of the person from how do they increase their competencies like building relationships or executive presence or driving towards results, maybe a little more nervous but seem to be okay.

But the one spot that folks get the most nervous is when it comes to that person’s own goals, and maybe going back to school or they’ve got all this craziness in their life, okay how do I deal with that? And most managers I know what they try to avoid is like I should just not talk about personal stuff. Lee what say you about that?

Lee: Well the reality is you’re dealing with human beings.

Jeff: What?

Lee: Yeah, they’re not robots, it’s not artificial intelligence yet.

Jeff: Yet.

Lee: But I wanted to make a point because I was to link your IGrow model to something called the art of asking great questions.

Jeff: Oh interesting.

Lee: And in a previous show you heard us talk about behind the manager’s closed door. So let’s think about this, remember the first thing in IGrow is the intent, what do we want here? Once we form a crucial conversation, what would a good improving reasonable person want or the best possible outcome for everybody?

So everybody has a good outcome. Well behind the manager’s closed door as you know at Voltage we have a protocol that we use. There are times for coaching for performance or results. I want to know do you have the tools in your toolbox to do the job. Is there anything in your world, to my earlier point, distracting you or is causing interference?

I want to make sure that you’re ergonomically okay. What’s going on with you? Feedback for you, feedback for me. And then here’s the big practical take away in this segment of the show, the art of asking great questions. So you’re developing me, you’ve established a rapport, you’ve got my attention, I need to find out what you’re interested in.

So do you want to continue on in the advanced degree? Is the craziness in your life happening because you’re in school taking care of an elderly parent? I don’t necessarily want to be your social worker nor does HR want me to be your social worker. And for you rescuers out there you know who you are, we don’t want you to do that either.

However there is something about connecting with this person and making that the norm. If you pretend to lead I’ll pretend to follow right. However there’s is the opposite of that as well. So the art of asking great questions is empowering. Okay what’re you interested in doing? How are you going to do that? I’ll follow the IGrow model. What’s the reality of doing that?

What options do you have? I’ll help you think your way around as it relates to work, but understand we help people advance here. We have things like tuition benefits, and all these different things that can help personal and professional growth. Now how cool is that, how good does that feel to have somebody? And don’t forget we’re also entering a time where we’re talking about competing for talent.

Jeff: Right.

Lee: So if I feel that coaching culture and I feel validated by that, as opposed to invalidated by it or minimized by it, chances are you just mentioned earlier, “Hey Jeff I’m looking right I’m burned out it’s all task, task, task,” there’s something to that. So this will help you a great deal with retention.

Jeff: Great. So to me I’m thinking in a form of pyramid to build off of what Lee is talking about. So if you can just imagine, sort of doing the base of the pyramid, these questions, you start out with; do you have the tools and resources to your job? Do you understand what it take to do the job? You want to set some clear expectations involved.

Lee: Wait, my boss wants to know if I have the tools to do my job.

Jeff: Exactly.

Lee: Yeah that’s a coaching culture.

Jeff: Right.

Lee: Okay.

Jeff: Right. So now we get through that that the next level up is there starts to be some recognition. So the recognition is in form of I see you. It doesn’t always mean that like you’re doing an awesome job.

Lee: I see you.

Jeff: That’s right. I’m noticing what you’re doing. You’re important to our organization. There should be some positive recognition for what you’re doing. But there’s also saying, “Hey I see what you’re doing, I might have you go off and represent me in another department.” That’s a form of recognition. “You can be my stand-in, I’m going to start to delegate some things for you.”

Lee: Developmental.

Jeff: Good. So now we’re a little bit more motivated, a little bit more engaged. The next level up is contribution and ownership. I’m going to try to find more ways to these questions is hey I see you’re doing nice job here, how would you like to increase your contribution? What would you like to own? Where are you interested in sort of making your mark?

Where do you see yourself growing within this organization? Then the final level is this really to what Lee has been talking about, the high level questions of okay , gosh you’re off to a really start, we’ll make a career for you, love what you’re doing. What’s the feedback that you need to hear? What’s your career goal?

 What are you hoping to achieve? How can I help you get there? Again I’m not saying that you’re going to walk away from this coaching session with certain things to do, but there might a follow up to human resources about a benefits question. There might be a, hey I need to introduce you to a sister department or a mentor in another part of our business. So that you guys can be in a relationship and I can help you grow to the best you can be.

