According to Coaching, Mentoring and Managing: Breakthrough Strategies to Solve Performance Problems and Build Winning Teams (1996) by William Hendricks, et al., some managers instinctively do things that thwart their team’s performance.
Examine if you’re guilty of one or more of the following.
- Do you tend to speak at your employees, not with them? Your style of instruction could be accompanied by the frequent use of phrases such as “I want” and “you should.”
- Do you tend to exaggerate situations or behavior? Your tendency to color an employee’s behavior using qualifiers such as “always,” “never,” and “everyone” could be dragging him down. Generalizations could crush the employee’s sense of self-esteem. If you want to create positive change, instill pride, not shame.
- Do you sometimes assume that your employee knows a problem and the solution? It’s possible that the employee may not recognize the problem. Skillfully use lines of questioning that can help the employee drill down into the details and reveal a higher-level issue.
- Do you often fail to follow up? If you don’t follow up on directions or performance expectations, you will inevitably find yourself reacting to unpleasant surprises.
- Do you not reward improved behavior? If you don’t reward positive changes in behavior, you will not expand behavioral adjustments to permanent performance improvement. Managerial feedback and coaching is all about reinforcing positive behaviors and encouraging corrections to damaging behavior.