There’s Power Behind Pausing to Evaluate

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:

  1. Are the Results achieved what was Intended?
  2. What worked well?  What didn’t work well?  Why? for both questions.
  3. What specific actions were taken?
  4. 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.

Like this post ?  Want to know more on using reflection to enhance your work life?  Our webinars teach you the skills you need to become a better you!

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.

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6 Replies to “There’s Power Behind Pausing to Evaluate”

  1. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day craziness and miss what is going well or to evealuate and find why something isn’t working and to try and make a plan to move forward for change. Following the simple questions will give an easy way to reflect and to keep things as they are or to see where changes can be made. Once questions are asked and answered it’s easier to see what the future path needs to be for your workplace.

    1. Sharla, well stated! One of the biggest challenges I find with my clients and people in general is learning that being busy is not the latest smartphone they just have to get! Keep working towards factoring in some pause moments in your day- you will see and better understand so much more about where your centre is heading and how best to support your people. Keep coaching!

  2. I find that we spend so much time on the negative what is nor going right that we forget to pause and look and see all the wonderful things that go on every day and to make sure to give feedback on those things as well.

  3. We have very high turnover at our centre and run with the majority of untrained staff. Our problems are generally trying to get our new staff comfortable with the program and then start working with them on a coaching level. More often than not we have to start with then basics and then move on to their individual goals etc. It’s hard when we are having to train new staff and then start all over again in 6-7 months. It’s unfortunate that it easier to see the negative side of things instead of focusing on the positive and moving forward. We are taking baby steps in order to re-build our team.

    1. Hi Brenda, I can sense your need to very much get to a place where the core of your staff are operating on the same page- understand the needs and operating philosophy of your centre. Key questions to ask yourself and your management team: 1. Why do we have high staff turnover? 2. Have we done exit interviews to find out why staff leave our centre? 3. How clear are we on our purpose for our centre?4. How does this purpose guide our hiring practices? 5. How clear are the processes in place so new staff can be quickly trained to follow them? 6. Finally, how are our people-the staff doing? do we know if they are overburdened? unclear about processes? confused because there are too many variations/changes? If you and your management team and even the board can put your heads together to answer these questions- the caliber of candidates you hire will reflect this level of clarity. Let me know how things turn out.

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