I nodded my head continuously as I read through an article by Monique Valcouat at The Harvard Business Review titled “You Can’t Be a Great Manager If You’re Not a Good Coach.”
(Note: We’re proud to say The Harvard Business School is a Forté client.)
Here’s an excerpt from that article I think every leader should read:
“If you have room in your head for only one nugget of leadership wisdom, make it this one: the most powerfully motivating condition people experience at work is making progress at something that is personally meaningful. If your job involves leading others, the implications are clear: the most important thing you can do each day is to help your team members experience progress at meaningful work.
To do so, you must understand what drives each person, help build connections between each person’s work and the organization’s mission and strategic objectives, provide timely feedback, and help each person learn and grow on an ongoing basis.
Regular communication around development — having coaching conversations — is essential. In fact, according to recent research, the single most important managerial competency that separates highly effective managers from average ones is coaching.”
If you’re a leader, it’s great to see these clear, prioritized, research-based objectives for your role. But if you’re like most leaders, at the same time, you feel somewhat uneasy with this.
You make decisions about products, purchases and budgets, you keep your team working on task, you deliver quality on schedule, but are you confident you are actually developing your team?
Do you know what drives each person? Can you help them best relate to each other, or adapt to workplace demands? Are you coaching them to produce meaningful work for your company, in authentic ways?
Forté can help.
Q: How can I understand what drives each person on my team?
A: Give them each the Forté Communication Style Profile survey. It helps both them and you understand their communication style, leadership style, self-motivators, de-motivators, and much more.
You’ll both receive a copy of their profile results and it will certainly reveal what drives them—as well as how they are currently adapting on the job, and how they are most likely being perceived by the team at this time.
Q: How do I provide timely feedback to my team members?
A: Coaching is not a once-then-done process, neither is Forté. Your team can take the short, automated Forte Adapting Update survey as often as every 30 days, or at intervals of your choosing.
This Adapting survey will instantly reveal how they’ve been adapting to their work demands and environment – both recently and over time. You’ll both be able to see how well they believe they’re currently meeting their goals, feeling resilient in the face of challenges and change, and more.
You can use this report as a jumping off point for a regular coaching conversation with your direct reports. You don’t have to remember to administer this survey, it can be delivered to their email inbox automatically at the prescribed intervals.
Q: How do I know the best way to communicate with those I am coaching?
A: Once the Forté Communication Style survey is completed, you can run Forté Interaction Reports between you and each of your team members. This tool shows both of you how to best to communicate with, and adapt to, one another.
You will know how to talk so they they will listen. Forté is all about recognizing each other’s strengths, and building productive relationships that last.
Q: How do I help my team members reach goals and improve on an on-going basis?
A: Utilize the Forté Performance Coaching report. One of our exciting new tools, this simplifies and codifies the coaching process for you and your team.
Each coachee receives pre-session questions to prepare them for your coaching session. You receive a coaching strategy, checklist, and plan that is in line with each team member’s main strengths and motivators as revealed by their Forté profile.
You’ll be guided and empowered like never before to specifically coach each team member to top performance.
Often, coaching is the difference between a leader who gains commitment from their employees and one who only gains compliance.
Regular communication around your team members’ development is essential. Make a plan to have consistent coaching conversations with your team.
Call or email The Forté Institute today to explore how we can help you coach your team or organization to excellence.
The Forté Institute’s Rachel Olsen is a Communication Studies faculty member at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a communication specialist and a trained and certified coach.