In this issue:
Do people ever come to you for advice? I bet they do. Are you ever puzzled about whether to answer them or coach them? Maybe you're not sure how to coach them quickly. Sometimes you might think, “I can provide an answer faster than I can prompt an answer.” And, you know that you will have to answer the person the next time this problem arises.
Instead, you might try speed coaching. Here's what speed coaching might look like.
Kerry asked Walter for some advice. “I don't quite know how to write the tests for this. Can you help me?”
“Sure. What have you tried so far?”
“I've tried this and that so far…”
“Okay. If you try these things, what do you think will happen?”
“Oh, I see. I have these options also. I didn't realize that. Thanks!”
“You're welcome. Let me know what happens.”
Walter didn't want to give Kerry the answer. He wanted to help Kerry learn how to solve the problem. He helped Kerry by generating the beginning of a few more options, without actually supplying the detailed answers. It's coaching without being in a formal one-on-one.
You might ask a few questions about the problem. You help generate a few options for the solution. You might help the person determine which option might work best–and you might not. You probably end with, “let me know how it works.”
That's speed coaching at work.
The whole conversation may take about 10 minutes. If you're really fast, maybe only five minutes. But it's still coaching.
It has a start and an end. It's about the work. You didn't give the person the answer; you helped the person think through the problem. You coached the person.
Coaching doesn't have to be a long and involved process. It can be a ten-minute conversation. If you haven't tried this yet, consider it.
Would you like to experience coaching and influence to build your leadership skills, in an intensive two-day event?
Gil Broza and I are leading the Influential Agile Leader twice in 2014. You can join us April 8-9, 2014 in Toronto. Or, you can join us May 22-23, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The super early bird pricing, a 33% discount, expires Dec 31, 2013, so register now.
Any change to how you manage projects is a cultural change. Cultural change is a slow process, and requires change at all levels of the organization. Many workshops and conferences ignore leaders “in the middle.” The Influential Agile Leader is for you, the leader “in the middle.”
We will be helping leaders experience coaching and influence. Yes, we'll be practicing speed coaching and speed influence! We have many more tools to add to your toolbox to help your cultural change.
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See my articles page for my articles. If you see one that interests you and you would like me to speak about it, let me know.
© 2013 Johanna Rothman
Tags: coaching, leadership, problem solving