Coaching Management

Before we get stuck in, it is important to realise that coaching is just one part of being a leader or manager and is used as a blended approach to management. It does, however, get badly used and often abused and misunderstood, like delegation (abdication!). 

Coaching is about learning or developing a new skill so where does it fit in? If you find yourself having to show someone a task from scratch, that’s not coaching – it’s direction (teaching).  If you just leave them to figure it out for themselves that is, at best, delegation but probably constitutes abdication! 

The diagram below is a great place to start if you are not sure what your team member/employee needs: 

Chart, line chart, histogram  Description automatically generated

This is how it works: before you assume anything, ask the person on a scale of 1 to 10 “how good are they at the task you need to be done?” 1 is that they have never done it before and 10, is they have been doing it their entire life and could teach you a thing or two about it. 5 would be – done it before but a bit rusty. Once you have an idea of capability you can plot onto the Johari window above and see where they are. Do it mentally so you don’t need to draw it out. Then, you can apply the appropriate management style. With that being said, if this person is new to the business or your department no one scores more than 5 unless they have shown me, in this case – a quick coaching assessment in the coaching box before delegating is a great idea. 

When coaching a task you will have to give up some of your valuable time and oodles of patience to go with it. Start by having them do the task from start to finish, making a note of errors or ways to be more efficient but try not to interrupt or worse – still take over. If you do, you are directing (teaching). Have them do a couple especially if the task requires variable inputs or have variable outputs this way you can see all the actions. Next, you do one or rather talk them through it, the memory works best when the body or brain is carrying out the functions. Again, do not be tempted to just take over.  

Some golden rules of coaching: 

  • Give undisturbed time (no emails or phone calls). 
  • Watch and listen, make notes if necessary. 
  • Find something good to say. 
  • Be patient (this was you some time ago) – if they don’t get it first time it’s your fault. 
  • Allow the coached to do the work. 
  • They do 5 you do 1 – that is a good ratio. 
  • If they can’t do it, you need to go back to Training. 
  • If they are good, then you can move on to delegation. 

Coaching is about developing skills in the work environment and will lead to energised employees increasing their ‘comfort zone’. All too often is too easy for us to ‘just do it ourselves its quicker’ but actually in the long run you can save buckets of your time if you coach someone else to go that task. 

INN8 white
The client, part of South Africa’s largest financial institution, realised that it was not a platform destination of choice for the IFA market in SA. In an effort to address this valuable market and to futureproof their business they undertook to build a new investment platform. With this platform they needed to gain clarity and certainty on the appropriate brand and positioning to penetrate a highly competitive market and grow market share quickly.
We undertook a comprehensive global and local audit and research program, talking to current users of the brand as well as the target market IFAs. We looked at global trends and analysed behaviour across 3 markets. We spoke to competitors, partners and staff and then we made a recommendation. Created a new independent brand focused only on the IFA. Becoming the one thing an IFA really needed – a partner in their corner with no agenda other than to enable and facilitate their growth which would ultimately result in the platform growth.
INN8 a fintech investment platform brand “Changing the way investments are done in South Africa by becoming “The Adviser’s Partner.” We created the brand and developed its narrative and we launched it into a very tough closed market. To this day, we’re still punching above our weight and getting above industry average engagement across all our touch points.