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Mastering the coaching capability: fixing feedback

Senior leaders in many of the organisations I work with often say to me, “I want to build a team of high performers.” To answer, I recall the key factor in my own leadership career that helped lift my performance was my manager’s diligence around feedback. For eight years, he made time to share continual and constructive feedback with me.


A high-performance culture depends on that culture being open to and receiving feedback. Even if your team members already possess the innate abilities to excel and a desire for self-improvement, without timely, constructive feedback it is difficult for them to progress to even greater heights of performance.


In my last article on coaching, Facilitating Feedback was listed as one of the key principles or pillars of coaching. When you give people clear feedback on how they are performing, you help them be results focused and guide them in their professional development. You are also proactively building a team of high performers.


The idea of giving feedback often fills us with fear. Perhaps our past experiences with receiving feedback was not constructive. We might worry that the feedback we need to share may seem like a character judgement. These fears are understandable, but you can avoid the pitfalls of delivering feedback by following a simple, yet robust feedback model called SBI: Situation, Behavior, and Impact.


A high-performance culture depends on that culture being open to and receiving feedback. Even if your team members already possess the innate abilities to excel and a desire for self-improvement, without timely, constructive feedback it is difficult for them to progress to even greater heights of performance.


In my last article on coaching, Facilitating Feedback was listed as one of the key principles or pillars of coaching. When you give people clear feedback on how they are performing, you help them be results focused and guide them in their professional development. You are also proactively building a team of high performers.


The idea of giving feedback often fills us with fear. Perhaps our past experiences with receiving feedback was not constructive. We might worry that the feedback we need to share may seem like a character judgement. These fears are understandable, but you can avoid the pitfalls of delivering feedback by following a simple, yet robust feedback model called SBI: Situation, Behavior, and Impact.

Using the SBI model to deliver feedback

The SBI feedback model was developed by the Center for Creative Leadership, a nonprofit in the US. It is easy to follow and it improved the way I delivered feedback to others immediately after I started using it. 

The model has three parts or key components for you to include in each feedback session to ensure your feedback is impactful and helpful to the person you are coaching.

The ‘S’ in SBI stands for Situation. Before giving feedback on a specific behavior, be clear about the context or situation. Avoid generalities such as, “I want to talk to you about your performance.” Rather, provide details about the situation. For example, “I want to have a chat about your presentation at the 10 am progress meeting this morning.” Being clear on the situation you are talking about is always the first step in delivering feedback.

Our Brains Do Not Distinguish Between Physical and Social Pain

Just thinking about a challenging conversation can cause us to catastrophise the situation before it happens. Our fear haunts us with ‘what if’ questions. What if the other party reacts badly or forcefully rejects our feedback? What if I handle the conversation badly?


It is a natural human inclination to seek safety and security. The idea of having a difficult conversation makes us feel anxious because it threatens to disrupt our mental equilibrium.


Our nervousness feels more serious than it is because our minds confuse uncomfortable emotions with possible harm to our physical wellbeing. Although a conversation is a social situation, it triggers strong physiological responses because our brain interprets the situation as a threat. This is evident in the three pathways a leader can take in a difficult conversation.

Three Conversation Pathways, Only One is Constructive

In this diagram, the two ‘below the line’ pathways are automatic responses that are useful for survival situations but are unhelpful for constructive conversations. They are fear based and prevent us from bringing our best selves to a difficult conversation.


The third and ‘above the line’ pathway is the direction you want to go in to bring your best self to a challenging discussion. It is when you are calm, and your thoughts are collected. The third pathway gives you better access to the processing parts of your brain called the neocortex where all the higher order thinking is done.


Describing each of these three pathways can help you as a leader. Doing so will help you better understand your past emotional states during difficult conversations.

The Fight Response to A Difficult Conversation

The fight response occurs when you are afraid of possible negative outcomes from a difficult conversation and choose to go on the offensive.


When you are in fight mode, like I was when I had to deliver bad news to the MotoGP Team, your manner is overly assertive or aggressive, your tone of voice is harsh, your feedback is delivered in an unconstructive way.


Fight mode is a tempting pathway for us as leaders to feel like we are in control during a tense situation.


However, it undermines our ability to effectively lead because it is a triggered emotional state that will likely trigger an unequally unhelpful response in the person you are having a difficult conversation with.

The Flight Response to A Difficult Conversation

The flight response, like fight, is fear based and is characterised by a passive approach to a difficult conversation.


