You are on page 1of 60




Fall 2009
An Infopeople Program
Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP
This Workshop Is Brought to You
By the Infopeople Project
Infopeople is a federally-funded grant project supported by
the California State Library. It provides a wide variety of
training to California libraries. Infopeople workshops are
offered around the state and are open registration on a first-
come, first-served basis.

For a complete list of workshops, and for other information

about the project, go to the Infopeople website at
Our Agenda
The business case for coaching library
Coaching processes and delivery modes.
Targeted coaching for selected employees.
Running coaching meetings.
Teaching realistic and effective tools.
Coaching the Big Four.
Safe and effective role play practice.
Your Success Tools
1. Start thinking about current or potential
coaching candidates at your facility.
2. Stretch your comfort zone around the
presenting issues: meeting with employees,
addressing behavioral, performance, or career
3. Take what you need from the materials, the
presenter, and your colleagues in the room.
4. Come back to the learning materials in one
Why Coaching?

What it is and what it isn’t.

Coaching A/K/A’s: New Names
Career planning meetings
Assisted discovery
Initial Discussion Points
Labels vs. behaviors.
How not to get stuck with excuses or
Addressing confidentiality concerns.
Writing after-action reports and recaps.
Using praise, recognition, rewards, and
Misconceptions On Coaching

The “Narcissistic Supervisor /

The employee as needy or
The supervisor “fixes” the employee.
The supervisor as a cheerleader.
The myth of the “all-purpose coach.”
We Coach Employees To:
Improve the: Limit the:
Competency Relationship
Authority Problems
Transition Problems
Service Problems

Conflict at work is expensive, time-

consuming, and hard on everyone.
Coaching Best Addresses
“The Big Four”
Work performance
Violations of policies & procedures

How do we demonstrate success?

Compliance, improvement, and positive changes in

attitude, service interactions, responsibility, and
Coaching Goals

Job Knowledge Follows

Skills policies and rules;
Abilities demonstrates
positive behaviors

Actual performance
desired / expected performance
34 % of employees responding to a
national survey cited “limited
recognition” as the most common reason
for leaving their jobs.

Can we use coaching as a “recognition”


Robert Half Int’l. 1995

Crucial Conversations
by Patterson, Grenny et al. (2002, McGraw-Hill)

Opinions vary.
These can
give us
Stakes are high. permission
to coach.

Emotions run strong.

Best Boss – Worst Boss
Group Exercise #1
Think back to the best boss you ever worked for:

What character traits, skills, habits, or supervisory

techniques did he or she possess?

Think back to the worst boss you ever had.

What made him / her so bad?

Coaching Events: Business Impact
Pre-discipline intervention for the Big Four.
On-the spot / M.B.W.A.
To identify skill gaps or training needs.
For career planning and advice; mentoring.
To provide referrals for off-the-job problems.
As part of conflict resolution; to stop problems.
As a reward and to help improve morale.
Why Don’t We Coach?:
The Supervisor’s Paradox
Fear of conflict.
Fear of confronting poor performance.
No formal training.
No knowledge of or access to resources.
Top management apathy or resistance -
until something happens.
Inverse reward system.
Answering the “WII-FM?”
Coaching Question For
It lets employees know where they stand with you.
It tells them what, specifically, they need to improve.
It helps them set their own personal, professional, and
educational goals.
It shows them what they need to do to promote or move
into other positions.
It rewards them for their efforts and accomplishments.
The Self-Fulfilling Prediction
Does what you think about your employees,
positively or negatively, have any effect
on their motivation or performance?

Expectations are a powerful thing. How you

expect people to work is generally how
they actually work.
Open-Ended Questioning
Two-Person Exercise #2
Supervisor: “Do you like your job?”
Employee: “Yeah, it’s okay.”

