MONEYBALL: Coaching Cagey Employees

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ve been writing for the next module in our leadership development series. This module is on coaching – specifically the different types of coaching that managers of people should be doing all the time. Most managers don’t coach nearly as often as they should. The best coaches are doing their thing frequently and consistently.

One big reason managers don’t coach as often as they should is that coaching conversations can be uncomfortable. If the conversation is going to be productive and lead to a meaningful performance change, the direct report has to discuss their weakness which means feeling vulnerable.

With that in mind, take a look at this clip from Moneyball where Billy Beane gives David Justice some on-the-fly coaching:

David clearly doesn’t trust Billy. That lack of trust puts Billy in a difficult position because he knows the conversation is going to be confrontational.  And if you’ve got a direct report relationship that’s lacking in the trust department, you’re probably expecting similar push back.

Here’s the big take away from the clip above:

Even unreceptive and confrontational employees can be disarmed and coached for the performance improvement you need. You just saw Billy do it in less than 90 seconds.

The best coaches are able to customize their approach, and do it on the fly.  They give feedback about good performance and have conversations about the areas where the employee’s performance sucks. That’s how coaching can improve performance, develop the employee, and build trust with your employee.

Billy did it. You can do it, too. Think knocking out working through a coaching moment in under 90 seconds is a pipe dream? Maybe. Under 2 minutes sounds more reasonable.

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