I like to share a scenario with people in my leadership development work that often leads to the flight response. Imagine it is performance review time in your organisation. One of your team members, Paul, has shared with his colleagues that he is expecting a high-performance rating from his review. However, your performance review session with Paul will be challenging because you plan to rate him poorly.


If you give into fear and let it push you down the flight path, you will avoid sharing hard feedback with Paul and water down your message in the hope of avoiding a negative outcome.


Flight mode does not lead to constructive communication because it is avoidance behaviour and causes you to talk in circles or dance around an issue rather than deal with it. The other party in the difficult conversation is left confused by a leader in flight mode because nothing of substance was discussed but they suspect something is wrong.

The Constructive Response to A Difficult Conversation

The third pathway sits above the false leadership choice of fight or flight. It is built around a proactive, constructive response. You are in control of the conversation and how it is delivered because you are in control of your emotions. The third pathway is the only one that delivers a good outcome because you are not triggered and therefore are less likely to trigger negative emotions in those you give feedback to.

To be credible as a leader, you must learn how to bypass the natural physiological responses of fight (aggressive) or flight (passive) which sit in the bottom half of the pathway model. For a leader to consciously step above the line into the top half of the model where the constructive response resides requires practice. A useful place to start is by reflecting on your past experiences with difficult conversations in a non-judgemental way before the need for the next one arises.

Reframe Difficult Conversations to Choose Better Responses

As mentioned earlier, our minds do not distinguish between physical and social pain before we have a difficult conversation. The powerful physiological responses of fight or flight served our ancestors well for survival, but they are not useful for a leader that must bring their best self to work to build others through constructive and timely feedback.


An effective leader must train themselves to sit with the discomfort that comes from difficult conversations. The best way to do this is by reframing your experiences to date through a simple exercise.


Think back to a time you were engaging in a difficult conversation. As unpleasant as that feels, continue to build a mental picture of where you were, what you were discussing, who you were with and why the conversation was difficult.

Once in a state of recollection, take a notebook and divide the page into three columns. Write down in the first column the things that were said and done by other people in the difficult conversation that triggered a negative response in you.


Then write in the second column what you said, thought, and did. Put down everything that triggered you as if you were a reporter. Do it in a matter of fact way with no judgement.

Follow this process for three of four past conversations you felt uncomfortable with. Once you have logged what happened and who said what, you may start to see a pattern emerge. What pathway did you take in each conversation? Perhaps you were on the constructive pathway and someone said something that triggered you and you found yourself on the fight or flight pathway.


Once you have looked at what you were triggered by and how you responded, write in the third column how you want to respond if you were ever triggered by that conversation again. If you need inspiration for the third column, a powerful technique is to imagine what someone you greatly admire would do in that situation. For example, how do I think Barack Obama would respond constructively in this situation?

Writing all this down is crucial. The more difficult conversations you recall, the more information is available for you to reflect on. This process of reframing helps you understand what responses you are likely to have to a challenging situation and provide you with choices for better responses in the future. Think of it as programming yourself to bypass the animal brain and bring your best self to difficult conversations.

Six Simple Questions to Settle the Animal Brain

In addition to the reframing exercise with your notebook, regularly reflecting on the following questions will help calm the limbic system. Answering them will settle the animal brain and help you think clearly to better manage future emotional states.

A careful examination of your emotional triggers will help prepare you for conducting difficult conversations in a calm and constructive manner. My next article will dissect the often-overlooked factors that can derail a difficult conversation, despite your best intentions. These include the context and setting of the conversation. Read Dealing with Difficult Conversations: Avoiding the Four Points of Failure here.



Ant: Hello Anthony Williams here joined by Terry Condon from modus leadership Welcome along We’re going to talk today about the different types of coaching conversations One of the first things I ever heard coming into leadership development was this statement that really caught me which is there are these different signs of a misplaced leader and where the first one is this inability to delegate to others Quickly followed by constantly feeling overwhelmed because you got too much work on And I reckon that’s at the very heart of why we need to get good at coaching and having these conversations that build capability in others But I don’t think they come naturally to a lot of us or even those if it does come naturally to us we don’t do it well we don’t do it enough


Terry: We don’t it’s a it’s not something that we ever really get taught  I guess it’s a problem I think you come up against when you do get to that next level  You get promoted based on what you’re really good at but it’s not very highly correlated to what you’re going to need to be good at