Lee: I may add on to that. I knew somebody that used to work for Capital One that was actually considering a next assignment, and that didn’t happen for this person. And then because their manager pretty much engaged in a coaching type philosophy and a coaching culture, found out the answers to these things. And the rest of the story is.

Jeff: Yeah here I am. I started my own business.

Lee: Absolutely.

Jeff: But what they got out of that because of that was another seven years a committed employee.

Lee: Bingo.

Jeff: Right. And ultimately that’s when I went back into the Georgetown coaching program, and yeah instead of going straight up and through call centers, I ended up staying there for another seven years because basically I took the time to really know what I wanted. And at that point it was kind of like craziness with the young children and all that kind of stuff.

Lee: Pinkies you said.

Jeff: Yeah pinkies, right so I just wanted naps. And without that leader taking the time to know who I was, I probably would have bounced within six to 12 months.

Lee: That’s it. That’s the number they issue. Everybody listening to this show today that’s the number they issue. It’s the before and the after you can check the box and not do as Jeff was just describing. And then look at the payoff seller and to my earlier point at the outset, in the longer term. If you’re really focused on just what’s going on in the next shorter-term you’re stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime and you’re leaving dollars on the table.

Jeff: Let me talk about a little bit different coaching too I’m just going to shift us different way for a moment Lee and that’s mentoring. Sometimes people get confused. Mentoring, I just want to help explain. Coaching often is an external resource like Lee or Jennifer or Marissa, myself Joanne, some of the folks that we interact with at Voltage.

And certainly that’s really important often that helps to get organizations on stock and then maximizing their development, organizational success. Mentoring is slightly different. Mentoring is, this is someone that’s been in the organization longer maybe higher in the organization. And what you’re doing is they’re saying, “Here’s how we get things done here.”

It’s a bit of the ability to say you’re trying to accomplish something, let me tell you how decisions get made around here. Let me tell you the last time we faced a situation like this two years ago, how we navigated that. Where that’s really been official is, you’re getting some wisdom, free and have the ability to not walk into something that’s like whoa.

You don’t have to take the advice. That’s also a nice part. Sometimes when your boss is one that’s your coach there’s a little applied pressure you kind of feel like you got to take it. A mentor is more like, “Hey thanks for listening. Let me understand what you were trying to accomplish here.”

The downside sometimes of mentoring though I had a friend at Capital One her name was Shao Shin Xing and Shao Shin from Taiwan, she was about 5 feet tall. And her mentor was like, “Well it seems like you need some help on building relationships. Why don’t you go join the basketball team and the softball team?” Right, well that’s probably not real practical.

Lee: Yeah I don’t think so.

Jeff: What I’d say though is that I’d also encourage you to look for mentoring within the organization though because there are lots of benefits. You can have mentor get some training on it, and maybe mentor two to three people. So maybe if you’re in the latter part of your career, this is a way to give back to your career. To keep you engaged.

Lee: I would add onto that, the organization I was in a large energy company in the Midwest that we actually as developmental roles assigned people mentorship roles. So you will mentor and you will enjoy this right.

Jeff: Darn it.

Lee: Now most of the people who did it did it for all the right reasons. And we have one particular person that I bumped into who was a mentor of sorts to myself, he always used the word friendly amendment.

Jeff: I like that.

Lee: And it’s completely nonthreatening. So when you’re talking about something and he would have thought, okay well I’m going to try to give you guardrails and keep you on the road here so you don’t, this is our cultural connecting route, it’s the way we do things around here. So they are your CNI docs.

So he would say, “I want to offer a friendly amendment to what you’re thinking or what you just verbalized.” Now I’m high I and I’ll tell everybody around and he knew that about me. So when I hear those words I want to offer you a friendly amendment, I stopped what I was doing and my ears pricked up and going okay.

Jeff: Please stop talking. So one last one that I just want to hit in this segment is buddies. So a lot of the organizations we work with well see you as a buddy. And that’s in two different times and that’s a really great tool for coaching cultures. It is when you have a new hire, it can be that person that’s kind of a mentor right at the beginning.

Sort of onboarding and how do we do things around here, I like your last words the boundaries. Just so you don’t bump into things so that you have a successful launch. Also when you get promoted, maybe into your new role you can get partnered with a buddy just to sort of say, “Hey we’re peer-to-peer let me tell you about what a month-in report. How does the boss like them, what does it look like.” So that you get launched to a really successful start.

Lee: Very important at that buddy, sometimes we use the word preceptor something else.

