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How to Coach a Person Who Doesn't Want to be Coached?

by Lex Schroeder
July 31, 2014

How to Coach a Person Who Doesn't Want to be Coached?

by Lex Schroeder
July 31, 2014 | Comments (1)

Photo coutrtesy of Garret Hoover garrethoover.com

This was just one interesting question raised during this week's Open Space at The Lean Coaching Summit in Long Beach, California.

Summit attendees actually participated in eight different Open Space conversations on coaching. I like Open Space because it's a light, effective structure for organizing small and large group conversations in just a short amount of time. Participants decide conversation topics themselves, a handful of people (in this case, eight) host their own small group conversations, and everyone else decides which conversations they want to participate in. At the end of the session, each group shares their learning back with the full, larger group.

At LEI summits, these conversations are a way we hope lean practitioners can learn from each other. Below are the topics (and notes) that resulted from Tuesday's session. What thoughts would you add? Let us know in the comments!

Notes are transcribed below exactly as recorded by each small group.

How do you continue to develop your lean team when running events, daily improvements, trainings, etc.?

• Schedule the time
Develop a plan
Competency matrix and gap assessment
Coaching – peer outside of the organization
Ask: What is our problem? What's the gap?
Identify objectives and priorities

Scaling: moving from a small group/effort to a larger group/effort/system

Take proven successes and share them using a structured middle management effort. These managers can then use a "middle up and down" approach.

Performance reviews

Behaviors need to be tied to performance goals and metrics
Goals support the organization, not just one team
Frequent assessment to improve and measure
Behaviors need to be measurable

How do you break down silos?

Value stream focus
Share KPIs
Understand who the customer is
Remember "measures drive behavior"
Discover why you have silos to begin with
Ask: what is your culture? (understand what it is first)
Link folks and communicate

How do we coach and motivate people when it seems efficiency works against hourly employees?

Asking and confronting senior management about realities
Lean is more likely to become part of culture with senior management practice
Ask your boss for a new more assertive role
Determine what drives senior management to change metrics
Drive metrics to show issues

Coaching people who don't want to be coached

There are many types of people who are resistant to coaching: the deflector, the interrupter, the “I know all the answers”, the “I know more than you”,  the “I’ve seen managers come and go and you will, too”
Understand the root cause of the person's resistance to coaching through relationship
Wait for moments of vulnerability
Run experiments to break down walls 

Coaching with humility in organizations that value winning

Winning = all green, KPIs, heroism
Humility would build trust, connecting transparency, vulnerability, learning, and change. You don’t know everything.
People are a multiplier of results.
Training for leading with humility has impacted culture and results
Humble inquiry can be learned
This is a cultural alignment issue
Winning is ok – where do you win, team or org level (eg team based performance review)
360 view, senior leaders created change in culture (lasted about 2 yrs)
Senior leaders need to encourage risk taking
Balanced scorecard can help
Fail fast
Stop using traffic light – red, light, green
Call things an experiment, failure is expected
Identify metrics that value people development

Provide clarity on what it means to be a leader
Reward the right behavior

Best practices to onboard new lean coaches

Characteristics of a successful coach
1) passion for lean and systems
2) salesmanship – ability to influence

Best practices shared:
• Starbucks: Be coached, observe coaching, coach with an observer

• Job Instruction
• Shadow other coaches for a week
• Audit coaches to their standard work

Coaching up

• Create a lean charter
Define purpose
Create expectations between lean team and executives
Develop relationships off-site and off-subject
Differentiate between lean coach and executive coach

If you hosted one of these conversations or participated in this Open Space--let us know if and how you continue your conversation. (Some groups agreed to meet again by conference call. Other people simply exchanged cards and decided to touch base and discuss progress in pairs.) Whether you or not you participated in person, we invite you to continue any of these conversations on The Lean Post. We want to hear your stories and ideas! Submit here

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
Keywords:  coaching
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1 Comment | Post a Comment
Josh Howell August 03, 2014
1 Person AGREES with this comment
At the start of this year's Lean Coaching Summit, John Shook shared his vision for this particular gathering of lean practitioners.  To not just share knowledge (about lean coaching), but to create it.  Because the truth of the matter is, understanding of lean coaching is evolving and experiments are happening all over the place.  Open Space is one way the summit tried to instigate and facilitate this.  So the question is, who's interested in taking responsibility for the creation of a little knowledge about lean coaching?  How can LEI help?  Let us know!  

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