Ant: Yeah But if you think about it every time you get promoted you go into role of more responsibility You get more emails More task demands If you don’t figure out early on how to build capability in those around you so that you can delegate and rolling push control of things your workload is all he’s going to get bigger and bigger We’re running a course It was out for her cosmetics company quite a large one And  the start of the program this lady came up to me She said yes I know I think it’s terrible that as late as we get so much work thrust on us I have to work late every night I work on my weekends it’s awful It’s so hard being a leader he was saying to her do you actually think that’s what the organization wants from you Do you think everyone in this organization once you work until seven or eight at night and work it on your weekends she goes no it just has to be this way maybe if you didn’t hold on to everything so tightly and you delegate it out it wouldn’t be this way But I think that what she was explaining was a really common thing that I think all of us are guilty of to some extent as leaders especially if you haven’t been leading that long it’s that no one can do a job the job as good as I can Therefore I hold onto it Secondly I’m not convinced that you like around me who reported to me I anywhere near as good as me at doing this stuff So therefore it’s dangerous for me to really let go of the control And third I’m too busy to boot your skill Yeah maybe I don’t really know how to


Terry: Yeah maybe I don’t want to


Ant: Why


Terry: Because that’s threatening for me


Ant: Okay Yeah


Terry: if you actually get better at it than I do Does that make me look less valuable to people around


Ant: Maybe it would worry Some people


Terry: one of the big traps that I see and I definitely did this too I can early daddy’s it’s all just focused on improving my own productivity instead of realizing that wasn’t my job was to improve the productivity of


Ant: how bad it is Yeah


Terry: so I you get into all the do more with less 80 20 rule Oh that’s it And look it’s Oh great stuff But it’s not actually a joke


Ant: it’s not actually a job And I’m convinced now that one of the one of the key things that we must be doing as leaders is building the capability of those around us In fact it’s the sign of success really is there someone else on my team who’s ready to take over my role are the people in my team who I can give more and more responsibility to free myself up to maybe do things that add greater value in the business


Terry: Yeah


Ant: It also means that if I invest this time in my people that it demonstrates that I really genuinely care about them and seeing them succeed and all the while it frees me up to do other things and not be so stressed not be so overwhelmed with the amount of work that I have on


Terry: be that leader that you want to be The person that  seems to have all their shit together


Ant: Yeah And also it makes me think of very simple sort of statement that I heard early on and working in leadership which was people don’t remember you as a leader for the things that you did they remember you for how you made them feel And I think if you’re investing a lot of time and your people to coach and develop support and do their skills out they will remember that


Terry: Yeah We say that all the time don’t mean like time is the most precious asset you have So when you spend it with somebody you demonstrate to them that you do care about them And If you don’t actually do that with people and you don’t trust them to do their job you do it for them The message is really loud and clear I don’t care enough and I don’t think your up to it


Ant: That’s it And I think coaching is the most possibly the most important skill that you can have as a leader It takes time to coach others So you get this short term pain but it’s for a much longer term gain at the end of it So if you’re listening and you’ve got this fire you’re probably thinking ah but I’m too busy to do this stuff then Yeah You’ve got to get your house in order You’ve got to be freeing up time so that when people come to see you don’t see it as an interruption You see it as an opportunity to coach not just to tell them the answer or go and do this but to actually sit down and help help them figure out for themselves how they’re going to go about something And that’s the harder coaching is not necessarily just telling all the time but building the skill and others so that they can figure it out They can do the critical thinking


Terry: Yeah And it’s almost like you spend some time in the beginning to save a lot of time later on because that one skill you build in somebody else That’s a conversation you won’t have to have again


Ant: that’s it So we’re going to distill down the essence of coaching And in this first episode we’re going to talk about the key principles of how you coach to build capability and others and how to do it fast So we’ll teach the core principles of coaching and get you playing around with those first And then the second episode we’ll really make sure that we cover off on how to do some of the most important things around giving and receiving feedback And then we also want to share with you in the third podcast around like a technique or a method for being able to in that moment of giving coaching how to do it really well how to have a structure to this conversations


Terry: Yeah Just so people walk away with a plan in their minds for getting from a to B Cause you can have those conversations So yeah we need to improve in this and this area or I want to get better at this but without a plan in any structure for people’s efforts it’s really easy to just to get busy again and for really not important tasks to fill up your calendar and you turn around a month and nothing’s changed


Ant: And I can promise you all the skills that you have to be a good coach can be learned And in fact in this simple three part series on coaching you’ll pick up everything you need to know in order to be able to have great coaching conversations with each of the people no matter what the needs are  in terms of their level of development you’ll be able to customize it for them and become their go to leader that people


