Igniting Players to Reach Their Full Potential (Karin Deacon - PMP®, PRINCE2 Practitioner) In todays fast paced business environment, many organisations understand that a critical success factor in staying on top of your game is to create a high performance organisation; wher...
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| Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Igniting Players to Reach Their Full Potential (Karin Deacon - PMP®, PRINCE2 Practitioner)
In todays fast paced business environment, many organisations understand that a critical success factor in staying on top of your game is to create a high performance organisation; whereby the players which make up the organisation and its culture require a different type of leadership style and approach i.e. A coaching style of leadership which will drive high performance, growth and ultimately a sustainable organisation.
Unfortunately, the understanding is the easy part... as with anything that requires people to excel and ultimately the organisation to operate with high performing teams, it will take focus, time, energy and some might even say pain!
So what exactly is coaching? Many definitions exist, but the one I love is the definition by Myles Downey, which truly sums up what coaching is ... coaching is the art of inspiring, energizing, and facilitating the performance, learning and development of the Player.
It is important to understand that it is about the Players, and not the Coach! The Coach is the energy source which ignites the Players to reach their full potential. You need to find your Players spark and ignite their passion. One of the great experiences in life is to sit around a camp fire with your family and friends. As you stare into the fire, you watch the flames which take on many forms and you get a warm feeling which runs through your veins, one of contentment. As the fire dies down, the warmth and energy you experience starts to disappear and the mood changes. You have a choice to either let the fire die or feed the fire with more energy in order re-ignite it. coaching is pretty much the same. It takes constant work from the Coach to feed the Players with their inspiration and energy in order for them to shine.
You may be asking, So what does an awesome Coach do? It is quite simple, they: Connect, Observe, Activate, Concentrate and Help Let us explore each of these coaching characteristics in more detail.
Connect with the Player:
Many people view coaching as a planned event where the Coach schedules a one-on-one session with the Player. I disagree with this notion. If you want to truly get the best out of the Player, you need to stay connected, in tune and in touch. How else are you going to understand what will ignite and motivate the Player? What are their career aspirations? What are their current skill and competency levels? You will need to have an understanding of these areas if you want to be an awesome coach.
How many times do feel that Players are interrupting your day? You have so much to do, deadlines to meet and here someone waltzes into your office asking for your advice on how to solve an issue. You probably give them one of those looks and your body language says it all. You probably give them the answer to their question straight away and continue working. How does this make the Player feel? Remember you role as a coach is to inspire, energise and facilitate. You need to be alive and alert to get the best out of Players and allowing them to come up with solutions through your questioning skills. Players are not an interruption to your day, they are your day! Without constantly facilitating the performance, learning and development of the Player, they will not grow, you will not grow and ultimately the organisation and customers who you serve will suffer.
Coaching is about having good quality conversations and connecting be it at the coffee station, during a meeting or bumping into one of your Players in the passage. Dont schedule formal sessions where the Player feels that they have done something wrong or are not performing at the right level. coaching is not a remedial tool to remedy performance it is about facilitating the performance, learning and development of the Player.
Observe the Players Behaviours:
There is that old saying Actions speak louder than words. The Players motivation or will to do something is displayed through their behaviour. According to Max Landsberg, if you assigned a task to someone and the job does not quite get done well enough, one of the most likely reasons is that you may have a highly motivated Player with high competence on your team who can complete tasks with little or no help from you. However, your management style is one of constant checking up. What will eventually happen to this Player? How do you think they feel? The Player probably feels that you are micro-managing them and you are the source of their de-motivation. On the other hand you may have a new Player join the team and your hands off approach and lack of assistance in getting them up to speed may be the source of their de-motivation. Some players may feel they do not have the right level of competence to complete certain tasks and others may not just be motivated at all and this is reflected in their performance.
In order for the Player to be successful, you need to understand their skill (knowledge, experience, role perception, training) and their will (motivations, desire to achieve, confidence). The coach needs to understand what makes the Player tick and coach and lead accordingly. You will only gain this by understanding and observing peoples demonstrated behaviour both in performing the task and when they are feeding back to you in terms of how they have done.
Activate the Players Performance, Learning and development by Asking the Right Questions:
When a Player asks advice on a task they are working on, it is not about giving them the right answer. It is about asking the right questions in order for the Player to come up with the solution or action plan on how to solve the problem. Many of you might say that you dont have time to do this. However, you may feel that your office is like or train station or you keeping on receiving constant telephone calls from Players who are seeking your advice. By taking 5- 10 minutes by asking the right questions, you will now have contributed to the development and learning of the Player. The next time round, they will have the confidence and belief to execute the task or solve the problem without having to ask you. And the more competent they become, the higher levels performance are achieved. It is about encouraging the Player to think and act at higher levels.
Asking the right questions includes:
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