Coaching, the closest means of Developing People
When you think about how we have gotten better at the things we do, in some cases, a name of a person quickly pops up in your mind. They are either the person that saw you start out and offered some advice on how you could get better. It is widely accepted that about 70% of the learning and development we experience happens on the job. Only 10% comes from academics. The other 20% comes from masters, mentors, advisors, elders and much more as your culture dictates. We look to these people when we have new ideas cooking because we believe that they will share some insights. We share our challenges in confidence that they will help us realize solutions that we hadn’t seen and in moments when we are stuck they usually provide new perspective even in times like we are in now.
We know how crucial it is to a coach or mentor – but I have often wondered, at what point do you become a mentor to someone else? Think about all the experiences you have, from family to business to recreation. In many cases you have heard as people recommend their friends and loved ones to jobs they say things like “I have given you my guy and I need to see him grow.” Notice, they don’t say I need you to make them richer, they seek for qualities that transcend the paycheck.
When we are given responsibility in business or whatever sphere of work we are, we start to grow in acumen, skill and unique experience.
deliberately coaches and develops others is one of the strongest competencies expected.
So if we know that developing people under our watch is a very crucial responsibility, why then is the difference between it;s importance and it’s practice so huge? The excuse for elders or bosses or managers and you is usually that “we don’t have time” or “I don’t know a way that works”. Irrespective of the reason. When we are in positions of leadership at home or at work it is upon us to develop first ourselves and those around us. It is our call to find a way of practicing this development. It is usually more pragmatic than systematic so don’t get so wound up looking for a single way to develop. For anyone in leadership to realize development results in themselves or those around them, they need to have these foundations.
Do you take time to deliberately walk with someone through life?
You have to build awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses and of the other person’s. Without this you can not know what to commit to developing or what areas of other people’s lives you can help develop. Your desire to get them better will be just that if you have no awareness of yourself and them.
The other thing you need is to build commitment because even when you know what needs to be done but are not committed to seeing them through the time that life allows you together, you will not realize the results of development.
The last and equally crucial thing you need is building practice, Because what and how you do the development over time forms into practices that actually work. There are also widely proven practices so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You sometimes want to do the things that have worked for others. All the three need to operate as you develop otherwise the results will fade away over time. If you have the best techniques to develop people but lack commitment you will not continue your efforts for long, Without awareness you will not know what to commit to or what you need to do for someone to develop. Similarly, all the commitment in the world won’t get you far if you don’t adhere to the right practices to personal development.
Developing others around us is the one thing that sustains our leadership beyond time and it is the only way we have sustained knowledge and wisdom over the years. So take some time and be that person for someone. The one that they look to for insights, solutions and new perspectives not just at the workplace but also in life at large.