Terry: Yeah One of the things I learned from a coaching perspective obviously both of our backgrounds are in sport is it was not so much you said this before It’s not so much about what you can tell someone it’s more about what you can show them And In order to be able to show someone something you’ve got to be able to extract information find out where the patterns are And so this is really just three things It’s extracting information looking for patterns then eliciting insight in others so that they see what but they own it And then encouraging action  that’s pretty much the arc of this next Three episodes in this series isn’t it


Ant: Yeah I agree It’s just going through those simple steps around Yeah Moving away from it being about us and us telling people what to do to getting them to build self awareness self insight come up with their own solutions And then ultimately as you say doing something with it that we’re not responsible for they are they take away and


Terry: I’m glad you said that Cause there’s a great saying that I read this years ago And as soon as I read it I thought that is it and I’ve learned this the hard way unfortunately and it’s from a really famous book called the doubt I Ching if you’re a leader highly encourage you to read this book As I found it to be one of the most I will from a leadership perspective and it’s verse 17 in this book basically this guy is just this old ancient philosopher And honestly this guy can write more in a page and most people write in a book and he’s got this one verse that to me really encapsulates what coaching is all about And he basically says When the master gardens people are hardly aware that he exists Next best is a leader who is loved Next one who is feared worst is the one who is so The next part of it says when you don’t trust people they become untrustworthy And when all said and done when the master leads the people say amazing we did it ourselves And I think that’s definitely what coaching is Like people wouldn’t be looking at you after it and saying it’s because of


Ant: No you don’t get any credit out of this So why are we doing this again Yeah I get it So it’s a it’s a step as a leader to be fairly humble just to really make it about them trying to get their success and almost being that invisible piece in the background


Terry: Yeah whatever you can do to architect or create the environment that allows them to achieve that is what you do


Ant: let’s dive in to episode one which is around the principles of coaching So in this first session we really want to talk through what coaching is and also what it isn’t And I think a good place to start because you said it earlier we’re both from sports backgrounds and we’re used to someone running around a field blowing a whistle at us And that’s coaching


Terry: Yeah that’s I think what most people think but for me I learned pretty early days That’s actually not coaching that’s training and we’ll talk about that in a second And the difference between those things there are different ways that you can help and support people but coaching as a skill is not that


Ant: yeah it’s a really good point that we really think carefully about what coaching is and what it isn’t because you can look at it Some someone on a sports field and assume that coaching is about being able to give a rousing motivational talk in the change rooms or bus people around on a sports field But you’re right That’s more More training So when I think of it there are four different ways that you can help someone else build skill  One that we hear about quite a bit as mentoring and mentoring as a little bit out on its own Cause it’s interesting if you think about the pure definition of a mentor it’s someone that you go to That’s probably already been through your situation before So if I want to maybe become a leader for the first time then and I’ve never done it before Then I can go for a couple of coffee catch-ups with someone who’s a more experienced leader and they wouldn’t say okay here’s what you’ve got to do If you want to be a good leader they don’t what they actually do is they go Oh let me tell you about myself And when I made that transition to a leader Oh this is what I found useful And this is what I didn’t find helpful at all And they’re not telling you but that they’re helping you learn just because they’re sharing their own experience And there are times when a mentor is brilliant if you’re trying to go up to the next level in your career then a mentor might be able to explain to you what’s expected at next level They’re also not going to give you much support after that conversation They’re not going to coach you as you go along they’re just the main tool Yeah So that’s that kind of first idea of someone who’s just there to give it I’d call it advice but it’s really just the benefit of the year insights

Terry: When I think about mentors in my life some of them I might only interact with every year or two but it’s for really important discussions where I’m just like I just want to use that person as a sounding board And that is the relationship


