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Fannie and Freddie Announce 2002 Loan Limits

Dec 16, 2001

Coaching Your Organization to SuccessBill Finleycoaching, motivation, integration, action Today's business environment demands that companies and individuals perform at higher levels than ever before. In order to achieve higher production goals, companies need to draw upon a variety of resources to help motivate their employees. Typical resources include trainers, motivational speakers, mentors and corporate psychologists, but these will most likely not change employee behavior and, consequently, fall short of the desired results. Creating higher levels of commitment from employees and realizing high-performance goals often requires the involvement of a coach who can unlock their underlying creativity and passion. By inspiring this drive to succeed, a coach guides employees through change, helping each individual reach personal and professional goals through greater self-knowledge and a desire to succeed. Coaching is not a new concept and should not be seen as another newfangled answer for managing employees, but rather be viewed as a reminder of what really matters--motivating employees to produce at the highest level possible. Coaching offers a total revision to our current organizational thinking, and a fresh approach to performance breakthroughs in areas that have become stagnant or unproductive. Coaching creates a new context for management that fosters a genuine partnership with employees, so that everyone can accomplish more. The advantages of coaching have not gone totally unnoticed by managers who realize that their staff performs better with a coach, and superior performance readily translates into productivity and profits. These realizations are nowhere more apparent than in sporting competitions, where the best players and teams rely on a coach to motivate, inspire, and advise them when they fall into production ruts. Coaching is the name given to the management structure known as "acknowledge/create/empower," which encourages a strong commitment, involvement, mutual support and individual growth. Unfortunately, however, this is not very common in current corporate culture. What is prevalent is what is known as the "control/order/prescription," a top-down approach that creates an environment of order, control, and discipline. In order for a coaching environment to be successful, a managerial belief system must shift from control to mutual support, enabling the team to generate superior results and feel empowered. An important component is setting challenging goals that employees have a stake in and are excited about. Employees will be much more effective in conquering a seemingly impossible situation when they are invested in the outcome. Learning is a key part of the process, as employees often need to change their attitudes in order to reach these goals. This is where the coaching relationship begins to add measurable value by setting a learner-directed agenda that is determined by those being coached. Slowly, employees will begin to become more creative and move away from their existing ways of thinking. Coaching employees to take successful action not only involves setting goals, but also observing them on a daily basis, and honestly acknowledging breakdowns and intervening to help them improve. This can be accomplished by either repackaging what they already know or helping them to learn something fundamentally different. One of the coach's primary tasks is to help employees create effective organizations that they believe in, so that they can produce extraordinary results on their own accord. In this context, the coach not only creates the environment for positive action, but also supports it until the desired result is achieved. Most importantly, a coach must build a relationship of mutual trust, or it will be difficult to challenge and support positive transformations. Coaching also involves impacting employees' visions and values, reshaping their way of being, thinking and acting, and expanding their capacity to take effective action in a reasonable time frame. Without effective action, neither the employee nor the organization can achieve success. One effective method is to foster a sense of teamwork. Coaching strives to create a community of commitment where there is a shared vision and a sense that the employees' work is deeply purposeful. People draw their identities from both their individuality and connection to the whole, and when they look up from their desks and realize that they are part of something larger, productivity increases. Another way to encourage effective action is for the coach to identify what makes each employee tick, so to speak. One of the biggest mistakes that managers make is viewing employees as ordinary people, just because they are doing ordinary jobs and, as a result, receiving ordinary results. There is no stopping an employee who is presented with the opportunity to draw on their gifts, once those gifts are determined. A coach helps build an inspired environment in which a employee's natural tendency to create and add value is called forth. When employees work with a coach, they commit to producing a result, and one of the basic principles of effective coaching is that everyone involved must be fully committed to achieving superior performance. The demand for coaching shows up naturally and automatically in an environment of committed, partnership-oriented management. Otherwise, it is difficult for employees to push the limits of their creativity and challenge their beliefs, thereby making the relationship much less effective. Without this support structure, no one benefits. So, in the end, coaching is effective, for several reasons, but mainly because it occurs in an action, result and employee-oriented relationship between coach and coachee, with the latter witnessing something unique about their own performance. The beneficial effects on a employee's performance derive almost solely from the communication that occurs within that relationship. However, it must be noted that the coach's job is not primarily to give information; as a rule, a coach is not a technical expert. A coach is primarily focused on the way the coachee is seeing and interpreting their environment. Of course, a key to success is having a great coach who is soft-spoken, articulate, humble, charming, witty, trustworthy, respectful of others, direct, and dedicated to their profession and those they are coaching. A great coach does not take credit for success or blame others for mistakes, but rather is tough-minded and intolerant of anything less than the best. That says it all--organizations should demand only the best from their employees, and employees should demand only the best from themselves. It is only through a positive coaching relationship that both personal and professional bests are realized. Bill Finley is chair of Quantum Personal Best Coaching. He may be reached by phone at (201) 825-0511, fax at (201) 825-3178 or e-mail [email protected].
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