Empowering Leadership to Enhance People Performance

‘Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself, when you are a leader, success is all about growing others’ – Jack Welch

The biggest responsibility of leaders is to create more leaders in the organization. A leader’s ability to develop his team members through appropriate methods helps the organization create a stable pipeline of leadership and an enviable talent pool. The most effective leaders identify and nurture their team’s potential, bring out the best in them and prepare and propel them for optimum performance.

The most critical aspect of leading a team is the team leader’s ability to help his team members get trained on the job and quickly move up the learning curve. He has to alternatively wear hats of being a trainer of core tasks & skills, facilitator of learnings, teacher, advisor, counselor, coach etc. The nature of intervention chosen will vary from one team member to the other depending on their level of skill and will. The skill-will matrix mentioned below gives an indication of how the intervention methods should be chosen for bringing out the best in  people.

skill will matrix

Acting as a trainer, the team leader needs to understand the team’s skill gaps and their learning styles. Low skill issues can be solved by on the job/ classroom training programs. ADDIE framework of Intervention Design and facilitation skills help to create an impactful and business oriented training plan.

The performance management process offers a potent tool to manage individual and team performance to ensure that key goals are consistently being met in an effective manner. A holistic performance management process includes setting goals, measure performance against identified targets, providing objective feedback at regular intervals and creating development plans. A well structured framework (STAR – Situation Task Action Result) helps the leaders provide specific, behavior oriented feedback and avoids personal biases and subjectivity. Employee with low skills/ low will need more time and more frequent feedbacks to help them move up the learning curve.

Low will issues usually are greater challenge for leader than skill issues as it requires taking a deep dive into an employee’s psychological and motivational state. Choice of appropriate psychometric tool can provide invaluable insights which can be used to identify future course of action.

One of the most powerful interventions to support employee growth and development is the use of Coaching and Mentoring. It can be used to develop the team member’s skills and abilities, boosting their morale and improving performance. While coaching is more focused on helping achieve a specific objective within a specific period of time, mentoring is more long term growth and relationship oriented. It helps by providing employees a sounding board within the organization.

-By Rashmi Priya, Lead Consultant, The Catalyst

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COACHING – being used effectively or mis-used today?

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Coaching is becoming an oft-used and oft-abused word! Coaches seem to be mushrooming in every nook and corner with umpteen certification programmes springing up everywhere. Noone can deny the power of coaching as a tool – the power to empower as well as the power to dis-empower. There’s genuine good that good coaches can do but there’s a lot of bad that bad coaches can do too. How does an organization then evaluate which kind of coaching intervention to go for, or whether to go for a coaching intervention at all?

I believe there are three fundamental questions that an organization needs to to get an affirmation on before plunging itself on a coaching journey

  1. Do we have a collaborative and reflective work environment?
  2. Are the learners motivated to learn/change?
  3. Do we have the bandwidth to provide enough opportunities to the learners to engage in development experiences such as training workshops, reading journeys, result focused projects etc.?

If the answer to any of these is a negative, coaching may end up being a pre-mature effort.  Further, what’s it that one should look for in a good coach? Again, three magic words I believe

  1. Accessibility – Can I talk to him, email him, chat with him etc on a regular basis?
  2. Knowledge – to build trust and confidence in the coach at first, and to talk specifics with the coach as we progress
  3. Concern – Is he genuinely concerned about the welfare of his learners? Is he encouraging, nurturing and caring?

Coaching as a concept sees its origins in the sporting fraternity and if we look at the most successful coach-athlete relationships, they are based on trust, adaptability and a genuine will to bring out the best in people. Sadly however, in the current corporate world, the relationship has been marred and lost its power for many.