I have used self-assessments, 180’s (self + colleagues) & 360’s (self + colleagues + supervisor) for many years now. It is exciting to receive the data and process this information with leaders. Sometimes the data affirms, other times it challenges and in some situations, the information can be surprising.
Awareness is the first step to change!
Let me explain. A number of years ago I was assessing a leader’s management style to determine if he had the skill-set to take more responsibility in supervising key staff. He was an excellent speaker in a large, growing church. But was unaware that his management style was driving people away. In conversation with members of his team, they were open with their feelings which were confirmed by the data. When I administered the assessment the leader was confident his scores would reveal his expertise in empowering his team; unfortunately, it exposed glaring weaknesses in his ability to manage those around him. In fact, that assessment, along with anecdotal evidence, thoroughly convinced his boss that he was not the man for the job and eventually, led to his resignation.
This was NOT the intended purpose of the exercise, but it illustrates the power of a 360. Data does not lie – it simply is! Here are a couple of questions to determine if an instrument, like the Management Effectiveness Profile (scroll down the page to Management) could be a helpful exercise for you and those you coach..
- Have you assessed your management style?
- Have you helped those you coach, assess their management style?
- How could the Management Effectiveness Profile help people in your team or organization understand their strengths and weaknesses?
I rely on trusted and reliable feedback in my coaching, training & consulting.
One practice I’ve found helpful is to administer a brief survey at the conclusion of my coaching relationships, for instance. Based on that input I gain a sense of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.
Not surprisingly, executives (including pastors, church planters & missionaries) also value feedback. I read an article written by , , , published by The Miles Group and Stanford University. August 2013 (used with permission) that highlighted this point. The 2013 Executive Coaching Survey suggests:
Nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, while 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback.
Feedback can be helpful. But it is really up to the individual what she/he does with it. If the data confirms the evidence then leaders will respond accordingly. In contrast, if that leader does not resonate with the feedback, then it is wise to reject it.
Let me give a quick example what I mean. I am coaching a young, competent leader. When we reviewed the feedback from a 360 degree assessment on his leadership effectiveness (see the Leadership menu) there were gaps between himself, his supervisor and his colleagues. Further, the gaps were not in a favorable direction. In other words, his self-perception was consistently higher, in several areas (I like it when it is the other way)! In response, this young leader took a curious approach. Curious what the variance in scores represented. And a proactive posture to address those variances in practical ways. Instead of making excuses, he determined to take action.
Remaining open to feedback is not always easy – but is an important trait of effective leaders.
Coaching a 40-something leader I discovered a significant difference when coaching his Gen X counterpart. My mature friend was focused on achieving his goals; however, he was not as concerned about his work-life balance in comparison to his younger counterpart. That insight informed ways I could engage each.
Further, while the goal they were both pursuing was similar, the path they took was very different. Both were eager to establish a new church or ministry.
With the more seasoned leader I asked more task-oriented, “what” kind of questions:
- What is your goal?
- What is in your way?
- What can you do to expand?
And more relational, “who” kind of questions with the younger planter:
- Who will it reach?
- Who could it miss?
- Who else can you include?
These are broad generalizations, yet subtle differences reveal different approaches to can engage different people from different generations.
For further insight in generational differences, see the following 1-page resources under Generational Differences:
- Generational Characteristics
- Generational Core Values
- Generational Leadership Style Preferences
- Generational Motivation Preferences
- Generational Team Preferences
- Generational Communication Preferences
It is easy to get excited about coaching or a training initiative without understanding the true impact.
How many times have you heard colleagues discuss a new training process or coaching resource? And then get partway through the experience without understanding the impact on you or your organization. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to consider the potential Return on Investment (ROI) before you start?
Consider a coaching relationship. When you or I establish a coach agreement we ask the leader to create goals. Over the course of the next year we work towards achieving those goals and assess the progress at the conclusion of our time together. Using the six levels described below you can see that we moved from Level 0 (scope, in my example) to Level 1 (reaction to the coaching process) to Level 2 (learning that occurred) to level 3 (applying the knowledge to the leader’s ministry).