Jeff: Yeah and out here it’s preceptors yeah.

Lee: Whatever the case may be that that person be doing it doing it and doing it in the IGrow model and is the right person to be doing it. You hear stories sometimes we drill down on cultures of that not being the right person. So what’s the first real positive or confidential influencer that they have right? And if that is the wrong situation you want to obviously correct that around the other direction.

Jeff: Yeah so I think it is critical that you’re choosing the right people. I’ve got one of my organizations that brought in simple project managers and the first one is more of a competition.

Lee: Yes.

Jeff: And I’m like no, that’s not who we’re looking for. We’re looking for the person that is wanting to grow, develop maybe they don’t have a chance to be a leader yet. So it’s a training ground be a leader. So everything from internal coach to a mentor to buddies are on the table. So really good conversation so far about coaching cultures.

What we’re going to do is we’re about up for another break. We’ll come back with some of our best practices and best tips. So let’s talk to you in two minutes on the other side of commercial break.

Lee: Sounds good.

Jeff: Alright sounds good.

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Now back to Voltcast Illuminating Leadership.

Jeff: Welcome back. And I’m here today with Lee Hubert. It’s been a fast moving hour where we’re talking about coaching culture and how do you instill it? That’s a culture where people are allowed to take responsibility for their own work. They’re able to grow and power themselves and really be able to develop themselves.

And what’s critical for that is that means that you can move on to some other work and let others be successful. It’s also if we do this rightly, a culture where we’re able to not have to replace people every like two weeks. So it’s going to be one that’s we got institutional knowledge and people will want to be here for three years, five years, 10 years right.

Lee: You have cultural equity and sometimes that equity walks out the door.

Jeff: Gosh that’s hard.

Lee: If you can encourage people to spend more time developing their skills and use maybe a little bit less of your time just doing your technical side, your technical abilities, that’s it. A coaching culture is one where when you really think about it it’s the leader as the coach. There’s the train the trainer aspect for sure.

But it’s also the coaching culture where the leader as the coach does a great job of translating the strategic intent of the organization. So let that sink in I mean it sounds like a lot of high water but that’s it. The coaching culture is where the leaders are the coaches. And how cool is it to have your leader  actually coaching for all the good things?

And then translate the strategic intent of that organization. A lot of times we talked about various forms of coaching; skill development, performance, all that kind of thing. We talk about performance evaluations. I want to touch on what they are.

Jeff: Well that’s good because we got an email about it asking hey why don’t you guys hit on what is performance planning and all that kind of stuff?

Lee: How cool is that? No I did not read the email by the way, I did not know that was there.

Jeff: That’s my job so I did though we’re good.

Lee: There you go. Well what performance plans are and what they are not, some people think they’re a box you tick off and that they’re a nuisance.

Jeff: There was a box you tick off, what?

Lee: Yeah it’s a box because that’s what it feels like, it’s a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. You have to be in my office this day because I have to do your performance review.

Jeff: I had a few of those just yesterday.

Lee: Shame on you and you better not make me late. Don’t make me miss my deadline for doing your… really?

Jeff: So what is best practices then around this book performance plan performance process?

Lee: Well yeah you said it earlier and we’ll talk a little about it next week. Creating time, knowing yourself. I use the words integrity, you used authenticity.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: I used the word transparency. So you either have that or you don’t and people can sense that it’s like dealing with your children sometimes. So that’s the first step. Second step is creating time to be present, and then creating a venue for the appropriate form of coaching; skills development, feedback, developmental, whatever the case.

It could be career coaching and all that kind of thing. And performance evaluations and plans well those are two different things. Evaluations are telling me I acknowledge your effort, you’ve done some good things, not everything you’ve done is wrong and you don’t here are just the bad things for me.

Jeff: Right.

Lee: That’s a certain thing to have people run out the door. We were just talking at the break about signup bonuses in healthcare I’m seeing signup bonuses. Money has part to do with it but when you look at the list of satisfiers, money is there but it’s fairly far down the list right they quit the boss before they quick the job.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: So that’s something. Then if you get somebody who has to increase performance or modify behavior, a lot of times we do a performance plan or there’s an element of that performance eval that centers out there, it’s about modifying behavior. And to my point the subset of your IGrow model this is very practical and this is the takeaway, it’s the AOB.

The subset of that goal is here’s the actions you did or didn’t, you own them. That’s in a nutshell and here’s the behaviors that are going to help either permitting a coach up and some cases coach out, which may not necessarily be a bad outcome.

