Though coaching is designed to keep people moving forward it doesn’t mean you must always be ‘ actively doing something’. There is power to be found in moments of stillness and quiet-if you can handle the stillness and quiet.
Here is why you shouldn’t spend days putting out fires
Too many leaders allow the the many fires that prop up every day to take them off their game and end up spending most days simply putting out fires. Granted your busy schedule might demand more time than you physically and humanly can give.
However, by putting in place regular moments for pausing to reflect and evaluate your progress is the very thing you need to help keep you moving forward. This simple act could be the difference between finishing off a workday exhausted and feeling you haven’t really accomplished anything compared to feeling you are on track.
The power behind pausing
The most successful leaders know the power behind pausing to reflect and evaluate. They know without this strategy in place they and their people are likely to fall victims to being blindsided.
Here’s what I mean: Similar to driving, when you find you are on a busy roadway with many other drivers, you simply should not rely on what your rear view and side mirrors are showing you. You need to do that quick shoulder check actually pause long enough to look back-to ensure there isn’t a vehicle in your blind spot.
No different for your organization and the people you are leading. Taking a quick shoulder check comes in the form of regular ongoing coaching sessions in the form of quick 5-10 minute check- in’s with your people, coupled with more formal coaching sessions. A quick shoulder check in your organization also means going to ‘take a look’ to see what your people are faced with on a daily basis.
Too many leaders spend too much time behind their desks and in meetings- both can and do add value to customers and the organization. However, leaving the comfort of your office and moving your meeting format to actually take place observing actions in the customer call centre, going out to the site where your outdoor engineers are doing valuable behind the scene work- are some ways to actually meet your people in their work space- while taking a look.
How can you garner valuable information from pausing to reflect and evaluate? The IDARE Coaching model offers up some powerful questions you may ask both yourself and your people.
Questions to practice asking during moments of reflection
Below are some simple yet powerful questions to practice asking during your moments of reflection:
- Are the Results achieved what was Intended?
- What worked well? What didn’t work well? Why? for both questions.
- What specific actions were taken?
- What is needed to keep things moving forward?
Practice evaluating where you are and asses it against where you intend to be, do so regularly by pausing long enough during your work days. By developing this habit you will begin to see your blind spots and be better prepared to avoid being blindsided.
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What do you find helpful in this post on the power behind pausing to evaluate? How do you see using the evaluation questions? What difference do you believe this coaching approach will make in your place of work? Please write your comments below.