Ask more open-ended questions to get the

employee to tell you more. Build
“conversational momentum” and find a
subject the employee wants to discuss.
Laying The Foundation For
Aligning for Success
Finding Coaching Candidates
Review past performance evaluations.
Speak with bosses and peer supervisors.
Offer coaching services via e-mail and staff
meeting announcements.
Meet proactively with at-risk employees.
Meet proactively with employees who are
on the fast track.
The Coaching Process
Most often driven by events . . .
1. Initial “Go / No Go” meeting.
2. One, four, or eight hourly sessions.
3. “Homework” – assigned readings, books or
articles, exercises, use of tools.
4. Post-session feedback to HR or your boss.
5. Session notes, final written report, regular
Coaching Delivery Modes
On the spot: “corridor coaching”
On or off-site - Face to Face
By Phone
By E-mail
Giving homework and using a Reading
Using as many self-discovery questions as
possible, i.e., “What do you think?”
Self-Discovery Sample Questions
“What tools would you use in a patron
service situation?”
“What techniques would you use to create
better rapport with your co-workers?”
“How do you plan to organize your ideas for
a pending meeting with your boss?”
“Who has an approach, a tool, or a
technique you’d like to use in the future?”
Targeted Coaching
Executive / Strategic Coaching: senior leaders,
strategic issues, the top team. Goal = Direction
Career Development Coaching: leadership, career
guidance. Goal = Personal Skills
Performance Improvement Coaching: knowledge
enhancement, training. Goal = Job Skills
Corrective Coaching: career “rescue,” skills deficit,
compliance issues. Goal = Compliance
Special-Problems Coaching: special skills, special
issues, high-threat situations. Goal = Peace
Executive / Strategic Coaching
What direction does the coachee want to take his or
her team, department, or facility?
Short or long term planning help.
Budgets and financial planning.
Employee retention through staffing, hiring, and
Personal time and stress management tools.
Career Development Coaching
Formal education – return to school
Professional certifications
Exposure to training programs
Informal education – books, articles, web sites
Groups or associations to join
Creating mentor relationships
Performance Improvement
Use of time studies to track work hours.
Exposure to situations requiring more
Pinpointing unproductive activities.
Teaching time management tools and habits.
Prioritizing tasks based on importance and
Corrective Coaching
Uses range from pre-discipline to post-discipline.
“Career rescue” issues.
Probationary period may be looming.
An attempt to address behavior within the Big
Three and/or that affects patrons and staff in
negative ways.
Issues that impact the coachee’s long term
future with the organization.
Personal Accountability Meetings
Otherwise known as having a “cards on the table
Useful for employees who use sarcasm, negative
opinions, idea killing, or bad body language.
Try explaining your expectations and asking the
employee for his or her help.
Don’t argue or get overly-frustrated; tell the
employee what he or she needs to do to comply.
Corrective Coaching Tools
1. Consulting with HR and / or your boss.
2. Use of the “paid day off.”
3. Short and long term Performance
Improvement Plans (PIPs)
4. More goals, more often; more meetings;
more often.
5. Teaching responsibility and accountability, by
understanding consequence behaviors.
Special Problems Coaching
It’s not therapy; it’s a careful and ethical
conversation which respects boundaries.
EAP education and referral.
Paid or unpaid time off (consult with HR)
Liaison with city / county / private agencies
who can help.
Transition to a new job or career.
Anger Management Help
Anger is a secondary emotion.
There can be severe consequences to anger
problems, both personally and
It’s not our job to “coach” anger away; it’s
our job to know when it impacts the
business, and to make the right referrals.
Teach 4X4 Breathing and “The Pause.”
Frontstage Behavior Versus
Backstage Behavior

Pay attention to what you

see or hear and then try to
determine what is really
going on.
One Issue – One Meeting
For employees with many issues, concerns, or
problem areas, it can feel like you need to solve
everything, all at once.

Remember, small turns by a tugboat can move an

aircraft carrier and a little sun melts an iceberg.

Try to solve one presenting issue per meeting.

Ground Rules for Coaching
A goal for each session.
Respect for each other’s time.
No physical or electronic interruptions.
As-discussed confidentiality.
Completed ‘homework” or readings.
Preparation for the next session.
Building Rapport
Keep the coachee in his / her comfort zone.
Use self-directed humor.
Use analogies, stories, metaphorical language.
Fill silence or allow silence.
Overcome the coachee’s sense of frustration,
fear, anxiety, apathy, or burnout.
Improve Your Listening Skills
Use as many open-ended questions as you can.
Look for ways to build “conversational momentum.”
Seek to “open the gates of self-interest.”
Limit your use of yes / no questions, except when you
want agreement or closure.
Be comfortable with uncomfortable silences.
The L.E.A.P.S. Model

Listen actively
Ask questions
Seek solutions
Verbal Judo Institute ™
The Coachee’s List of Seven
1. Leave the situation or the person.
2. Live with the situation or the person.
3. Change the situation or the person.
4. Change your perception of the situation or the
5. Change your behaviors around the situation or
the person.
6. Change both your perceptions and your
7. Pretend you’ve changed.
Using the List of Seven Choices
Two-Person Exercise #3
Supervisor: Ask the employee, “What
bugs you about your job?”

