Vox-Pop is from the Latin vox populi and refers to popular sentiment or opinion on a subject – in other words, the voice of the people.
In this series of Blog Posts I explore the sentiments and opinions of leadership participants in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) program. What do they think about the main coaching topics we explore together in this program? In the first article I look at the benefits and outcomes of coaching.
The Coaching Master Class program runs over a 12-18 week period. We kick off with a full day workshop for Leaders of Leaders and Functional Leaders who work in the same team and report in to the same boss. I then complete a series of follow up coach-the-coach sessions according to the ARCH Model (Activity, Results, Capability & Handover). There is more on this in my 2016 article ‘Coaching the Coach – Who, Why, When & What?’
The notes I take during these coach-the-coach session give me valuable insights into how program participants are taking on board and applying the learning from the workshop. Here is what a selection of participants had to say about the Benefits and Outcomes of Coaching. This was work I was doing with Maersk in 2012/13.
Leaders from Maersk North America, Charlotte USA
“More unified organization”
“A beneficial way to address performance problems”
“A ‘simple’ structure to help make the most of our conversation focused on development or performance”
“Opportunity for others to find a solution”
“What have I achieved? I have become more comfortable with the coaching process and see immediate results”
“She presented her thoughts in the ‘Reality’ part very thoroughly. Also in the ‘Options’ she had considered most all options that I could think of. She definitely took responsibility for the follow through and action items with the due date”.
“I have been motivated by a ‘coaching the coach’ discussion that I have had with a peer. The discussion is creating a bond between the two of us and the result of a higher performance in the business and a stronger Management Team”.
I’m directing more focus on coaching for Performance and incorporating this into PDP’s. This way I’m getting more out of people, improving processes and improving KPI’s”. “You have to clearly set the expectation with the coachee and establish short term/long term goals that they need to achieve (with deadlines). The benefits are that desired outcome achieved (or not). Projects do not drag on. It also identifies leadership skillset of direct reports and sets foundation on leading others thru project management setting”.
Leaders from Maersk Northern Europe, Rotterdam
“What have I achieved? A colleague that shows more confidence in the management environment – listens well and challenges with facts and confidence in a positive manner”.
“We mapped out in agreed format expectations and improvement plans, timelines and how to measure improvement. Got agreement that this was clear and managed expectations form both sides. The benefit was it allowed tangible focus on what was expected in what timeframe. It allowed him to understand what improvement meant both to himself and the company. It motivated him to make the improvements necessary through a clear plan. It improved my approach to simplification and focus on dealing with performance issues”.
“I now schedule time to properly prepare, follow-up and review my 1:1 sessions. This means I have more efficient 1:1 sessions, clear measures of progress, and accelerated improvement”.
“I’ve started re-learning and developing good coaching questions / techniques. This means I don’t need to use a (demotivating) dictating approach to deliver results”.
“I have asked the employee to explain the performance and then ‘put the monkey on their shoulder’ in coming up with solutions for improvements. My challenge has been with low performance where I have had to be more directive. Awareness is created and responsibility for improvement is with the employee”.
“What have I done? In my monthly sessions when we go through our KPI figures we identify the bottlenecks for performance together and find an action plan with the model. Knowing the concept of good coaching and the different skills shown to us we can identify quickly the opportunities during the session as they arise as well as entering without any preconceived notion of the final outcome”.
“What were the benefits? Since they are the ones coming up with the solutions for the potential issues instead of me telling them their level of engagement has increased. Quicker reaction and shifting during the sessions and able to jump through the steps and back naturally”.
Leaders from Maersk Latin America, Panama
“What have I done? It is easy at this point to see that there is a link. With your words and right questions you can address performance issues. I have recently used in the most basic of forms with a staff that wanted to improve their performance but didn´t know where to start. By asking her questions she knew where to go to get the feedback she needed”.
“What were the benefits? Having had that 3 min coaching session she immediately setup meetings with key stakeholders to get feedback to improve her performance. This has resulted that within our talks about potential amongst staff she is quite differently seen now. Thanks to going asking and performing”.
“What have I done? Integrated coaching session as one of the key element for Performance Management Process to ensure the individuals excel in their performance & achieve the targets. Coaching Frame work applied together with one-to-one session with regular follow up”.
“What were the benefits? More visibility on performance management. Individuals aware of the importance of aiming above the set KPI targets and the benefits to both the business and himself. Confident of staff’s ability to excel in their performance independently, thereby allowing me to focus more on cost saving initiatives”.