Ant: Yeah And that’s quite different to a trainer So you think about what’s a trainer then if a mentor just she is the experience with you all and what does it train to do What a trainer is someone who’s giving you instruction They’re saying do it this way It’s three steps to doing it do it this way first And this order this is the process And if you follow this you’ll get the outcome you want So if you go to university you they study in school All of these are examples training and it’s a tell style and it can be very effective when you’re trying to learn a new skill The third one is  that performance management style Now this is when somebody Really not too sure what to do They’re struggling a bit in their role So you’ve got to balance up quite a lot of direction and telling them what to do with quite a lot of support You have to get really close to them to understand why they’re struggling if there’s a motivational issue maybe you’ve got to keep some positive tension in the conversations to keep them trying hard and to keep them on track and checking in with them often So it’s this combination a lot of Direction and a lot of support And there are times when you’d use it at times when you wouldn’t So if you think about someone who goes Oh I’ve got a micromanager Yes It gives you lots of direction on lots of support all the time It feels like micromanagement So you’d only do it on two occasions One someone’s underperforming and you’ve got to lift their performance quickly or to when someone’s new in a role and you want to set them up for success So that means a fourth one can only be coaching which is different from all of the other ones in one fundamental way in coaching There’s no telling but it’s really high and support So that means that we’ve got to be there consistently to have boot and develop people’s skills But every time we do it we’re not telling them what to do And that is one of the hardest things about coaching because you sit there go look already or know the answer boy it will be a lot quicker if I just cut to the chase here and tell Terry what to do


Terry: And that’s how I started coaching That’s what I thought of Oh gather all this information then just


Ant: You have a go on tell me what’s not that powerful if we do it that


Terry: people don’t own it when it comes from you to them and it’s like the Ikea effect right You Value something more that you create yourself So when you come across the insight for yourself you will act on it very differently


Ant: So when I get somebody flat pack from Ikea and I build it myself you’re saying that I’ll be more attached to that piece of furniture


Terry: with your own ideas right So about six years ago I was doing a little bit of work contracting with some tennis athletes and tennis coaching school And There was one particular athlete I had been working with for a little while and I knew that this guy was quite a good trainer and quite hard And he came to me one day and he said Hey can you run me a footwork program Can you can you help me just move better on the court My coaches telling me that that I’m not moving that well so can you write me some footwork stuff I said yeah I could definitely do or you could just lose a little bit of weight Cause if you did that you’re going to automatically move better And he’s Oh And I said and that’s a whole lot less effort on your part honestly And he’s like really And I said yeah I said look here’s your frame This is what you look like this is your body shape That’s what you could look like And I guarantee if you got to that your movement is going to be so much more efficient but not only that you’re also going to be able to apply better for longer and you’ll look really good on the beach


Ant: So did he do it was his next question How do I lose the weight


Terry: then he says to me cool can you write me a diet yeah I could do that I could definitely do that I’m not really a dietician but it’s pretty obvious what you need to do But the easiest thing or the easiest way to do this is actually just to pay attention to what you’re eating and was like Oh okay how do I do that And I said this is easy All you’re going to do for the next two weeks is you’re gonna take a photo of everything you put in your mouth and everything you drink at the end of each week I want you to send me all those pictures and And then we’ll reassess And then we’ll talk about whether we need to do a diet or anything like this And so we get to the fourth day of the first week and he sends me a text and he’s Holy shit He said I did not know that I was doing yeah this and this And it was basically had this kind of reward mechanism where he would try and really hard And then he would go and reward himself in all these kind of unconscious wise with food And I knew that from the start I’m like the only way this guy could be carrying an extra five six kilos is if  He’s not eating quite right Cause I know he’s training hard enough He’s training hard enough here


Ant: Yeah So did he end up getting the weight off


Terry: So as soon as he understood what it was those patents I was like okay cool So we’re going to change those patents You’re gonna reward yourself a different way now I could have taught him at the start You’re not eating right But it was different for him to be able to see it for himself So as soon as he saw it and  what he was able to do was also envisioned himself different way the next month all he did was cut that out and we replaced it We didn’t change any of his training I didn’t give him any foot work nothing He lost six kilos His coach comes to me He goes What program did you give that guy I said nothing I didn’t give him anything Did you what’d you tell him I’m like nothing


Ant: So you actually did very little


Terry: I did nothing and this is the Baton for me once I understood what coaching actually is it’s not telling someone what it is It’s unlocking that potential in themselves Once they can see it and they own


Ant: unlocking the potential in them I think that’s at the heart of what coaching is all about Isn’t it Yep So exactly like your example it wasn’t about you telling him what to do It was about  guiding or asking lots of really powerful questions That’s what stood out on your story to me you were able to ask him those clever insightful questions that just got him to think about a situation differently because it also sounds like after that point He was using everyone else around him like a crutch Yep I need a coach to write me a program I needed a coach to tell me how to lose the weight or a dietitian


Terry: It’s all external All of it was external


Ant: So he’s not owning any of it


Terry: Nana And when he took the photos all he was able to do is see what I could see I could have just told him that but it’s very different when you for yourself after three or four days ago this is what I’m doing


