Struggling With Your Business? Coaching The Turnaround – Easy as 1-2-3.

coachingWatching grandchildren play youth sports (they are 7 and almost 9), I am reminded of the importance of positive feed-back – and how that nurtures the soul.

Young children make many mistakes as they are learning a sport. Mistakes need to be made in a “risk-free” environment so learning can take place. Good youth sport coaching is about focusing on the positive plays performed – encouraging more of the same. Children often know when they do badly and don’t need to be reminded. What they need to build upon is doing something well.

Adults are not much different. In my small business consulting practice, I have often used the “Caught Being Good” process with struggling client companies. Since I encourage “management by walking around,” these client owners/bosses walk about with crisp $5, $10 or $20 bills and would focus on catching people “being good – doing good”  (choose one denomination and use it consistently).

1  – Rewarding small behaviors instantly encourages, builds up, motivates. The word gets spread. The results are often amazing! Work areas are kept clean. Team members begin helping each other. Small details are caught. People begin working as if they “owned” the company assets. Customers, even those who are not on their best behavior, are “handled” with warmth, dignity and respect – solutions are offered – not just answers.

2 – When managing by walking around, engaging in quick conversations stimulates productivity. By showing interest in them, you show you care. Ask your team what success “looks like” to them in their job.  Ask, “What tasks do they enjoy most? Why?”  Don’t ask what they don’t like – focus on what they do enjoy. If it is a minor part of the job, you have just learned something important and maybe the next formal review, you better have a “job development plan” meeting.

3 – Compliments without cash. Compliment loudly. You want everybody to know that person did a NICE JOB! What you say very softly, so only they can hear, is corrective criticism. These confrontations must be private and personal. Yelling about poor performance is demeaning: correcting poor performance is demanded, but on a individual level  – explain exactly what you expect from them and appeal to their passion for what they enjoy about the job –what they want to achieve.

Turn-around begins at the top. Are you willing to be that leader?

Copyright ©2011 By P. Griffith Lindell

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One Response

  1. I love the “management by walking around” practice. There is nothing like giving employees immediate positive feedback publicly and making it worthwhile.

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