Leaders from Maersk West Central Asia, Dubai
“What have I done? Applied coaching to a situation wherein I have been seeing some issues of under-performance with a team member on being officious / over-assertive in his interactions. Used empathy in coaching and tried to make him understand the needs of the other colleagues and got him to frame his replies in their mind. Used the analogy of a chameleon and need to become a high social monitor. Impact of his current behaviours had been raised to me during a visit to one of our country offices”.
“What were the benefits? Successfully employed both AIDA Feedback and Feedforward as a vehicle for him to picture his manner in the eyes of the end-users and what the desired outcome looks like from my side, and thus what actions he needs to take. Impact on myself is that I need to continue to use coaching in 1:1 to develop staff and to encourage self-monitoring, as well as continuing to see the impact from the end-users Voice of Customer”.
“What have I done? Applied coaching in a situation where I wanted to drive individual staff and project team to excel in performance to ensure we overachieve on the project targets”.
What were the benefits? Project has been consistently performing better than target. We have been established as a global best practice and project structure and methodology has been introduced to the whole business for implementation. Staff is better aware of the importance of aiming above the set KPI targets and the benefits to both the business and himself. Staff is more prepared to coach the rest of the project team to drive performance himself. I am confident of staff’s ability to manage project more independently therefore allowing me to focus on other tasks”.
Leaders from Maersk Africa, Cape Town
“What have I done? Have applied the coaching techniques in the following situations: 1) Dispute situation where there was a lot of emotional baggage due to past issues; 2) Performance situation where colleague was not performing”.
“What were the benefits? Through use of the models and techniques, the following benefits materialised: 1) Dispute situation – clarity was maintained through use of the GROW model particularly with Goals being clear up front and Way forward also being clearer; 2) Performance Situation – used the GROW model to bring structure to all discussions and ensure that we covered all aspects and most importantly the ‘monkey’ remained on the coachee”.
“What have I done? With recently joining my new team, I had instructed a colleague to create a project plan for reviewing a system/process currently performing very poorly. I provided him with a few templates to setup a project plan as well as shared with him some examples of a project plan I had recently drawn up. I found that his output was poorly presented to me and that the example I provided was merely copied and no thought had been put in the roll out plan. I decided to setup a coaching session where I set the Goal for the subordinate to understand the importance and functionality of a proper and detailed project plan”.
“What were the benefits? The benefit was that I was not happy with his performance or output. And instead of just telling him how and what he should do, I used the coaching model to ask questions around the quality and functionality of what he had presented and allowed him to realise what is expected from a detailed project plan. I believe that when he will attempt to setup a new project plan, he will definitely think more about the importance of the project plan, what the areas of focus would be and would be more comfortable to approach me and check in before just rushing to complete/present something. He went back and changed his project plan and presented me with a much more detailed and thought through plan. He seemed to be much happier and satisfied with his output”.
“What have I done? Throughout the coach-the-coach follow up sessions I have realised that I need to be ‘Selfish’ as a leader. These coaching sessions I have with the team – as much as it is for their development / performance – it is also for the benefit of the department and our organisation. I therefore ensure that I set the goal when we meet and most importantly when feedback is given I make sure that I set the standards to my expectation – pushing the team harder. I just have to be careful to make sure that there remains a sense of enjoyment and that the team gets learning out of the coaching and support”.
“What were the benefits? The benefit for me is that I will try and set the bar as high as possible, surpassing the standard set by the team, which will push them outside of their comfort zone, whilst supporting them to achieve these standards. The benefit is also the learning that the team gets out of these coaching sessions as well as the satisfaction and sense of achievement they get”.
Leaders from Maersk Asia Pacific, Singapore
“What have I done? Used the GROW model – GROW already indicates that coaching aims for a specific and agreed goal … and is not just a nice chat about this and that”.
“What were the benefits? Coaching sessions are more effective. People are clear about the goal and go for it. We follow up on the goal. Clear actions are agreed”.
“What have I done? Actively linked the coaching session with tangible outcomes in the form of follow-up actions related to our business. Requested coachee completed data preparation based on current or future performance”.
What were the benefits? “The Way-forward becomes increasingly focused on improving business results than personal development. Coachee preparation means we zoom in on actual performance, and set goals for the future”.
Explore the Coaches Toolkit on this Blog for more information on the Tools and Techniques mentioned above.
Search ‘Leadership Interview’ on this Blog for more insights from leaders on how they applying coaching in their day to day work.
Read more about my Coaching Master Class program.