Ant: So good We’re all about unlocking the potential in others So just as a caveat here that doesn’t mean that we always coach in every situation Cause that would be a nightmare as well if I came to you and said Hey teary how do I set up this camera So that I can film a video cause I’ve got no idea And you said to me while ed how do you think he should sit up the camera then I’m probably going to hit you at some stage cause it’s just the wrong time to use coaching So when we use coaching


I think it is when people do have what they need to be able to do it and they do have the information at hand and then just not seeing what is holding them back what’s in the way


Yeah So you know that their ability should be there and that can be developed and they need to have the insight themselves rather than you telling them that’s when you would use coaching


Terry: There’s some sort of obstacle either internal or external that they’re not addressing but you can help them shine a lot on through questions of coaching


Ant: there’s a lot of written pieces books articles journal pieces around what coaching is and it had to become a good coach If I consider everything that I’ve read over time it does distill down to just a number of really good guiding principles None of them are that  mind blowing In fact when you look at it you go yeah that sounds about right It doesn’t sound that remarkable at all And it’s what’s cool about coaching is it’s not that complex Anyone can do it It just takes a lot of effort


Terry: It’s hard though too because you’ve got to take your own ego out of the equation cause it’s actually not going to be about you in the end


Ant: it’s not just taking your ego out That’s a big part of it but it’s also realizing that you’ve got to slow down to go fast So I’ve got to slow down and have a 20 minute conversation with Peter When you know what I could just tell him what to do and it would take 15 seconds So the more I slow down and do the 20 minutes The faster we’re going to get to him building his capabilities So the key principles coaching art I like to start with the foundation block Which it starts with a genuine kid yeah And concerned to see others succeed So if you don’t have their right because if you don’t really care if others succeed that much or not the coaching is probably not for you


Terry: Yeah and even if you’re saying the right things they’re not going to land if I think about my example I essentially said to the guy you’re overweight the only way I could say you’re overweight It’s because we had a history where he knew I’m in it for him And  he didn’t take that as an accusation or anything like that He knew that was coming from a place of I actually want to see you succeed


Ant: he trusts He knows that you care and want to see him succeed And that is at the heart of doing coaching is if you don’t have those things then it’s just going to sound like an interrogation

Terry: yep Or an accusation


Ant: an accusation Yeah And people are going to be weary of it So there are four key pillars If you think at the base of this yeah Have a genuine concern for others and care for them Then there are four pillars that I want to talk about The we’re going to just touch on in this session So one is around think about this as an opportunity to enhance your relationships to really connect with them the people so that they feel  Pat of a support network that really is striving to make sure that we all do our best work because ultimately coaching is to improve performance so that you have a stronger team that does great work together So it’s really purposeful So it’s about enhancing relationships That’s the pillar one The second pillar is going to be about asking great powerful questions like some that you asked in your example that you gave with the tennis player we’re going to talk about the importance of asking powerful questions to build self awareness The food is actually how to listen actively probably sit in anything and I had a lesson doing it right now but let’s think actively for someone for a period of time keeping your ego at Bay and not telling them what to do That’s actually quite hard And then lastly we’re going to talk about how to facilitate feedback And that means that the coaching doesn’t have to be wishy washy or just good conversations that have no point or don’t go anywhere You actually need to be able to give people some targeted feedback as well to help them anchor Some of the development needs to where they need to improve


Terry: just uncover their blind spots and the very best people in the world The VR like Michael Jordan still had coaches


Ant: Yeah of course


Terry:  he recognized that he doesn’t see in 2020 he only sees through a limited sort of set of his values your values feel to the world what you care about at that period of time and then also your ego starts to change things as well So coaching is very helpful to help you actually see what’s going on


Ant: But the context designated be that we add coaching to build business performance to get outcomes to get results So everything has to come through that lens So if yeah if people are saying I want coaching on a particular thing that really Isn’t going to help the overall team get its outcomes or hope that person develop Then you kind of question I have to question whether or not I was going to be a valuable use of their time and yours Good Okay let’s start with pillar one in Hudson relationships


Terry: Yeah So  from your perspective what are the practices underneath this principle That underpin how do we do that