There is a process to measure the ROI on training and coaching. Most of the coaching and training done in organizations settle for Level 1 or Level 2 evaluation – a few take it to Level 3. Here are the six levels:
- Level 0: Inputs
- Level 1: Reaction
- Level 2: Learning
- Level 3: Application
- Level 4: Impact
- Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI)
Review the descriptions above and consider a coaching or training process you are leading. Let’s say it is a leader development process that involves quarterly workshops with coaching in-between. Whatever it is that you are currently working on (developing small group leaders), or anticipate in the near future – what level of measurement are you incorporating in your process.
I’ve discovered that leaders are eager to know the ROI on some of the training and coaching that they are engaged. When they realize that it is possible to calculate and monetize the impact of their investment, it transforms the significance of the training/coaching because they are clear “why” they are making the investment.
Places where ROI is helpful:
- Organization-wide leader development training
- Coaching pastors, church planters, regional network leaders and movement leaders
- Coach training for church planting, parent church coaches or disciple-making movements
A helpful book on ROI, entitled “Show Me the Money” provides a more complete explanation. If you have questions, please e-mail InFocus for more information.
I’ve found that one of the ways to help leaders learn how to coach is to first, be coached.
I remember serving as a coach mentor for a network of church planters. A leader in that group had a particular understanding of the posture of a coach that collided with the non-directive approach I was taking. If you mapped out a continuum with “non-directive” on the left side and “directive” on the right side – he was on the far right end.
Over the next couple of appointments I reinforced the power of coaching using a non-directive, self-discovery process until he came to the realization that he really did not like that style of coaching. He concluded that his advice-giving preference suited his personality. I agreed – but challenged him to call it something other than coaching When you experience what it is like then it is easier to embrace (if your goal is to facilitate a self-discovery process) or REJECT coaching.
Justifiably, there is room for confusion about coaching as it relates to developing leaders, disciplemaking and church planting. After-all, many people use the term “coaching” to describe what they do.
Here are three reasons why it is helpful for people to experience coaching:
- Put flesh to the coaching process e.g. it is difficult to understand what you have not experienced.
- Illustrate what makes coaching unique e.g. the power of “self-discovery” vs. receiving advice.
- Contrast other ways of helping people e.g. mentoring, counselling, consulting, etc.
Coaching tip of the month:
If your desire is to empower people – then use a process that allows the individual to discover and choose.
One of the best ways to take good intentions and move them to action is through coaching. If you are interested in taking your vision to the next level in 2017 please contact InFocus for an exploratory conversation. Please let us know how we can serve you.
I’ve trained leaders around the world in the coaching process (commonly known as the 5 Rs – see below) who are catalyzing disciple making movements, planting churches, empowering leaders, leading teams and pioneering networks. A conversation with one missionary reminded me that the five elements of the coaching process are more descriptive than prescriptive. It was evident this gifted woman was wrestling with the process. When I gave her freedom to come up with her own language to describe the process she uses, she lit-up!
- RELATE – Establishing a coaching relationship and agenda
- REFLECT – Discover and explore key issues
- REFOCUS – Determine priorities and action steps
- RESOURCE – Provide support and encouragement
- REVIEW – Evaluate, celebrate and revise plans
That is the way I present the 5-R coaching process. Once people become familiar with the five elements then I challenge them to personalize it so that is fits their context. Find language that captures the essence of what they do and how they do it. And most of all – begin using it!
Below are five questions to help you identify the coaching process you use:
- How do I connect with people I coach?
- How do I help people analyze their situation?
- How do I help them envision the future?
- How do I help people identify resources to implement their plans?
- How do I help people I coach review their plans, celebrate success and capture insights?
Answers to these questions will help you uncover your coaching process. The more transferable, the better. If you have a process you’ve created, I’d appreciate you e-mailing me or sharing it with the InFocus coaching community below.