Jeff: Yeah I’ll just add a real practical tip just for our listeners here, what I try to do is the Winston Churchill mentality. Want me to tell you; I’m going to tell you and then I’m going to tell you I told you.

Lee: Sir Winston alright.

Jeff: Gosh. I’m sure I have very bad Churchill accent but here what I mean though. It’s literally I will print out a copy on the back of the paper I’ll write the three points I want you to hear. I will always ask someone too if they want to know their money first or not because some people do. And some people will say, “No I want to hear about the money at the end.”

Lee: Okay.

Jeff: So what I’ll do is I’m trying to as much control over to the person that I’m giving feedback to because they’re nervous.

Lee: Sure.

Jeff: So then what I’ll say is once we’ve desired what we’re going to do with the money, here are the three things Lee that you’re going to hear. I generally try to make it two positive and one developmental opportunity. Right. If it’s sort of your normal review. If it’s crazy then we’ll do it. But let’s just assume this a fairly normal review.

Then we go through it in about 15, 20 minutes. If I can I’ll try to send it ahead of time so they can have all read it. Great, what are your major questions right. But I’ve hit those things. Then at the end I turn that piece of paper back over and say, “Okay what I want you to make sure you heard is wow you’re fantastic at building relationships.

That project that you did and came in at 12% better than we thought, amazing. One development opportunity is that I think you missed some opportunities this year building relationships with peers. If you do that you’re going to have better reading next year. Did you hear this?

Lee: Yes.

Jeff: Right. When you’re thinking about that take the time to so what happened there was I prepped. Right I send things ahead of time, I tried to understand, what were the needs of the person that I’m actually giving the feedback to? And then that’s not one down there going, they should have heard that throughout the course of the year.

And then going forward, we’re going to put together the development plan that says, “How can you achieve an even better year that fits into your career goals and the company’s goals?”

Lee: So you’re describing the coaching culture.

Jeff: We kind of had to wrap up the show here so I was trying to recap.

Lee: I think you are. So you all know what that felt like. Jeff can pull your eyeball out of your head, wash them wax them, put them back you won’t even know they’re gone. And then you’ll feel communicated with.

Jeff: Right. So Lee any best practices here right at the end of the show before we preview the next week’s.

Lee: Well one of the things that we were talking about at the outset is like what is a coaching culture? So drill on this; it means different things to different industries, what is permissible, what isn’t permissible beyond control all that kind of thing. Second thing is really is really spend some time in understanding what different types of ‘coaching’ there are.

And don’t limit yourself to that. I would also say a best practice a key take away is who in your organization should be trained? And don’t limit yourself. A lot of times people get bureaucratic or they get [Inaudible] [53:31] kind of thing. It’s like you got to be a director in order to attend this meeting. Forget about that and just talk about people right.

Anybody that deals with people, anybody that is a lead, anybody that has people reporting to them, anybody that’s an influencer. So the answer to that question is anybody who’s really an influencer should and could be coached and trained.

Jeff: Great. Lee thank you for getting with us. Lee will be back with us next week, we’ll be talking about time management best practices, resetting the calendar, trying to set you up for success. Well hear how the Packers did I’m sure by the time we get there next week.

Lee: Hail Aaron.

Jeff: There you go. So I know that some people are curious about resources, feel free to email me and Lee and we’ll talk about that in just a second, one of my favorite books around this topic is Coactive Coaching, there’s another book called The Heart of Coaching. Both have good examples of questions you can ask, how do you set it up and things like that.

Throughout the course of the week please feel free to reach us. You’ve been listening Voltcast Illuminating Leadership. If you want to reach us during the week please follow us on Twitter @JMUJeff, you can connect with Lee or I @Jeff Smith or Lee Hubert @Voltage Leadership Consulting, you can like us on Facebook @ Voltage Leadership.

Our website is www.voltageleadership.com. You can email me at jeff@voltageleadership.com and Lee at lee@voltageleadership.com. You can reach us during the week at area code 540-798-1963. And again next week we’ll be hitting on time management, best practices trying to set you up for a great 2017. In the meantime hopefully our snow will melt, we’ll get back to warm days. Get outside and run a little bit.

Lee: You got that right.

Jeff: And we really appreciate everyone listening in from all around the world. Look forward to talk to you next week at 1 o’clock Eastern thanks and have a great week.

Have an awesome week. Bye now.