Wanted: Leaders Who Coach Well in Crisis

Wanted: Leaders Who Coach Well in Crisis image exec running edge blurr sm1Wanted: Leaders Who Coach Well in Crisis

As the global economy continues to adapt, it creates a challenge for organizations to keep staff focussed and productive. Announcments such as “Sony lays off 10,000” and “ Europe Job Loss Accelerates” can be distracting, if not worrying, which can undermine performance.

What should managers do amidst these concerns? This piece, Coaching Through Crisis (previously published in HR Reporter), discusses the importance of coaching for clarity and performance…
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Never before has it been so important for managers at all levels to really engage in coaching their staff. With the economic crisis and its continuing impact on organizations, many organizations are trimming costs, including head count. The recent suicides of formerly successful financial players, such as German billionaire Adolph Merkle, serve to demonstrate the severity of concern in this economy.

Wanted: Leaders Who Coach Well in Crisis image faces B and W long1Wanted: Leaders Who Coach Well in Crisis
It is often said that worry about a potentially adverse outcome is worse than the outcome itself. Global studies are documenting the increase of stress levels on the job. A recent UK study in collaboration with staffing firm Robert Half revealed that 45% of respondents suffered from work-related stress. Respondents also highlighted several causes including unachievable targets (33%), poor management (38%), and poor work/life balance (41%).

The questions we need to be asking now are, “what impact is this having on productivity” and, “what can managers and organizations do to coach through the impact?”

What managers must understand

To be better coaches through these times, there are a few things that managers must understand.

First, emotions are contagious, as documented by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence.  Since people watch managers, it is indeed the “boss” who has the biggest emotional impact. Does he or she appear stressed, worried, and fearful, or energized, relaxed and confident in this economic climate? One observation often made of Barrack Obama throughout his campaign was that he appeared calm and confident in the face of opposition, and that he inspired these emotions in the electorate.

Secondly, managers must recognize how important it is for them to Coach. Before expanding on this, I’ll offer a definition of Coaching, since it often means different things to different people. Think of “coach” as it is used in the term “stage coach”. This early form of horse-drawn transportation picked people up and transported them to their desired destination. Likewise coaching, as a strategic questioning-based dialogue, assists people in getting from where they are to where they want or need to be in terms of goals and accomplishment.

5 Ways to coach effectively

So what can be done to coach staff through these challenging times? Here are 5 things that managers can do to coach more effectively: Click through to read the remainder of the article, or download the pdf.

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