Use The List of Seven Choices to

convince him or her that there are
one or more solutions to the issue.
Tools for Focusing

Think about how you might use

the following three tools to assist
your efforts during a coaching
meeting . . .
The Keep / Stop / Start Tool

“What do I or we need to KEEP doing,

because it’s working?”

“What do I or we need to STOP doing,

because it’s not working?”

“What do I or we need to START doing,

because it will work better?”
Using Keep / Stop / Start
Group Exercise #4

Using the Keep / Stop / Start approach

with the index cards provided, develop a
collection of responses to the issues,
problems, or opportunities you’d like to
solve at your facility.
Teaching the P.I.N. Tool
“What’s POSITIVE about the idea, proposal,
policy, or plan?”

“What’s INTERESTING about the idea,

proposal, policy, or plan?”

“Finally, what’s NEGATIVE about the idea,

proposal, policy, or plan?”
Practicing with the P.I.N. Tool
Group Exercise #5

Use the P.I.N. Tool with your group

members on a topic provided by your
course leader.
Using the Three C’s Tool
COMMUNICATE – Let them tell you their issue,
without being judgmental. Listen carefully,
without interrupting.

CLARIFY – Use paraphrasing questions to make

certain you understand their concerns. Ask for
their solutions or suggest your own.

COMMIT – Get their promise for a commitment to

action. When will they start doing what you’ve
both now agreed upon?
Coaching Meeting Steps
1. Plan for the meeting. (time, place, any handouts)
2. Open the meeting. (build rapport, discuss the
3. Describe any problem areas. (being specific)
4. Help the employee generate solutions. (ownership)
5. Discuss the solutions. (fine tune the choices)
6. Describe employee’s strengths. (reward successes)
7. Discuss a development plan. (next session)
Coaching Meeting Scripts
Spend time preparing a written plan.
Be descriptive: “What I’m seeing you do …” versus
“What I want to see you do. . .”
Define performance improvements in behavior-based
terms, not label-based terms.
Get permission to document during the meeting.
Spend time recapping after the meeting.
Avoid Saying the Wrong 10
Commanding “What you ought to do is . . .”
Sounding Parental “When I was in your position . . .”
Minimizing “It’s not that bad . . .”
Interrogating “Why did you do that . . . ?”
Projecting “People in your position should . . .”
Psychoanalyzing “It sounds like you’re in denial.”
Generalizing “Everybody knows you should . . .”
Moralizing“The ethical thing to do is . . .”
Sidestepping “Let’s talk about something else.”
Sarcasm “You didn’t mess up nearly as much as usual.”
Don’t Allow The Big Four
Minimize“I was only 15 minutes late.”

Deny “I was on time; you didn’t see me.”

Rationalize “There was a lot of traffic.“

Blame “Somebody must have altered my

time card.”
Potential Reactions to Coaching

Anger and constant disagreement?
Arguing each point?
Appreciative and cooperative?
Coaching the Big Four:

The Rising Star, The Problem Child,

The Plow Horse, and The Smart
Coaching Candidates
Potential Contribution

Smart Slacker Rising Star

Problem Child Plow Horse

Low High
Real Contribution
© 2005 Dr. Steve Albrecht
Coaching the Big Four
Smart Slackers – Confront their behavior, attitude, or
performance. Remind them of their “legacy employee”
status. Ask for their help.
Problem Children – Use your progressive discipline process.
Ask them to make a stay/go choice.
Plow Horses – Encourage them to use option-thinking to
problem-solve. Reward progress.
Shining Stars – Give them challenges but watch for job
burnout. Create a career path.
Skill-Building Through Coaching

Final Practice Exercise #7

The Coaching Contract
Based on specific behaviors, not labels.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Deadline-driven, results-oriented, reward-
The employee owns the solutions.
Recognizing shared fates and shared
Influencing: The Hidden Tool
Your ability to persuade your people to do
their work, not just by telling, but by selling.

Leadership is about building trust. It’s how

you use your knowledge, experience, and
intelligence to gently or boldly convince
others to follow your directions.

It’s known as “walking the talk.”

The Tools of Influence
Leading from the front and the rear. (Getting
your hands dirty, from time to time.)
Never lying.
Modeling consistency, reliability, and the
humane treatment of all.
Keeping your people informed.
Standing up for your people when it’s the right
thing to do.
The Coaching Dynamic

“A Spectrum of

Tutoria Advisory Assisted

l Role Discovery