To Mentor, Coach, Manage or Direct…..Treat with care

As managers, leaders and influencers in organisations we are often responsible, whether we like it or not, for other people. Nowadays, still quite a few managers remain blinded by management’s top priority which is delivering results. Fair point, with no results, there is no business.

Now I don’t know about you, but most of the time if I am being told to do something that I may not want to deliver on, or in a way that I’m not agreeable to,  then more often than not you will get to know a whole new passive aggressive side of me. You can definitely ask my husband about that! (sorry!).

Sometimes even, the lack of clear direction will get me to procrastinate – where to start? Who to involve? So I just sit, and wait….re-organise my inbox or my library shelf.

So I am not surprised to see that for a while mentors, coaches, managers or whatever else you want to call them will actually achieve “success” (not results – another topic of discussion). And then the noise gets louder and louder, rumors, underperformance, people leaving. So many times I have heard the “but doesn’t my team have better things to do?”…

The actual answer is, yes, people always have better things to do than underperform, complain and moan, however, that transpires to be a better option for them at that time.

The purpose of management doesn’t only come with an accountability for results but also for looking after its people. And guess what, people are a whole different ball game than numbers, milestones, achievements and results.  First and foremost, we are all individuals, we all have different goals and aspirations, we all share an experience at work but live and operate on a whole different sphere.

So using a one size fits all approach to how you actually deal with people will never work. Telling them what to do one day and telling them exactly the same thing the next day may not work. Personally I think that this is exactly what makes work an amazing place to be. No matter what you do, you can never predict how someone will react – unless you truly and deeply put yourself in their shoes, become curious and influence them. So here are my general rules when it comes to getting people to deliver the best they can with the tools that they have available:

  1. Know yourself. Know how you are being perceived by others, understand that your internal representation of the world may not be theirs. Know that someone who may irritate or delight you should never prevent you from treating them fairly and consistently. Never let a bad day affect your management style.  Research shows that a consistent manager will build trust more quickly with his/her team.
  2. Know your team. Become curious of your people, listen, marvel in their differences. Ask yourself “Is INSERT NAME following their biggest excitement at work right now?”, what is their purpose, what are they here for? Understanding that will open up a multitude of ways to influence, direct coach, manage or mentor
  3. Love your team. Yup. I’m using the big forbidden L word! What has happened so that we forget that being nice is a core human trait? And by love, I do also imply that when someone is in “a danger zone” of underperformance, it is our duty to respectfully point it out as well as point out the consequences. Doing it with love is the hardest thing to do.

These are three little things to remember and set as a frame whenever you initiate a mentoring, coaching, managing discussion. Three small items, that if done well will not only allow your person to truly deploy to their strength but who knows, it may also help you learn and grow as an individual…at the end of the day, we all know that the person with the most flexibility will lead the system.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

NLP Coaching WisdomCoaching For Results