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  • Writer's pictureD Bester

Rise of the Micro-Coach

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Coaching as a Manager

Most managerial staff would have had some kind of exposure to coaching by now. You may even have embarked on a coaching learning journey for yourself. As a business coach, I have spent many hours assisting leaders to ‘think out loud’, get ‘unstuck’ and reach some breakthroughs. In doing so, I usually spend anything between 60 to 90 minutes probing to the point of an eureka moment, which inspires action and delivery.

In this fast-paced world (driven by ever-increasing #digitaldisruption) where everything is uncertain, but immediate results are expected, how does one go about providing on-the-go support to drive performance in even the average workers on one’s team? The advent of #Covid19 has certainly taught us how to 'manage' on our feet (while in our pyjamas) and in a completely different way to before.

What I know for sure, is that there is a major role that coaching can play in making this happen and driving high performance. However, the average 1 hour coaching session actually requires about 3 hours of work. Pre-planning, the #coaching conversation itself, report writing afterwards, etc. It can feel like quite a load if you’re a manager/coach with a number of people in your team. If coaching could be made quicker and simpler, what would it look and feel like?

Enter the Micro-Coach!

Have you ever been in a really short conversation during which you had a ‘eureka! – I know what to do next’ moment? The simplest question from the other person could provide the inspiration needed to jump into action. This has magically happened to me so often in random conversations at random times.

What if you could take this magic from random to calculated? Well, I put it to you that you can! We all know about micro-learning – the ability to learn small bits of information in a very short time for immediate application. #Microcoaching proposes that one can have a small conversation in a short space of time in order to stimulate the right kind of thinking to spring into action. Now, what if you could do this everyday?

Just think about it for a minute. You have conversations with your staff and colleagues daily, right? If you had the most effective conversation technique to unlock multiple eureka moments per day, would your team’s performance improve? After providing the right training, our team of coaches, have demonstrated time and again that this is possible. In fact, after applying this tried and tested conversation method for just over a year, one of our clients had this to say:

The methodology is quite simple:

Once the topic of discussion is established you may want to follow these easy steps:

1. Find out what is happening right now.

2. Find what options are available to move towards a solution.

3. Get to the point of agreeing on a next step.

4. Work out when to check-in.

Any person who has mastered these steps is able to unlock action-based behaviours in those they work with. In other words, it may no longer be the managers’ sole responsibility to drive performance in a team. If done effectively, it becomes part of the functioning of every team member to master the art of conversation intelligence.

According to my best friend, Google, there are a few things to take into account when conducting such conversations:

In other words; do try and be nice wile you’re doing it. With the right structures in place, these calculated conversations could become the driving force behind unlocking high performance in those you lead and work with.

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