Ant: Look I think it’s about  sitting aside of regular pattern of time and investment and people where you don’t just meet with them to go okay Terry status update How are you going this week What have you produced What meetings have you got booked We didn’t with our clients next week And how will you going on project A B and C That’s the norm right Where we’re so used to having these conversations about task So if you haven’t lots of good conversations about tasks Great What about your conversations about the person where you’re developing them where you’re showing that you care that you just checking in on how they’re going We put all the tasks stuff aside You need to balance these two And when you start doing that and having catch stations people are expecting that you just going to go Hey Terry how are you getting on And yeah What has he waked Bain and we haven’t caught up since last Wednesday Have you been going what’s new with you What are your challenges been over the past week then you’re missing a trick because as a leader So I think there’s this whole idea of understanding the why to and hots relationships It’s not by talking about tasks It’s by talking about that person where they want to be developed where do they see the career hitting What the challenges and blocks are and coaching them around this stuff And it’s it really is It’s as simple as that


Terry: and just getting to know him and I can hear the busy leader right now I can hear the narrative in their mind going That’s all great but I’ve got no time let me tell you why this is critical because when you get to know someone what you’re going to start to understand is the values And if you go back to my story with a young athlete You remember that I said yes you’re going to lose weight and it’ll help you move better on the court And it’ll help you get what the coach wants but it’s also gonna help you and you get what you want which is to look good on the beach Cause you are a 22 year old red blooded mile And every time we talk you’re talking about the women that you are that you’re after or the girl that you’re chatting with this is the thing that’s front of mind for you at the moment So if I had taken no time to understand that person where they’re at in their life what they actually care about right now it’s not as compelling he would have been just complying to what his coach


Ant: We don’t really know the person


Terry: So when you’re able to actually understand what people’s values are then you can frame the goal or whatever it is in relation to that there’s that great saying I think it’s the Ziegler the way to get what you want is to help someone get what they want


Ant: Yeah But I think there’s this thing little thing that gets in the way of us doing it which is maybe I do want to have those open conversations with you to find out more but just about how things are going and check in then I think Yeah maybe this is just a waste of time Maybe Terry’s going to think Oh he comes in just for a chat and he’s going to ask me about his weekend I got work to do Maybe there’s a fear that sits within us that people aren’t going to want those types of conversations because they’re going to see them as just surplus


Terry: Yeah I think he can read the play on that but there are people that appreciate it And then there are people that allow it They just I just want to get on with my job And there are times where it is easier and better to get to know him And maybe that’s not the context It’s just I think that’s where you got to yeah just read the


Ant: good Great message So part of coaching their first pillar is around enhancing relationships So when we start getting into what coaching is really all about if we can’t tell we’re going to have to be really good at asking questions And so we talk about asking powerful questions what does that mean for you


Terry: Just what we said before you want to elicit insight in people to show them maybe  what they’re not seeing but also gather information to be able to understand


Ant: Yeah I F I find it’s like getting them to really interrogate reality differently Yeah But asking the question that hits in between the eyes So they really start thinking differently it doesn’t matter if you’re coaching someone for half an hour or even you might only have five minutes to coach someone on the run in between meetings or whatever If you could do nothing more than just have one path a question to ask are still think that would be the most important use of that time If that powerful question really got them to have some insight so a couple of the examples that I picked up in your story why do you think you need a program Why do you think you needed a diet plan Why do you think you need a footwork plan those are simple but actually really powerful questions


Terry: Yeah Yeah It’s yeah it does help you I guess stop And as you say confront reality in a different way and see it from different perspective Cause  it’s almost something you can’t see the forest from the trees Cause we’re so close to our own problems And that’s your value as a coach Cause you’re not in the trees with the person


Ant: Yeah And when they need to explain it back to you then it starts to get them to really think through their reality and start to shape it Maybe ask some questions and maybe even  getting them to challenge their own reality And that is far better than us saying Hey Tierra you know what You’re not ready for that promotion You know what Terry I don’t think you’re very good in your current job Not that I’m saying that’s terrible those sort of kind of statements is a as a coach they just don’t work as well because you’re going to start eroding that relationship piece Whereas if you could finding ways to ask questions carefully measured questions powerful questions so instead of saying things like you’re not ready for that job I would ask something like Teresa what do you think those people in their more senior roles they actually do And w what sort of things did they discuss in those meetings what attracts you to it How do you see your current skills being useful  in a more senior role So it’s getting that person to explore it rather than telling


Terry: much more of a pool more of a pool type strategy And I think the reason that’s important is because if you go and like you said before Just tell someone that’s a real push top strategy and it’s Newton’s laws of motion right For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction Yeah Did someone like that What are you Do you create defensiveness Yeah So you actually make that person have to justify and dig into their current position because if they actually just fall to you then they actually drop in status so now I’m actually gonna create an adversary when I’m actually trying to help


Ant: someone exactly So good last powerful questions The naturally what flows from that is they’re going to be talking quite a bit In fact the balance we say in coaching should be around 20% of time It’s us speaking is the coach and you were using that time to ask great questions And then 80% of the time in this conversation It’s the coachee That’s doing all the talking Yeah there you go We need to be doing some great listing because if I’m sitting here in your talking and I’m supposed to be coaching you and I’m glancing out the window chicken my watch chicken my Twitter feed It’s a good chat Yeah You’re going to spot that and think that I’m not that engaged in the conversation


Terry: We are so socially intelligent It’s ridiculous when we run these trainings that we do we ask people we talk about the active listening pyramid and things like that And we just ask the question how can you tell And people are so spot on with what they say because it’s that is millions of years of evolution


Ant: Yeah We know I’ll write after this stuff is so dialed in that if you’re active listening I can see you’ve got eye contact from you I’ve got leaning into the conversation nodding paraphrasing back to me Yeah The path signals


Terry: If you look away at the wrong moment and everything else has gone I still am going to draw some knowledge


Ant: it’s instant I’m like Oh I’ve lost him


Terry: so we don’t fool anybody when it comes to listening but I think the other side of the coin is Here’s where you get all the information that you need Cause every word that comes out of their mouth  the posture that they use the pitch the tone the way they’re emphasizing certain things the things they’re not actually paying attention to or emphasizing all this is information that you can use as a coach


Ant: So if you find yourself drifting off pointing the conversation in a different direction that’s more interesting to you Espousing your wisdom or sharing a scraped story about how you went through something similar then you’re off their outcomes and you’re onto your own outcomes from the conversation And coaching is not about that It’s all about them and their outcomes So you’ve got to listen actively which actually is hard to do  when was the last time someone listened actively to you for 20 minutes or so


Terry: yesterday I got a phone call from a very nice person at electricity now Just kidding


Ant: I was going to say most of us caught I remember the date several years ago


Terry: that’s the opposite of active listening That’s someone just talking to the phony Ah it happens so rarely


Ant: it is It’s a rare thing to have someone listen to you actively like that Most of us struggled to think of the last time someone was just so present and listened so actively to us that it becomes a memorable thing


Terry: it’s exhausting If you do it right you should walk away from a conversation you’ve been actively and you should be so tired because you’ve been processing all that stuff we’ve talked about before the words the pitch the time the body language the eye contact the overarching message all of that stuff If you’re actually trying to understand you should be tired cause your conscious mind should be overwhelmed


Ant: So these three things and had seen relationships asking powerful questions listening actively anyone can do these things that are very straightforward to do we all know how to do it It’s just being conscious that you have to do it And you have to do it well for it to be effective There is a fourth pillar and it’s where are we going to invest most of the time in our next episode which is around how to facilitate feedback Feedback is a critical part to help people shape their own reality And often we’re in a position where we’re With a F the leader trying to get someone else to build their skills and capability Therefore it helps for us to give that person some rounded feedback We’re going to talk next time about how to do that in a really well structured way but just being conscious at this stage that we see it as a really cool part of taking a conversation from being just great catch up when a chat to actually being able to really shape someone’s reality and help them focus on those areas of sitting goals for their own development  that are really going to help them grow


Terry: And the most ambitious people aggressively seek feedback And we all actually want to know how we’re going We all want to know what’s in our way I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t want to do better because that’s how we’re wired as humans even the people that act like they don’t They do and sometimes they do more so than the rest There’s just some kind of smoker and they’re putting out in front of it So if you can manage to build a relationship that’s built on trust you can ask really good powerful questions You can build that rapport with someone have that connection You can actually tell them anything you can give them very direct messages at times and they are automatically gonna assume that’s coming from the right place and it will help them


Ant: and they actually want it from you They’re not going to hide from it This session has been all about establishing their coaching relationship how to do it in terms of gathering information by using great questions a listing therefore enhancing your relationship with them What we’re going to dive into in the next episode is actually how to facilitate great feedback And a lot of us are fearful of giving feedback because we often think if I’ve got challenging feedback to give someone it might erode the relationship You might not like me as much and you might start avoiding me as a leader So we’re going to teach You had to do that in a really effective way with people actually going to seek out that feedback from you value it And it’s going to be a pillar to help them actually grow and develop in their own skills


Terry: powerful skill as a leader If you can do this you become so valuable to the people around you but your organization as well because feedback is one of the most useful tools for getting people more productive


Ant: let’s dive into that next session soon